ROYAL Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust was an early adopter of Altro Cantata adhesive-free flooring, reportedly putting it to the test in the most demanding of areas before rolling it out in many high circulation areas.

Altro has revisited four years on and found the time and cost savings associated with adhesive-free floors have continued well beyond the initial installation.

Duncan Clift, estates manager projects at Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust, explains how Altro Cantata soon became a product of choice. ‘Before the product was launched, we had a sample installed in the lobby of our loading bay – this is a busy area with palette trucks in and out. If this adhesive-free floor was going to have movement, that would be where it would do it. It held absolutely firm. We were so impressed with the results we saw, and excited for the possibilities this could give us through the hospital.’

Altro’s award-winning adhesive-free installation method reportedly means flooring can be welded and walked on the same day – halving the installation time compared with a traditional adhered installation. That’s a major advantage in a busy hospital environment.
‘Not having to factor in drying time is a huge benefit,’ says Duncan. ‘Hospital corridors are like road systems – if you’re shutting off a service corridor to refit flooring, the hospital still has to function so you put a diversion in place, which can cause a lot of disruption to services.’

The time-saving benefit increases exponentially over the years when you factor in maintenance. ‘The biggest advantage for us of using Altro Cantata is when there’s an accident or damage and areas need to be replaced. In the past, when we took up the floor it would bring adhesive and latex with it, so before you could do anything you had to apply a self-levelling screed, wait for that to dry, then wait again for the adhered floor – more and more drying time.

‘Since moving to Altro Cantata adhesive-free floor we simply cut at the welds, lift and replace that section straight away.’

In many busy corridor areas, the hospital has paired Altro Cantata with Altro Fortis Titanium wall protection, installed by Eden Flooring. ‘The flooring is coved up the wall, overlapped by the wall protection – it’s a sealed system we can easily mop down and gives protection in areas where we have trollies and bins flying down service corridors,’ says Duncan.
‘This package worked so well we’ve since used it throughout our delivery suite refit and beyond.’

The trust opted for Altro Wood flooring in commercial areas and coffee shops, chosen for its stylish looks and slip-resistance properties. ‘We wanted the performance of safety flooring, but looking less like a hospital,’ explains Duncan. ‘Several years on, our cleaning contractors are happy with cleanability, and there are no signs of wear at all.’

Altro has recently added Altro Wood adhesive-free to its tried-and-tested adhesive-free range.

Altro’s relationship with Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust extends over many years, and it says partnerships such as these enable it to develop solutions that work in real world environments.

‘We can be comfortable choosing products from Altro as we know they will be fit for purpose,’ says Duncan. ‘For example, in the past flooring from other manufacturers has had too fussy a pattern, which can be problematic for those living with dementia. Altro’s products factor that in.

‘We get great support from Altro throughout the whole process. From knowledgeable, expert guidance when we’re specifying for clinical areas to the best technical support and aftercare.’

Says Altro: ‘Altro Cantata is a tonal and modernist, adhesive-free floor that creates maximum impact with minimum downtime. It’s been designed for hardworking public areas and is a durable 2.4mm floor. It gives you 14dB impact noise reduction, to quieten busy spaces, plus comfort underfoot to help reduce fatigue.

‘It’s suitable for busy spaces where disruption needs to be minimal, and has no associated adhesive odours. At the end of its life it can be removed easily, allowing it to be reused or recycled. Altro’s most advanced cleaning technology ensures ease of maintenance and enhanced infection control with the reduction of bacterial and mould growth by improved cleanability.

‘This newly developed technology helps reduce general dirt pick-up and staining and improves the floor’s scuff resistance. These enhanced features reduce the need to use cleaning products and the effort required to clean the floor where hygiene is critical.’

Altro Fortis Titanium reportedly offers durable protection for walls, doors, and corners. Doors and plasterboard walls can easily be damaged, be it scrapes and knocks as people pass, or more serious dents and holes caused by wheeled traffic.

‘Altro Fortis Titanium has been designed to protect these surfaces and is dense, impervious, and resistant to bumps. It features a lightly textured surface, which camouflages scuffs, keeping the wall area looking better for longer.

‘Suitable for busy public areas that are subject to high levels of traffic such as in education and healthcare, Altro Fortis Titanium is impervious and easy-to-maintain and co-ordinates with Altro Fortis corner protection.’