Why Is Uv-Resistant Soft Flooring A Must-Have For The Outdoors?
All flooring should be fit for purpose, but outdoor surfaces must tick more boxes than your average indoor flooring. Exposed to harsh UV rays and weather conditions that may range from extreme heat through rain, frost and snow, outdoor surfaces must demonstrate a higher order of resilience. Choosing the right type of surface for the outdoors isn’t easy: in addition to the elements, it must be able to tolerate variable foot traffic, and intensity of activity and playfulness not usually unleashed indoors; and its aesthetics should reflect its purpose, whether playful, motivational or relaxing. Many UV-resistant soft surfaces have been formulated for outdoor requirements.
If you are planning to install flooring as part of a school playground, like a pool surround, driveway or decorative turning circle, in a public courtyard, at a family-entertainment venue, a splash pad, or outdoors at a sports centre ... then this category of surfacing will be of interest to you.
The main aim of UV resistance is to maintain the intended colour and atmosphere of outdoor flooring over time. In the presence of chlorine, which is a constant in water parks, swimming pools and splash pads, retaining colour under constant UV light becomes even more challenging.
Surfaces that integrate high-quality pigments with high-quality materials can defy the sun’s best efforts to fade your surface to uninspiring grey.
The importance of soft-fall surfaces in recreational and sporting environments has long been acknowledged, but surfaces that combine the qualities of safety-enhancing fall attenuation with UV resistance, and an attractive aesthetic have only been developed in relatively recent times.
UV- and chlorine-resistant flooring with extras!
The private, public and commercial real estate markets are quickly inclining towards these purpose-designed materials. Here we’ve listed a variety of options that can match the requirements of schoolyards, kindergartens, public swimming pools, luxury homes, playgrounds and sporting facilities:
1. Modern resin
UV-resistant resin, known as aliphatic resin, is a perfect choice for outdoor flooring. It is formulated with stabilisers and UV absorbers that slow down the sun-induced process of yellowing typical of such materials. PolySoft surfaces offer the best flooring solutions in this category. Combining aliphatic resin with polyolefin beads coloured to the core with high-quality pigments, PolySoft surfaces retain their vibrant colours for significantly longer than other materials when constantly exposed to UV light and chlorine. PolySoft Splash, for example, has been shown to resist up to 10 parts per million of chlorine, which is five times the concentration of normal pool chlorine levels. True to their name, almost all PolySoft surfaces are also formulated to provide fall attenuation.
2. Laminate flooring
Highly resistant to almost every environmental condition, laminate surfaces are a popular choice for homeowners and developers looking for a lower-cost, convenient solution to the dual challenges of UV radiation and chlorine. Laminate is not only resistant to fading, but to staining and impacts made by dropped or fallen objects — it’s hard to dent.
Aesthetically attractive and durable, laminate surfaces are also easy to maintain.
3. Decorative concrete
Concrete floors are used extensively in industrial and commercial applications, but the material has recently become available in more decorative forms — using attractive aggregates, imprinted with patterns, or moulded to resemble much more expensive pavers. Inherently UV resistant, concrete can be coloured and customised to suit any architectural style, and for slip resistance.
Hybrid flooring systems made of multiple layers of laminate and vinyl pressed together, usually with a timber “look” can be used outdoors. New UV-resistant products are waterproof, scratch-, stain- and heat-resistant. “Floating” hybrid floors also offer some fall attenuation; slightly raised by their own framework from the actual base they’re laid on, they are more flexible and comfortable to stand and walk on than rigid alternatives. They are also available in slip-resistant finishes.
5. Stone carpet systems
Driveways and pool surrounds are exposed to sunlight most of the time. In such situations, utility and safety are the prime considerations. So-called stone carpet systems, made of stone, marble or quartzite pebbles bound with resin are a practical and non-slip solution with a natural-hued aesthetic. Properly laid, such surfaces are highly resistant to the effects of UV light and chlorine.
There are of course other UV-resistant systems on offer. To make the right choice, you should investigate the utility of your favourite options for your particular situation. Reputable providers of UV-resistant flooring and chlorine-resistant surfaces can provide further information.
The friendly team at PolySoft is happy to help
A world-leading manufacturer and distributor of soft-fall surfaces, PolySoft has shown itself to be durable in some of the world’s harshest climates, from Australia to New York to the Middle East. PolySoft products are scientifically tested to verify UV-, chlorine- and slip-resistance, soft-fall attenuation and a cooler surface under the sun than other manufactured solutions.