What is a flooring transition?
A flooring transition is a profile that joins two floorcoverings together. The type of transition used will depend on the situation. For instance, a simple flat transition made of PVC or metal can be used to link floorcoverings of similar thickness. For a junction between floorcoverings of different height, a slightly ramped transition may be needed. This is just one of many considerations when selecting a flooring transition for a particular project.
Why are flooring transitions important?
Transitions are installed between floorcoverings to protect the flooring material edges, and reduce the risk of a floor junction becoming a trip hazard. The correct selection of flooring transition is critical in reducing the risk of injury within the built environment.
In fact, according to RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) 2013, “slips, trips and falls made up more than half of all reported major injuries in 2011/2012, causing suffering and financial loss of individual, companies and society at large.”
What are the key figures to consider?
According to the UK Slip Resistance Group, every 5 minutes there is a slip, trip or fall in a non-domestic building. This leads to in excess of 300,000 hospital visits per year. Therefore, it is critical to remove any possible hazards which can lead to trips, slips and falls on flooring when fitted. This means that it is vital to fit robust transition profiles, to minimise the risk of hazards developing.
What are the rules and regulations that need to be considered?
There are two Building Regulations that cover flooring transitions. The first is Part M: Access to and use of buildings. This outlines provisions for entrances and general access, which includes the gradient of ramped access. The second is Part K: Protection from falling, collision and impact.
BS8300-2:2018 is also important, as it regards the design of an accessible and inclusive built environment. Building Regulations and British Standards both state the need for flooring to be safe for all users, and unnecessary ramps and hazards should be avoided.
What do you need to think about?
So, what are the key considerations that you need to think about when selecting a flooring transition?
Flooring transition profiles are only a small part of a flooring project, and they are often overlooked and left until the last minute. Nevertheless, correct selection is critical as they can help to greatly improve the safety and longevity of a floorcovering.
Transition profiles are vital in allowing people to safely move between different flooring areas and floorcoverings. This can apply not just to the type of transition used, but also the colour of the profile. As Charles Eames once said: “The details are not the details; they make the design”.