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BONA-FIDE Resilient Flooring: Strip and polish, and renewal go head-to-head!

Vinyl, LVT, PVC, linoleum and rubber all fall under the highly functional, resilient flooring banner, and are found in most if not all healthcare settings, across wards, reception areas, canteens, and more.

Resilient flooring is known largely for its durability and ergonomic comfort, which in high footfall areas that undergo a lot of activity and are also subject to the movement of heavy equipment and intense cleaning schedules, is critically important. It is also widely recognised for its cost-effectiveness and given that budgets are repeatedly squeezed year on year, resilient flooring continues to be an attractive choice. It fits the needs of the healthcare environment very well and boasts additional attributes that are of importance too such as its noise reduction properties, slip and fall prevention, low maintenance, as well as its strong sustainability credentials.

Akin to any other surface, resilient flooring has a certain life span. As floors in healthcare are subject to intense wear and tear, it can often lead to scratches, dents, chips, and gaps in the surface. At this stage, when the floor starts to look worn, it’s often decided that a strip and polish will extend its life. Or, if the surface looks damaged and beyond repair, a brand-new installation is often the next step, which in fact is rarely needed.

However, there is an alternative option that would work perfectly in both instances, namely floor renewal. When the terms renovation or renewal are used in healthcare, the first thought often turns to buildings and estates, yet what lies underfoot presents another route for renewal.



Stripping and polishing a resilient flooring surface is the conventional method to help preserve and revitalise the floor. It’s an effective way to get the shine and glow back into a dull, faded floor – to make it look like new again. However, when comparing stripping and polishing with renewal, there are some clear differences. Firstly, let’s look at exactly what floor renewal is. Quite simply, the floor renewal process is quick and easy. Initially, old polish is removed and stripped from the floor’s surface. It is then abraded and cleaned, before the floor is coated with a new colour, top coat, or chip combination to make it look as good as new. Renewal brings the surface back to life and it would be incredibly difficult, even for a flooring expert, to spot any difference between a brand-new installation and a renewal; the quality is exceptional.



With budget levels steering the choice of flooring in healthcare, it is prudent to weigh up the cost savings achievable on materials, maintenance, and staff; comparing stripping and polishing with renewal. Based on a 1,000m2 floor across a 10-year period, here are the stats:



Stripping and polishing must be undertaken far more frequently than renewal and on top of that, it requires a greater number of layers. Yet far less materials are used in the resilient renewal process, and as it lasts many years, it does not need to be repeated as often. Importantly it also eliminates the need to ever strip and polish the floor again, which is a big plus point for healthcare organisations as it avoids the additional downtime of specific areas which poses an inconvenience to staff and patients. Substantial savings can therefore be gained in relation to material used; across 10 years, expect savings of more than £20,000.



It is recommended that stripping and polishing a resilient floor is undertaken multiple times to keep the surface in top condition. In fact, across the floor’s life span, a deep and top strip is necessary up to 4 times, while a regular ongoing polish is needed 3 times per year. As such, the maintenance schedule is more complex and demanding than the renewal schedule, which is virtually effortless. As the renewal process protects the surface in a unique way, it only requires a recoat just once every three years. By ensuring continuous renewal over the lifetime of the surface, it also helps extend the lifetime of the surface, which in turn prevents premature floor replacement.



Anticipate much bigger demands on staff time when pursuing the stripping and polishing route. It’s envisaged that 1,290 staff hours would need to be allocated to the entire process across a 10 year period. On the other hand, the process of renewal is incredibly streamlined and only takes 30% of the staff hours that would be needed for stripping and polishing; that’s just 375 hours. Over a 10-year period, the stripping and polishing process would need to be completed four times per year, compared to just once every three years when following the resilient renewal path.



Comparing the stripping and polishing process with renewal highlights clear cost savings on materials, maintenance, and staff, with the latter coming out on top. Without question, there are compelling savings to be secured by opting for the resilient renewal solution, with estimated long-term savings of almost £50,000.


Advances in the flooring industry also pave the way for the healthcare industry to take greater steps to sustainability, and the ability to renew a surface is a significant development. Years ago, this would not have been an option, yet today, as we try to minimise our collective impact on the environment, the ability to reuse, recycle and renew is of utmost importance. Floor stripping is not only time and labour intensive but also a toxic process. However, there is a great environmental benefit of renewal. It is more sustainable as it only requires one-time stripping of the floor, then the only care required is standard maintenance and a further top coat every so often. A report published by the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute backs up the sustainability aspect. Its findings state that renewing a resilient flooring surface results in a 92% reduction in carbon footprint compared to brand-new floor replacement.



With thousands of square meters covered with resilient surfaces in the healthcare sector, renewal is an alternative way to transform flooring which could be a game-changer for the healthcare sector, for many reasons, but not least because of the weighty financial and time savings to be seized.

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