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Design Guidance

Overall Strategies

Laboratory flooring should be designed for durability and safety, while reducing the environmental impact of the materials used. A green cleaning program can lengthen the life of the flooring.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain Tile is a durable, cleanable modular finish that is suitable in wet locations or areas prone to liquids or spills.

Best Practices

  • Use underfloor air distribution for reconfigurable technology ready space as power, voice, and data services are easily accessible with access floors.
  • Evaluate sustainable attributes such as high recycled content and low VOC's to determine the most appropriate sustainable product for the space. Remember that adhesives may be required for flooring, and these may add VOC's even if the finish flooring does not.
  • Prevent stains by cleaning up spills promptly, starting with cold water and blotting cloths.
  • Select durable and easy to clean floor surfaces such as rubber, tile, or linoleum as break rooms and support areas are prone to high traffic and frequent spills.
  • Dry vacuum regularly and follow with a wet vacuum water extraction machine when necessary to protect indoor air quality.
  • Keep extra carpet tiles on hand to replace stained or damaged tiles.
  • Use carpet to absorb sound and reduce noise pollution.
  • Look for CRI Green Label and Green Label Plus certified carpet which emits fewer emissions than standard carpet.
  • Select flooring options that naturally compress and absorb pressure such as cork and rubber to help alleviate foot and back pain.
  • Keep extra carpet tiles on hand to replace stained or damaged tiles.
  • Use Green Seal certified chemicals and solutions when cleaning to protect indoor air quality.
  • Select materials that are extremely durable to withstand high load and high heat applications.
  • Promote a low static environment with use of rubber flooring
  • Select materials that are impervious to reduce bacteria accumulation and mold formation.
  • Select materials that are extremely durable to withstand high load applications.
  • Install non-slip mats to improve safety in locations where spills occur frequently.
  • Use carpet tile rather than broadloom carpet for increased flexibility and the ability to replace selected areas without having to remove carpet from the entire room.
  • Select durable, easy to clean, water-resistant, and slip resistant floor surfaces such as stone, porcelain, or ceramic tile for tenant restrooms.
  • Consider materials that are both attractive and very durable in high traffic areas such as the reception/lobby including tile.
  • Carpet tile provides increased flexibility versus other types of carpet because of ease of replacement.
  • Vinyl sheet flooring is often chosen for durability, chemical-resistance, and ability to contain spills of chemicals or other liquids. Sheet products may have a longer lifecycle in high-use chemistry and biology laboratories, where floor tiles may loosen or degrade over time.
  • In spaces used primarily for computer equipment, instrumentation, or even low-hazard chemistry work, consider rubber or linoleum floor tiles as a more cost-effective alternative with fewer health and environmental concerns.
  • Repair instead of replace floors to reduce raw material use and waste. When possible, cut out damaged sections of sheet flooring, patch, and re-weld the seams. Damaged tiles can easily be replaced.
  • Use floor cleaning products and supplies that are resource-efficient, bio-degradable and non-toxic.

Compare Flooring Options

EB = Existing BuildingsNC = New Construction and Major Renovation

Federal Requirements

Guiding Principles