To meet the ever-changing demands of today’s commercial interiors, Forbo Flooring Systems has launched an improved version of its water-based lacquer, applied to its Marmoleum collection: Topshield Pro. Offering three times better protection than its predecessor, Topshield Pro will further protect the integrity of the design, whilst facilitating easy cleaning and maintenance.


Manufactured from 97% natural raw materials and CO2 neutral (from cradle to gate) without offsetting, Marmoleum is Forbo’s own brand of linoleum and is one of the most sustainable flooring solutions available on the market. As a company, Forbo believes in creating better environments, which is why it is has invested in Topshield Pro to ensure its Marmoleum collection performs to the best of its ability when installed.

Now the standard protection for Forbo’s Marmoleum collection, Topshield Pro has been independently tested, with results showing that it offers  three times better protection than its predecessor. The two-layer system of the Topshield Pro surface finish technology means the floor covering is much more resistant to wear and tear, as well as stains – including stains from hand disinfectant gels and infection control systems –, ensuring a better appearance over a longer life cycle.

What’s more, with a new process introduced for applying Topshield Pro to Marmoleum, the finish is tougher than ever before, and as a result the surface is less susceptible to dirt build up and is easier to clean. It also requires no initial polymer application, delivering a “ready to use floor”, which is better for the environment and reduces the cost of ownership overall.

Karen Wilding, Senior Marketing Executive at Forbo Flooring Systems, said: “In addition to the incomparable benefits Topshield Pro now delivers, one feature of Marmoleum that sometimes goes under the radar, is the fact that even at the end of its long life, it can actually be renovated for a second, third and even fourth life. This means that if the flooring is accidently damaged, it can be restored without having to replace the entire floor increasing the already long lifespan of Marmoleum, whilst delivering the lowest cost of ownership for a resilient flooring.

“The launch of our Topshield Pro technology bolsters the benefits of Marmoleum even more, with the sustainability profile of the solution cementing it as a long-term and environmentally conscious solution.”

As Topshield Pro is a water-based lacquer, the sustainable integrity of Marmoleum is not affected. Furthermore, Marmoleum is free from plasticisers and synthetic additives, as well as being low in emissions. Bacteriostatic by nature, it has also been awarded the prestigious Allergy UK Seal of Approval as, with the correct cleaning and maintenance regime, it won’t harbour dust mites.

Marmoleum is the perfect solution to create modern, healthy and sustainable indoor environments in any building, whether that be a hospital, school, public building or leisure space.



For more information visit on the new Topshield Pro finish PLEASE CLICK HERE

or to view Forbo’s full Marmoleum flooring solutions portfolio PLEASE CLICK HERE

When it comes to supplying flooring to the Education Sector, Carpet & Flooring has your needs covered, with ranges through from small private nurseries to large university campuses.

Carpet & Flooring offers a wide array of industry-leading brands and flooring types in one convenient order and delivery process. Plus, for your own convenience, we have 10 branches located nationally throughout the UK. Here, experienced Carpet & Flooring staff can guide you through the ideal solutions for any educational setting and de-bunk common misconceptions about flooring in this sector.


“Flooring involves a lot of upkeep and is expensive to maintain”
Whether you work in a nursery, school or university, wear and tear is inevitable, especially in areas of heavy footfall. However, there are steps which can be taken which will help alleviate the level of upkeep to the flooring and minimise costs.
Firstly, placing a robust floor covering such as a heavy-duty fibre-bonded carpet, tile or plank option or a nylon barrier matting with scrapper fibre in the entranceway or reception of such an establishment is paramount.
Additionally, the installed entrance solution will capture any moisture or debris walked in from outside and will ensure that the flooring within the building remains in peak condition for longer, minimises costs and provides an improved aesthetic and first impression for those who work in and visit the establishment.
Furthermore, carpet tiles in the classroom or play areas are not only quicker and easier to install but can be replaced in isolated areas where there has been wear or a spillage. It is easier and more cost-effective to replace a worn tile than replacing an entire floor than if, say, broadloom carpet was used as the floor covering.

“You cannot make a statement with flooring”
Gone are the days where grey carpet was installed in corridors of education establishments creating a muted, sombre tone! Today, schools and universities must create a welcoming environment for students and visitors alike. Many flooring options, especially in carpet tile and broadloom, are available in bright shades, installed to complement the establishment and to tie in with school colours.
If looking for a muted tone, without being too overbearing, an accent colour can be incorporated into the floor design when installing carpet tiles to emphasise the establishment’s unique identity.

“Flooring does not insulate sound”
Within a classroom, noise can be generated by several factors such as footfall, noise from outside or movement in classrooms which are adjacent or on the floor above (and, of course, noisy pupils!) All of which can contribute to distraction and impede pupils’ learning.
The placement of certain types of flooring and underlay in classrooms and corridors can alleviate this by absorbing sound and reducing noise transmission.
When fitting any flooring in what may be a particularly noisy area, it is essential to check with your flooring contractor the acoustic impact noise and decibel (dB) rating prior to installation.
Where the installation of carpet tiles or carpet broadloom is not an option, commercial rubber flooring or Luxury Vinyl Tile are ideal alternatives.



“Vinyl Flooring is Outdated”
In recent years, vinyl flooring has moved markedly from single cheerless colours to being a more welcoming, versatile and easy-to-install product. Because of its hard-wearing qualities, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) has become a very popular flooring installation in educational environments.
Created to give the appearance of real wood without the upkeep, some LVT ranges come with a bevelled edge so that when installed, there is a small gap between each board. This adds definition to each board and creates a natural finish to the room. In addition, LVT is easy to clean and can come with excellent slip resistance to help obviate any slips or falls. LVT also offers noise attenuation, minimising background noise or heavy footfall in corridors.

“Flooring is not environmentally friendly”
Many flooring designs today are very eco-friendly, ranging from carpet tiles or broadloom made from 100% recycled yarn to flooring fabricated by 100% green electricity. For example, many products can be found with a Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certificate which provides third party certification of the assessment of an asset’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance.
One particularly popular carpet tile choice stocked by Carpet & Flooring which is ideal for schools is ‘CFS Illusion Plus’. This is manufactured in a carbon-neutral facility, BRE Global-certified and comes in plain colours and complementary linear patterns.

For more than 40 years, Carpet & Flooring has been supplying the flooring industry with a complete and competitive flooring package. Voted the CFJ (Contract Flooring Journal) Distributor of the Year five years running, Carpet & Flooring can provide everything you need to deliver your school, college or university flooring installations on time and within budget…




To find out more about Carpet & Flooring’s extensive product portfolio or to request a free sample, contact us by the following methods:



T: 01527 511 860

Live Chat with Customer Services:

Visit the Carpet & Flooring website and click on the orange icon at the bottom right of any

webpage to chat with an experienced member of our Customer Services team.

Having supplied floor coverings for education buildings for more than a century, Forbo Flooring Systems is pleased to announce a new solution, which completes its education portfolio: Sportline multi use. This new high-performance vinyl sheet has been designed specifically for multi-purpose sports and community halls.



Meeting the requirements of Sports England and EN 14904 (P1 classification), Forbo’s Sportline multi use collection is safe, durable and low maintenance, making it the perfect solution for school and university sports halls, or local community centres that cater for a variety of activities, such as team sports, meetings, ceremonies or exams.

Available in four natural wood designs and eight vibrant, contemporary colours, Sportline multi use can be used as a stand-alone solution or alternatively, court markings can be applied to it with ease.

Offering every solution from one supplier, Forbo’s extensive range of floor coverings have been used – and continue to be used – across a wide portfolio of educational establishments around the globe.


CLICK HERE for more information about Sportline multi use or to order a free sample book

 or to learn more about Forbo’s education portfolio, VISIT

Learning environments are some of the most important places, and the way they function is just as important as how they look. Mark Johnstone, Head of Commercial – UK, Middle East and Ireland, at Altro, considers the key criteria when specifying for primary schools.

When it comes to specifying for education environments, there is a greater need than ever for durable, easy to clean, comfortable and attractive surfaces – and thankfully plenty of smart solutions to meet those demands. We have worked through the decades to develop solutions to age-old issues; safety floors to prevent slips; sustainable adhesive-free floors to reduce downtime; shoe and barefoot flooring for safer changing rooms; floors that reduce impact sound reduction for quieter working spaces; and walls and doors that impress, yet don’t compromise on hygiene and easy-maintenance.

Specifiers have a lot to balance. We’re aware of the changing views on learning spaces, for example the positive impact that biophilia – using natural shades, including wood-look options, and images of nature – has on learning. We’re aware of the benefits that adaptable learning spaces and effective way-finding solutions, among other design concepts, have for those with autism or Social Emotional Mental Health (SEMH) needs – and that, actually, these should not only be considered for specialist spaces, as the same things hugely benefit all children.

We understand the challenges of complying with regulations designed to keep our children safe, whether finding solutions that have the required 30-point light reflectance value difference between floors and walls, installing safe disability access ramps, or giving reassurance that our doors and walls meet the required standards for fire resistance.

We appreciate that education buildings are among the busiest public spaces, meaning durability and easy maintenance are essential. We know specifiers must also meet sustainability requirements – there is a lot to take into consideration.



Entrance and reception areas

In primary schools, this area has a variety of functions: it’s an office space, a waiting room and, as the first area of the school that parents and visitors see, a room that represents the school’s ethos. First impressions count here and, as a work space, it needs to be a calm oasis in the surrounding bustle. For ultimate design freedom, consider options such as Altro Whiterock Digiclad (Custom) for walls and Altro Orchestra Custom floors to make your individual mark.

As most people in this area will be coming in from outside, the risk of walked in rainwater, and therefore a slip, is high, so a safety floor will protect students, staff and visitors from slips. There are plenty of great options, including sustainable adhesive-free floors which can halve installation time, and are 100% recyclable pre- and post-installation.


Constantly in use by both little and large feet plus equipment trollies, floors for corridors and general circulation areas need to be tough while looking good. These spaces can be noisy as pupils move from one space to another, so impact sound reduction is welcome here, reducing distraction for those still concentrating.

Ease of cleaning is an important consideration, as is downtime in an area that’s in constant use. Ranges such as Altro Operetta, Altro Orchestra and Altro Serenade offer multiple attractive, natural colours and finishes that are robust and easy to clean, with a custom option for a bespoke approach too. Consider adhesive-free options with installation time halve that of a traditionally adhered floor: you can weld and walk the same day, even over fresh concrete. There are no rucks or movement when down, and at the end of its life the entire floor can be uplifted and reused or recycled.

For walls, consider systems such as Altro Fortis wall sheet combined with corner protection – dense, impervious and resistant to bumps, it is ideal for use in these busy, vulnerable areas.


Primary school classrooms go from calm to chaos and back again throughout the day. The floor you choose contends with constant use from 30-plus pairs of feet, activity debris and chair-scraping. It needs to support quiet learning, tired feet, act as the occasional seat and play its part in creating an inspiring space to work and learn in.

A good option here is a vinyl floor with acoustic properties for impact sound reduction and comfort, as well as ease of cleaning and durability.

With a wide variety of activities taking place in the classroom, a sink is a common feature, making splashes and spills and therefore slips, likely. With so much going on, it’s not always possible for teaching staff to spot or wipe spills straight away.

You probably won’t need to install a safety floor for the whole room; you can install just around the sink. Altro safety floors mean you can reduce the risk of a slip to one in a million in that space. You can choose to match the shade to the rest of the floor, or deliberately create a contrast to remind pupils that it’s an area they need to be careful in.


Prepping and cooking hundreds of meals, all to be served within an hour, or less, means school kitchens must operate efficiently and quickly, without compromising on safety. As staff work to get multiple dishes ready, there’s no time to worry about oil splashes or food debris on the floor, which increase the risk of a slip accident. Once prep and service are over, clean-up and next day prep mean there’s no rest for staff feet, so a floor solution that can take the burden of a day spent standing will be welcomed.

Kitchens need a specialist safety floor such as Altro Stronghold 30, designed specifically to deal with these challenges. They also benefit from hygienic wall systems – grout-free, easy to clean and impact-resistant.

Multi-purpose halls/canteens

A primary school hall masquerades as gym, restaurant and conference room. A versatile space needs a versatile floor that can handle changing needs, looks good and provides a comfy seat. This key area for a school can’t be out of action for long, so is an ideal area to opt for our sustainable adhesive-free floors with quick and straight-forward installation over an existing floor, or over new concrete.

An option such as Altro Wood adhesive-free meets each need: a slip risk of one in a million for those lunchtime water spills; 14dB impact sound reduction to help keep outside noise out, inside noise in, and to lessen foot and chair noise within the room; comfort underfoot to go easy on jumping and dancing feet, and on little bottoms; shades to create a warm, comfy look; and no adhesive, halving installation time, with no associated adhesive odours. What’s more, you can reuse it elsewhere or recycle i: the perfect sustainable solution.

For walls, Altro Whiterock Digiclad (Custom) enables a school to put its own stamp on its main space, with durable and scratch resistant properties to look good long-term. Choose from the school logo or photographic images of the children playing sport, or of local landmarks, to inspire knowledge and pride: the possibilities are endless. In addition to photos or art, this walls system can be used to support wayfinding, featuring signage or instructions.


Primary school libraries are no longer the intimidating, quiet rooms they once were but, as a space where story-telling comes to life or a pupil curls up to enjoy their first novel, there’s a need to reduce noise distractions, so an acoustic floor that’s thick enough for comfort underfoot is a good option here.

Staff rooms

Staff areas are well used; lots of feet, chairs, desks so the floor needs to be durable. As a space used for work, meetings and well-earned breaks, it needs to look homely and feel comfortable: the floor plays a central part in creating a space where staff are happy to be. With staff areas in constant use, installation or refurbishment needs to be quick and easy, so this is another area where adhesive-free floors can be used to great effect.


With no time for staff to constantly monitor the state of the toilets, the floor needs to prevent slips from sink splashes, walked in water and any little accidents, so safety floor is ideal here. It has to be easy to clean, whether a quick wipe or the thorough end-of-the-day clean. Look for slip resistance that lasts the lifetime of the product, to give peace of mind that pupils will be as safe from slips when they leave school as when they started. There is a huge range of colours now available, so it’s possible to make the bathroom more fun, theming the space, or using different colours for each cubicle and the hand wash area.

Hand hygiene is more important than ever, and can be a challenge at primary school age. When it comes to school toilet walls, they can play a role in reducing the number of places bacteria can lurk. Walls need to be easy to clean. Tiled walls are popular, but problematic – with grout present and cracks common, tiles will not support effective hygiene and maintenance. Look to a hygienic walls system, such as Altro Whiterock, that can be wiped clean. Grout-free, impact-resistant, quick to install and backed up by lengthy guarantees. And plenty of colour and design options on offer too.


CLICK HERE for a wide range of tools and resources for specifying in education.

About Altro –

After years of intensive use by the pupils of St Francis Xavier School in Richmond, North Yorkshire, the floor of its sports hall was looking worse for wear. What’s more, the very structure of the building meant any sport or exercise was always accompanied by severe acoustic issues. 

As specialists in all aspects of sports flooring as well as acoustic suppression, TVS Group was in a unique position to offer the co-educational school a comprehensive solution and one which would be quick and economic to achieve.

“While TVS offers a whole range of flooring solutions for gyms and sports halls, in this case, with a sound floor structure, we sought a simple and more cost-effective solution, explained Jason Lewis-Lamb, Sports Flooring Specialist with TVS Group. “The aim was not only to extend the lifespan of the existing vinyl floor but reduce noise reverberation within the building.”

Stage one involved a deep clean of the floor surface, removing years of dirt, grime and marks, many caused by the use of incorrect footwear. The aim was to reveal a surface close to its original look and feel. Once complete, all of the existing line markings were overmarked with new 2-part polyurethane sports line paint to leave a crisp finish that would further protect the existing floor and lengthen its lifespan. TVS also supplied new protective carpet matting so that the sports hall flooring would be protected when needed for alternative use such as holding exams or staging exhibitions.

Finally, after a detailed sound survey, TVS recommended, supplied and fitted a simple but highly effective acoustic panel solution for the noise issues. Over 260m2 of custom made, brightly coloured Absorb Sports Panels were used across the sports hall, not only significantly reducing the reverberation issues but adding a fresh new look to the building. The panels are not only hard wearing but simple to remove and clean.

“There was no interruption to school schedules as all the work was carried out during school holidays and the client was delighted with the end result,” added Jason Lewis-Lamb.

Do you remember what your educational facility looked like when you were there? Style may not have been at the top of the agenda and, if you were to revisit your old haunt, you may very likely be horrified at what was once regarded as satisfactory flooring for educational facilities.

With schools in session for 39 weeks of the year and on average 965 pupils per secondary school and 282 pupils per primary school, the flooring installed throughout the premises must be hardy enough to withstand large footfall and yet be easy to install. Plus, with the UK education sector covering a variety of buildings and settings from entrances, school halls, classrooms to corridors, the flooring must provide a practical solution to each setting without impacting on the academic calendar and budgets.

For more than 40 years, Carpet & Flooring have been supplying the flooring industry with a complete flooring package. Offering a choice of industry-leading brands, Carpet & Flooring offers everything you need to complete your projects in one convenient order and delivery and, for your convenience, have 10 Nationwide branches located throughout the UK. Here, we provide our top tips in specifying flooring in an education setting as well as considerations of how the design and flooring colourway can have an impact on learning:


Fibre-Bonded Carpets & Nylon Barrier Matting
With the UK weather being very changeable, quite often having four seasons in one day, the chances are that, when coming in from outside, pupils do not wipe their feet, thereby bringing in moisture and debris from outside.

Installing a heavy-duty fibre-bonded carpet or a tile and plank option in receptions and entranceways will capture any soil and debris walked in from outside, protecting the rest of your interior floor finishes, resulting in floor coverings that remain in better condition for longer. Aside from being durable, fibre-bonded carpets are available in a wide variety of colourways so that you can create an inviting space for pupils and staff.

Installing a nylon barrier matting with a scraper fibre effectively scrapes footwear to capture soil, moisture and dry debris when walking in from outside. This minimises the effects of soiling in other parts of the building and ensures the longevity of the flooring.

Carpet Tiles
Offering endless design opportunities and available at various price points, as well as being great for limited budgets, carpet tiles offer durability and sound reduction, great for helping to develop a quiet space for learning and teaching in classrooms and preventing noise  reverberating around the school when installed in hallways.

A huge benefit when it comes to installing carpet tiles is that the creative opportunities are endless! Available in a wide variety of designs and colours, carpet tiles can allow the installer to create a bespoke installation to suit any aesthetic. An accent colour can be incorporated into the floor design, giving a nod to colours associated with the establishment without being overbearing.

The CFS Europa Collection and CFS Illusion ranges are a popular choice when installing in educational facilities. With a wide array of colourways allowing endless design opportunities and the capability to withstand heavy traffic in corridors and classrooms.

Additionally, if a tile is damaged by a drink being spilt or paint dropped, it can be replaced individually, rather than re-laying the whole floor at unnecessary expense and effort.

Safety Flooring
With students studying a wide range of subjects from the arts and science to design and technology where movement around the classroom is necessary, safety becomes of paramount importance in preventing any slips where any debris and spillages on the floor may be commonplace.

Installing safety flooring in these areas with slip resistance properties, as well as being anti-bacterial, hard wearing, and easy to clean, puts the safety of students and staff first.

Luxury Vinyl Tile
With large amounts of footfall in educational buildings, Luxury Vinyl Tiles rise to the challenge of being both versatile and easy to install. Due to its hard-wearing qualities, LVT has become increasingly popular. Designed to have the appearance of real wood and stone, and other natural materials, LVT not only looks like the real thing, but feel likes it, creating a beautiful luxury look.

Additionally, it is easy to clean and has good slip resistance to prevent any slips and falls. It also offers noise reduction, minimising the sounds of heavy footfall and background noise.

As well as the choice of floorcovering, the consideration of how the colour choice of floor covering can impact on a pupil’s or staff’s psyche is also worthwhile considering.

In educational facilities, colour differentiation between sections of flooring can also help direct pupils and staff to important areas as well as allowing you to create a zonal separation to help pupils adapt their behaviour to each area that they are in. For example, installing two different flooring colourways to identify between work and play areas.

A neutral colour tone which is based around nature, for example, can conjure up relaxed feelings. In contrast, bright colourways can invoke a creative environment and a friendly atmosphere

It is of paramount importance that you use a quality installer when replacing the floor coverings within a school. Even when using a top-quality product, using the wrong installer can result in an inadequate and potentially unsafe installation. We suggest using a recommended installer with experience in educational establishment installation to ensure your project is completed on time and within budget.

To find out more about Carpet & Flooring’s extensive product portfolio or to request a free sample, contact us by the following methods:
T: 01527 511860
Live Chat with Customer Services:
Visit the Carpet & Flooring website and click on the orange icon at the bottom right of any webpage to chat with a member of our Customer Services team.

Altro has introduced new shades for its Altro Wood™ adhesive-free and Altro Wood safety flooring ranges. The new, on-trend, wood-look options, from cool grey hues through to warming and natural tones, provide flexibility when specifying or designing application areas which require differing technical performance.

In support of the growing popularity of adhesive-free floors, the number of shades for Altro Wood adhesive-free has increased from 12 to 18, and they are now aligned with those in the Altro Wood palette, making selection between the two ranges quick and easy.

Altro Wood adhesive-free creates maximum impact with minimum downtime. It can be welded and walked on the same day, and at the end of its life can be removed easily, allowing it to be reused or recycled. With Altro Wood adhesive-free bringing 14dB sound reduction, one in a million slip-resistance reassurance, high levels of comfort underfoot and speed of installation; it provides a safe, durable, and decorative solution for busy spaces.

Altro Wood safety flooring offers four new oak colours, together with differing plank sizes and shades including wide plank classic and rustic designs. This attractive, general purpose wood-effect vinyl safety flooring gives 4dB sound reduction, sustained slip-resistance for the lifetime of the floor and is designed to cope with medium to heavy traffic, helping crate the right look for areas where people live and work.

David Brailsford, Altro’s New Product Introduction Manager said: “After we introduced Altro Wood adhesive-free in 2020 it quickly established itself as an important product for those who are looking for a sustainable and versatile safety floor that is quick to install. It is key to ensure that our colours and designs stay relevant and, as a result, we wanted to offer more design choice in this valued product. We have therefore extended the range from 12 colours to 18 and at the same time have balanced the Altro Wood range, re-colouring this popular product and adding extra dimension to our range of colours. Our customers value the choice and flexibility that this alignment provides, giving them breadth of choice with what remains a really popular finish for homely interiors.”

With matching design and colour options across the Altro Wood adhesive-free and Altro Wood ranges, you can achieve a consistent look in different areas. Select from the ranges for the right technical performance required.



CLICK HERE  for the full range of new designs, new shades and inspiration from Altro.



Thousands of square metres of Altro Walkway 20 safety flooring have been used to create flowing, natural spaces at a flagship new building at Aarhus University in Denmark.


The Skou Building, named after Nobel Prize winner Jens-Christian Skou and home of the Institute of Biomedicine, was designed by CUBO Arkitekter as part of a wider project to reinterpret the campus architecture. The building is designed as two staggered lengths that meet in a stunning central atrium.

The design looked to minimise the number of different materials, creating a bright and natural look, whilst drawing some of the organic, natural forms from the area into the building.

More than 9,000 square metres of Altro Walkway 20 safety flooring in the colour Cloud have been used in corridors and laboratories. The flooring complements the white walls, oak interiors and large glass sections whilst reducing the slip-risk to one in a million throughout the life of the product.

Bo Lautrup, partner and architect at CUBO Arkitekter, says: “We chose Altro Walkway 20 in a warm colour with tiny sparkles to get a homogeneous, fine look. It was crucial to create unbroken coherence through the building. The floors should just be able to continue without stopping or switching between materials.

“Altro Walkway 20 is functional as well as simple in expression and in that way helps to emphasize the natural and bright aesthetics which was so important to achieve throughout the building.”

In addition, 750 square meters of Altro Walkway 20 SD in the colour Fog have been used in laboratories where there were special safety requirements.

Altro Walkway 20 is an incredibly popular, durable 2mm safety floor that prevents both slips and wear throughout the product’s life. The range offers 42 colours – both bright and muted as well as decorative designs with coloured flakes for greater design flexibility.

With the static dissipative version of Altro Walkway 20, you can minimize the risk of damage to electronic equipment such as computers that are sensitive to static electricity. The floor is ideal for laboratories, computer rooms and places where electronics are gathered.


Visit for the full range of new designs, new shades and inspiration from Altro, and for information on how to make your custom designs a reality.



High performance products from F. Ball and Co. Ltd., including Styccobond F41 carpet tile tackifier, have been used by iFlor Flooring Contractors LLP to install a bright combination of grey, pink and blue Paragon and Balsan carpet tiles in the sixth form study room at The Charter School in North Dulwich, London, helping to create an inspiring learning environment for school students.


As well as adding a splash of colour to the school’s sixth form study room, iFlor was commissioned to install Forbo vinyl sheet in a number of classrooms, using Stopgap 700 Superflex levelling compound and Styccobond F46 pressure sensitive adhesive.

Styccobond F41 carpet tile tackifier is designed to provide a permanently tacky film that prevents loose lay carpet tiles from moving laterally, but still allows for individual tiles to be lifted and replaced with ease, should they become damaged or worn.

The acrylic polymer emulsion adhesive can be used for securing a wide range of dimensionally stable ‘flat lay’ carpet tiles backed with bitumen/felt, non-woven fabric, PVC and other polymer backings.

Before installing the floorcovering, contractors determined that a moisture management solution would not be required for the concrete subfloor in the sixth form space, as a moisture test indicated the base was sufficiently dry, and so proceeded to the application of a levelling compound and the subsequent carpet tile installation.

In five of the school’s classrooms, Styccobond F46 pressure sensitive adhesive was used to install grey vinyl sheet. The solvent free acrylic adhesive is designed to give strong initial tack and a high bond strength that dries to a permanent tacky film. Further, it also reduces the incidence of trowel serrations shadowing through thin vinyl flooring.

The classrooms’ raised access panel subfloors were first primed using a general purpose primer, before being smoothed using Stopgap 700 Superflex levelling compound to create a suitably smooth and level surface for the installation of the vinyl floorcovering. Flexible subfloors, such as raised access panels, can move when subjected to normal foot traffic and temperature changes. These movements can cause traditional levelling compounds to crack, leading to visible imperfections showing through the floorcovering or even eventual floor failure.

Stopgap 700 Superflex is a fast drying, self-levelling, fibre-reinforced levelling compound. suitable for use over flexible subfloors prior to the installation of new floorcoverings. The product is reinforced with tiny fibres that maintain the integrity of the levelling compound and prevent visible cracks from forming as a result of any movement within the raised access panels.

Once the levelling compound had cured, the job was completed with the installation of the Forbo sheet vinyl, ready for students to begin learning again.

Adam Couch, owner and director of iFlor Flooring Contractors LLP, commented on the project: “Once again, F. Ball products have played a significant role in completing a successful installation. They can be trusted to provide the high standard of results needed and the client was pleased with the outcome, which is set to inspire students for years to come.”


The correct dance floor makes an important contribution to the safe performance of dancers without the risk of slips and falls or longer-term stress injuries.  A good dance floor instils confidence in dancers to give full expression to their creativity, safe in the knowledge the dance floor will offer a consistent response.  Harlequin Floors have developed floors specifically for dance, offering the exact requirements needed for varying genres of dance, which commercial grade, industrial and sports floors cannot.

Experienced dancers can judge a good floor instinctively as to whether or not it feels right. And if it feels right they can effectively forget about the floor and concentrate on putting all their focus and concentration into the artistic performance. A confidence that comes from a reassurance they are not going to slip and fall, that lifts can be performed safely and on landing from jumps the response of the floor consistently returns the right amount of energy absorption. Quantifying this subjective rating of a floor into a series of repeatable tests is no simple task. Anyone specifying floors for dance should remember that dancers may not be the commissioning clients, but they are the end users.  Major dance companies understand this, which is why it is not uncommon to ask their dancers to “test” floors before the final choice is made.
Research in recent years has identified a correlation between the consistency of dance floors and injuries incurred by dancers.  When specifying a floor for dance, using general flooring or sports floor standards will not ensure the right floor is installed.  Only a floor developed specifically for dance will do.  There have been some high profile examples where floors have had to be replaced by a dance company after the building is complete because the floor was not considered fit for purpose by the dancers using it.

Why sports floors are not suitable for dance
It is tempting to presume that as the elite athleticism of top dancers is on a par with sports people, that a sports floor is appropriate. It is not. There are some critical factors that distinguish the requirements of dancers from those of sports played on a sports floor. Many sports played on these floors require a firm floor which allows balls to bounce predictably. Sports footwear is generally cushioned to protect against impact injuries. The footwear also provides grip for the sports person. By contrast dancers need more absorption or cushioning on landing from jumps. Their footwear varies according to dance style and doesn’t cushion landings. Dancers also need the right degree of traction from the dance surface.
Harlequin work extensively with dance scientists and biomechanics experts to investigate the effects of the choice of dance floor on dancer performance and injury, and to research and develop floors that minimise these risks.
Biomechanics expert Luke Hopper explains “Injury occurrence is all too common in dance.  Dancers will always push their bodies to the limit to get the most out of their training, it is therefore very important that safe dance environments are created by reducing any unnecessary injury risks”.
Dr Boni Rietveld is an orthopaedic surgeon at the Centre for Medicine, Dance and Music in The Hague, Netherlands, and is also Past President of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. Boni Rietveld observed, “There is a distinction to make between injuries caused by the floor and those caused accidentally. As far as the former are concerned, it is evident that there is a cause and effect relationship between dancers’ injuries and the floor on which they perform.”

Harlequin’s CPD Programme
As part of Harlequin’s commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of dancers and performers, our RIBA approved CPD explains why specifying the correct floor for dance and performing arts is critical to the longevity of a performers career.
​Using comprehensive data and case studies, we outline the key considerations when specifying a performance floor and look at the important contribution the floor makes to performer health and safety. We explore the history of dance floors, the reasons why floor choice is so important, current standards and tests and how to ensure you specify the right performance surface.
Harlequin is the world leader in advanced technology floors and stage systems for the performing arts and is the industry choice for the world’s most prestigious dance and performing arts companies, theatres, venues and schools. Harlequin manufactures, supplies and installs a range of high quality sprung and vinyl floors and specialises in the building and refurbishment of bespoke stage systems.

For any performance floor enquiries please contact our technical team on: +44 (0)1892 514 888 or email: If you are interested in booking a CPD please contact: