Should I use luxury vinyl tile in my veterinary hospital?

December 5, 2017

It's a new product, explain the experts of the Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Conference. Your mileage may vary.

(L-R) Heather Lewis, Wayne Usiak and Vicki PollardQ. My biggest problem is flooring, and I'm looking at luxury vinyl tile. A lot of people were talking about porcelain tile, epoxy flooring and rubber flooring at the 2017 Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Conference, and I do have epoxy in the hospital area. But for the reception area, is there something with a wood look that will hold up, keep noise down and offer traction for clients and team members alike?

Here's what the engineer and architects had to say at the conference:

"For rubber flooring,Mondo is fantastic. They offer a lot of different looks, and you can kind of get a wood look, but it doesn't look very real. It is still pretty attractive with great sound absorption. It's holding up well in the front of a specialty hospital where we installed with heat-welded seams." - Vicki Pollard, AIA, CVT, Animal Arts in Boulder, Colorado

"In some applications, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) can look great, but in our experience, depending on the style and color, they can actually show quite a lot of scratches and they can collect quite a bit of dirt. It's not really appropriate for public spaces because of foot traffic. We do use it sometimes in doctors' offices or staff lounges. If you do go with LVT, go with the mid-range colors-the really dark ones will show scratches the most, and the light ones will show dirt the most." - Becky Valentine, BDA Architecture in Albuquerque, New Mexico

"We haven't had places where LVT has been installed long enough to know its lifespan. They vary in quality. The ones you can find easily Googling are residential products, and you want to avoid those in general and use commercial-quality products. Somebody like Mannington, if you go to their commercial website, would have appropriate products to look at. This material looks great, a lot like wood, but it's not seamless. You don't want to use it in a medical area, just up-front." - Heather Lewis, AIA, Animal Arts

"Gerflor is my favorite maker of LVT. The problem with LVT is no one has developed an industry standard, like they have with rubber floors and vinyl floors, which have been around for decades." - Wayne Usiak, AIA, BDA Architecture