Floors stepping up their profile

NSF International’s new rule for environmental comparison of flooring products arrives just as more diverse flooring options become available.

August 07, 2012 |

When was the last time you walked into a building and immediately looked at the floor? Probably sometime today. A building’s floor is usually the first thing a visitor, tenant, user—or owner—takes in, so it’s got to be good. However, the wide diversity of available flooring products can make choosing a floor covering or finish a difficult task. Factor in sustainability and LEED points, and now there are even more variables to add to the complexity of choosing the right flooring for the job.

In an effort to make the selection of sustainable flooring products somewhat easier, NSF International, the well-respected certification and standards organization, recently developed a Product Category Rule (PCR) to evaluate the environmental impacts of flooring products. The PCR offers science-based, internationally recognized methods for reporting the impact of resilient, carpet, laminate, tile, and wood flooring products.

The PCR can also be used to define how to conduct a life cycle assessment for a specific product group and what data to include in an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) report. The EPD is critical because it provides a third-party-verified report that explains the data generated for a life cycle assessment.

Following are six options for Building Teams to consider when making their next flooring-related decision.

Multicolor floor covering for healthcare apps

Designed specifically for healthcare applications, nora systems’ noraplan sentica features tone-on-tone design in 38 colors. The colors—32 standard and six accent—evolved out of multiple workshops with architects and designers who helped develop the floor covering.

Available in acoustic and electrostatic dissipative options, the product comes in 2- and 3-mm rolls and tiles and is Greenguard Indoor Air Quality Certified for Children and Schools.

nora systems Inc.


Rubber flooring offers design options without adhesives

The SlideLock glueless flooring system from Johnsonite consists of rubber tiles that provide slip-resistant surfaces and underfoot comfort. Because no adhesive is required, tiles can be removed and reused repeatedly to create distinctive flooring designs.





Magnetic floor system simulates natural textures

The ASI Magnetic Floor System offers quick and simple installation for a wide variety of patterns and colors. It features magnetic-backed vinyl planks and tiles that simulate wood grains, natural stone, and carpet tiles. The flooring system offers durability in high-traffic spaces.

Architectural Systems Inc.




Tile backing system made from recycled content

Available for commercial, retail, and hospitality applications, Chilewich’s BioFelt is a PVC-free tile backing system composed of 82% pre- and post-consumer content. The product can be installed in two ways: with adhesives, or using the new Velcro Hook Squares modular flooring installation system, which connects tiles to one another and to the floor. The Velcro system allows for installation on raised access floors and other flooring surfaces where adhesives would not be appropriate.






Giving a modern touch to long-lasting floors

Interested in minimal maintenance to keep your concrete floors looking fresh and new? Stonhard’s Stontop provides the look of a stained concrete application that can be installed over damaged and worn concrete, making it particularly suited for renovations. Available as a textured surface in seven base colors, it can be customized to match additional colors in such applications as retail spaces, restaurants, stadiums, and museums.


Overlay Init