Designing flooring for wet barefoot areas requires careful consideration for many technical and safety reasons. While safety and compliance are paramount in these environments, often design is sacrificed in the process, impacting the overall user experience. This guide explores a range of design elements to consider when designing for wet rooms, so you can optimise the experience and functionality in an otherwise uninspiring space.
Considering Compliance & Functionality
Designing for wet barefoot areas is no easy task, whether it be for a birthing suite, hospital bathroom, gym space, or aged care bathroom. There are many safety and technical requirements when it comes to specifying safety flooring, therefore we recommend referring to Australian Standards that outline the appropriate Australian Standards and performance solutions for your project.
Why Commercial Vinyl Sheet Flooring is a great solution
Hygiene & Cleanliness: Commercial vinyl sheet flooring provides a seamless surface with minimal joins or gaps, making it an ideal surface for ensuring the environment is hygienic and clean. A flooring surface that is easy to clean and has nowhere for dirt and grime to hide is paramount when it comes to any hygiene critical areas such as healthcare.
Reduced Bacteria Growth: In wet areas, mould and bacteria are more likely to be present. Unlike tiles with grout joins, vinyl sheet flooring provides a seamless surface to help to reduce hiding spots for these pathogens to grow, making it the safest option when installing in wet areas.
Durability & Longevity: Safety vinyl sheet flooring has a long lifespan, which is highly favourable in many commercial applications with high foot traffic. It also means not having to replace the floor as frequently, which is important to reduce disruptions which can be costly to businesses and detrimental in healthcare environments.
Considering Aesthetics & Design
For most individuals, a public bathroom or wet area is not a space that we expect to be impressed by unique design elements or have a memorable experience in. However, there are elements of design that while simple, can have significant influence on mood, personal associations, and spatial perception.
Colours have inherent psychological associations, influencing our mood and how we feel in a space. For example, blue often portrays a sense of calmness and tranquility which can influence how a person feels within the space. In hospitals and aged care facilities, mood enhancing colours can aid in recovery and overall quality of life, whilst aesthetically pleasing wet areas can influence perceptions of hygiene and luxury and in turn, patronage and word of mouth recommendations. Slip resistant vinyl safety flooring comes in a wide range of standard and custom colours, allowing you to easily create a more serene atmosphere with a complementary colour palette, by including more muted colours, or using nature inspired colourways to evoke a feeling of connection to the native environment.
Visible joins can also be unsightly, which is why vinyl sheet flooring is preferred. It creates a seamless design which enhances the aesthetic by creating a sleek and uninterrupted visual appearance. Consider an earthy colour palette for your project with the Australian nature inspired collection, Natralis Foothold.
Choosing suitable flooring for wet barefoot areas is crucial to the practicality, safety, and comfort of staff, patients, and visitors, in healthcare spaces such as bathrooms, ensuites, operating rooms, birthing suites, and aged care facilities. You do not have to sacrifice design where a safety and compliant floor surface is required. There are many options available to help you meet functionality while creating a seamless design aesthetic through the use of material and colour, which ultimately improves the user experience and functionality of the area.
Explore a range of homogeneous vinyl sheet flooring options for your space or use our custom design tool to create tailored vinyl sheet flooring for your design aesthetic goals.