Recently, HEALTHCARE DESIGN hosted a webinar event (IIDA Education Day) produced by our partner organizations, International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and The Center for Health Design. One of the webinars titled “Flooring for Healthcare: An Evidence-Based Design Approach” and presented by Joe Martere, LEED AP, IFMA, vice president of sales for the healthcare division, Tandus Flooring, focused on  helping architects, designers, and other decision-makers make informed choices about floorcoverings in healthcare facilities using the principles of evidence-based design.

With flooring being an important component in the healthcare industry, specifiers are searching for ways to move toward healthier, durable, low-maintenance, cost-effective, and attractive materials that also satisfy the needs of the facility and the outcomes of the end users.

It has become evident that specifiers need to be very well informed about the properties in flooring. Whether the debate is about the use of vinyls or antimicrobials in flooring, the research information provided by case studies from Kaiser Permanente, Catholic Healthcare West, and Perkins+Will, among others, is readily available and allows the reader to apply this information when making a decision about flooring in healthcare.  “There is no perfect floorcovering,” Martere points out, “But the intent is to give a good working knowledge and understanding of the pros and cons of all floorcoverings.”

Another area of floorcovering that has gained interest is finish. The mistaken belief that a “shiny” floor means that it is clean is finally losing its stranglehold. The sheen or glare issue in combination with lighting is also especially important in senior care facilities and for people with decreased vision.

There are many factors to consider as specifiers make their choices, such as; indoor air quality; infection control; safety and ergonomics, specifically in terms of falls and rolling resistance; acoustics, thermal properties; and installation.

As Martere mentioned in the webinar, there is no faultless floorcovering but using the evidence-based design checklists that have been developed is start in the right direction.

If you would like to listen to the archived webinar, register at

You can also register to listen to the other informative webinars that were offered on IIDA’s Education Day.