Outstanding Gerflor flooring solutions for historic Glasgow University Library

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is in the top 100 of the world’s universities and has been named Scottish University of the Year by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide in 2018. As part of the university’s overall facility the library plays a huge role in supporting some 28,000 students and 3,400 research and teaching staff in their thirst for knowledge.

When a refurbishment of the library’s flooring was needed it turned to international flooring specialist Gerflor to supply solutions that would deliver on performance and design in several areas in the building. Product ranges included; Taralay Impression Comfort acoustic flooring, Taralay Element Compact, the award-winning Creation 70 Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and Tarasafe Standard safety flooring. 

Gerflor is a specialist in the education sector, offering technical and design-led solutions for all rooms and spaces that appear in an educational establishment. The renowned library at Glasgow University would be no exception. The main flooring areas that would benefit from Gerflor flooring would be a feature floor area on level 2 as well as its photography rooms, studio space, I.T room, corridors, toilets, stairwells, lift lobby and storage areas. In total 620m2 of Gerflor’s products would be specified for this highly prestigious project. As the library has a venerable past the chosen architect practice would need to be of the highest calibre in designing and implementing the refurbishment to the standard required.

At Glasgow-based Nimmo and Partners they’ve carried forward the practice ethos of sound construction and effective management since 1954, using their own design approach and experience for the maximum benefit of their clients. It’s a philosophy that’s stood them in good stead for over 60 years.

Eric Watson, Associate at Nimmo and Partners said, “The Level 2 refurbishment works were part of ongoing refurbishment works in University of Glasgow library which we have been involved in since 2001. We opted for a range of Gerflor flooring because of the quality of product and good colour range, that are hard wearing and cost effective”. Eric Watson also added, “we have specified Gerflor products on a number of commercial, education and healthcare sector projects.”

Where sound and noise reduction are regarded as crucial in any library environment Taralay Impression Comfort from Gerflor provides the perfect solution. Taralay Impression Comfort is an acoustic multi-layered vinyl floor covering available in 2m wide sheets, with a group T wear rating. 

Taralay Impression Comfort comprises a Very High Density (VHD) foam backing reinforced with glass fibre and a printed design that’s protected by a transparent wear layer (0.65 mm thick) which offers 19 dB sound insulation and an indentation resistance of 0.11 mm. The product is protected by a UV cured surface treatment Protecsol® 2 which is easy to maintain and permanently eliminates the need of an acrylic emulsion (metallisation). It does not contain any heavy metals or CMR 1&2 and it is 100% compliant with REACH. The product emission rate of volatile organic compounds is < 70 µg/m3 (TVOC after 28 days – ISO 16000 -6). It is also 100% recyclable. This flooring is suitable for medium to high traffic areas including hospitals, schools, commercial and public areas. For designers, the range offers 160 references and includes 21 wood effect references, covering the spectrum of wood colours in 10 stunning designs.

Eric Watson went on to further comment, “Careful preparation of the existing concrete floor was a key factor to ensure that a flat and level finished floor surface was achieved”. 

Taralay Element Compact has the design within the whole thickness of the wearlayer. Combine this with contemporary patterns and colours and it’s a flooring product that meets a host of specifications. Taralay Element compact offers very heavy traffic resistance with a 0.75mm wear layer with no filler for outstanding abrasion and scratch resistance. The glass fibre grid construction offers durable twodimensional stability. This multi-layered vinyl flooring is treated with Protecsol® surface treatment which results in easy maintenance. Taralay Element Compact also delivers TVOC after 28 days < 100 µg/m3 => indoor air quality.

The Creation LVT range from Gerflor has been scooping accolades in both the UK and Europe, winning the coveted 2017 CFJ/CFA Product of The Year category. It’s a beautifully crafted collection of luxury vinyl flooring products that’s been setting the market alight with its innovative designs, textures and suitability for a host of high-profile projects. It’s extremely tough and durable, providing the perfect solution for the heaviest commercial footfall. Creation 70 from Gerflor is a designer’s dream, providing a tough and durable solution and is available in 58 spectacular designs. The sophisticated Creation 70 range offers a brand-new palette of realistic wood and mineral finishes in tile and plank formats with bevelled edges. In addition to this, the loose lay Clic System’s unique vertical interlocking format which was installed in the Glasgow University Library complex allows this product to be laid quickly over most existing surfaces, with no need to close premises during refurbishments saving customers time and money. In short, the Creation range is a suite of beautifully stunning flooring products that can lift the look of any facility. The Creation range is also 100% recyclable, REACH compliant and treated with PUR+ surface treatment, providing excellent cleaning characteristics and improved resistance to scratching.

Within Gerflor’s other top vinyl safety flooring ranges their Tarasafe collection has over 80 finishes available to choose from. They are reinforced with a glass fibre grid and are suitable for use in all areas of heavy traffic where slip-resistance, durability and hygienic conditions are required. Using mineral crystal particles, rather than the industry standard carborundum, Tarasafe Standard PUR vinyl safety flooring with its improved performance, is easier to install, lighter and more flexible to handle. The range has a maximum hygiene rating meeting the EN Standard 22196 for anti- bacterial activity (E. coli - S. aureus - MRSA) (3) returning >99% levels of growth inhibition. It comes with a 12- year warranty and is also 100% recyclable. Tarasafe Standard is stain and chemical resistant. The Tarasafe Standard range comes with the unique UV cured PUR surface treatment and is a hugely popular choice for a host of education environments where slip resistance needs to be maintained. 

The constraints of hygiene, slip resistance and above all-acoustic qualities are part of the mandatory characteristics for this sector and supplying a suite of products for the university’s library was a perfect platform to display the range of high-quality elements that Gerflor’s flooring could bring to the finished project.

Eric Watson concluded by saying, “We were extremely pleased with the final result.”

Learn more about Gerflor solutions; ask for a free sample or contact us to speak to a specialist today by calling 01926 622 600, emailing contractuk@gerflor.com, or visit gerflor.co.uk for the latest innovations.