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Flocked floor coverings are popular because they are far more cleanable than other construction flooring, says Paul Rogers.

Forbo Flotex Colour Floor

Advances in technology have delivered floor coverings that successfully rival conventional carpets. Flocked flooring, in particular, has grown in popularity because of its combination of hard-to-beat performance attributes.

Electrostatically flocked floor coverings, for instance, combine the properties found in resilient and textile floor coverings to provide a unique flooring solution. Like resilient floor cove rings, they are safe and washable, offering the warmth and comfort of a textile flooring.

But flocked floor coverings offer high-quality performance in use and are incredibly durable because of the dense surface pile. And the upright nylon fibres and impermeable PVC backing means products can be cleaned right down to the base.

The nylon fibres capture allergens and fine dust from the air, which are easily released with regular use of a standard upright vacuum, contributing to better indoor air quality. FMs should select products that have been awarded the Allergy UK Seal of Approval. So where’s all the data behind flocked flooring’s cleanability?

Floor science

A recent study conducted by Cleaning Research International compared the cleanability of a flocked pile floor covering with loop pile and cut pile carpet samples.

The process required that each floor covering was:

  • Conditioned in the standard atmosphere for testing textiles;

  • Cut to the same size;

  • Weighed;

  • Soiled in accordance with BS EN 1269:1997 following Method B, using 10g of standard soil as specified in the standard; and

  • Reconditioned and reweighed.

The samples were then cleaned by vacuuming with an upright vacuum cleaner fitted with a brush, a spray extraction floor cleaner, and a contra-rotating brush cleaner.

At each stage, when dry, the samples were reconditioned and weighed to determine how much soil had been removed.

The results

The flocked floor covering sample had the least amount of soil remaining after each cycle, with a 77.7 per cent mean of soil removed after the use of a contra-rotating brush cleaner.

Furthermore, the drying characteristics of flocked floor coverings were tested alongside six different constructions of carpet. Each of the floor coverings was subjected to two passes using an industrial spray extraction machine and the moisture content that remained was measured after various periods of time to establish how long they took to dry.

The results show that after just two hours the flocked pile was substantially drier compared with the other constructions of carpet, with only 0.57 per cent moisture remaining, and after five hours the pile was already nearly completely dry.

Hard data shows that flocked floor coverings provide a far more robust, durable and cleanable product than many other carpets or floor coverings. The precision-driven and unique manufacturing process produces a hard-wearing surface, with a pile density of at least 70 million fibres per square metres on an impermeable PVC backing.

The cleanability and durability of flocked floor coverings are unsurpassed among textile floor coverings. which along with the allergy benefits makes them particularly suited to high-traffic spaces.

Paul Rogers is technical specification manager at Forbo Flooring Systems

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