Forbo's Flying High!

An extensive flooring refurbishment at RAF Mildenhall base in Suffolk has been made possible thanks to Forbo Flooring Systems’ expert in-house design service. A wide range of Forbo's products have been specified as part of an exciting integrated flooring solution, complete with intricate Aquajet and hand cut designs.

The entire floor area at the Youth Centre for American servicemen’s children had been installed for over ten years and was in need of replacement. The solution was a smart, engaging flooring scheme that was sustainable.

Having used Forbo’s products before, the RAF sought expert advice from Forbo’s in-house design team who provided alternate colour mood boards and detailed floor plans with a variety of ideas based around the initial brief. With three main areas being refurbished, key considerations aside from the aesthetics and sustainability were the durability and maintenance. Reception and corridor areas form the main communal zones, whilst the classrooms and kitchen areas are subject to heavy footfall and required effective slip resistance.

Coral duo entrance system was installed in the main entrance as well as in the entrance to each classroom by flooring contractors P and B Flooring, Newmarket. Research shows that Coral duo retains ten percent more dirt in the first few metres than any other textile entrance flooring system, which makes it an ideal choice for ensuring interior floor coverings remain dry and clean while also providing an attractive entrance area.

Various shades from Forbo’s extensive Marmoleum real palette were selected for the reception. The field colour is muted grey Eiger, whilst the vibrant red of Bleekerstreet highlights the welcome desk. A circular design to add visual interest to the area was cut using Forbo’s unique Aquajet water cutting system, which enables reproduction of the most intricate designs. The sophisticated technology allows for endless creativity in creating bespoke patterns - the possibilities are limitless, with each section of the design supplied in pre-assembled pieces to be fitted together on the floor.

To provide a quirky touch to the corridors, a “squiggle” motif in three shades of cream, black and intense red, was hand cut and fitted together by P and B Flooring on site, demonstrating the flexibility Marmoleum has to offer.

As RAF Mildenhall is environmentally orientated, Marmoleum was an obvious choice. Made predominantly from natural and renewable raw materials, Marmoleum achieves the lowest environmental impact according to Life Cycle Assessment criteria and is naturally biodegradable. Marmoleum incorporates a water based Topshield finish for easy and cost efficient cleaning and maintenance, ideal for the reception area, which is subjected to frequent heavy footfall.

In addition, Surestep colour and Safestep R12 safety flooring was installed in the kitchen areas offering outstanding slip resistance coupled with excellent maintenance properties and high durability, due to the inclusion of aluminium oxide or quartz and carborundum particles in the wear layer. Finally, Flotex vector in an aubergine shade was specified in the Artroom. The unique composition of Flotex, which has over 70 million electrostatically flocked fibres per square metre, offers the hard wearing and washable characteristics of a resilient floor, yet also the warmth, comfort and acoustic properties of carpet. Being completely waterproof, Flotex is also the only truly washable textile floor covering, ensuring practical cleaning and maintenance of this creative area.

Mike Hall, Contracts Manager at P and B Flooring said: “We have used Forbo before and have always been impressed with the service and delivery. Despite the complex designs that had to be hand cut on site, the whole installation went extremely smoothly.”

Overall, the effect is very pleasing - a smart and professional mix of bright colours and eye-catching designs have definitely fulfilled the original vision.

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