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FLOORING: Hard floors versus carpet in hospital hallways

There are a number of considerations when choosing hospital flooring — noise, maintenance, durability, patient safety.  This is a brief report of research done at Palomar Medical Center (Escondido, CA) where they compared noise levels in a nursing unit with a new carpeted hallway against a test unit with a new hard surface floor coupled with new high-performance acoustical ceiling tiles.  Hard surface floors alone (with no change in the ceiling tile) resulted in higher noise levels BUT adding new ceiling tiles with the hard surface floors took care of this problem and equalized the noisiness of the two units.  The combination of carpeting and new high-performance ceiling tile was not tested, but the authors hypothesize that this would be even quieter.

Source:  Frederick, C., and others.  The effects of material selections on noise levels in two patient care units.  Healthcare Design;5(12):24, 26-28, May 2012.  Click here for full text on the publisher’s website here: http://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/print/article/effects-material-selections-noise-levels-two-patient-care-units  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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