In the first of our series looking at the regulations and requirements across each discipline, we look at what a designer needs to know when specifying wallcoverings, with the assistance of Tektura.FIRE
Class 0 and 1 to BS476 / Euroclass B or C to EN 13501-1
This is a mandatory requirement for corridors, stairwells, dining rooms and entrance lobbies (any public and circulation space). The European rating of B or C will be followed by indices
eg Euroclass B s1d d0.
International Wool Scale to BS EN 20105
Lightfastness is measured from 0 to 8, with 8 being highest.
EN 259-1 / EN 12956
The texture and inks used will determine whether a wallcovering is rated wipeable, washable or scrubbable. Domestic blown vinyl surfaces are wipeable. Contract quality vinyls are mostly scrubbable, and designs with metallic inks are washable.
High circulation areas, stairwells, corridors are all prone to more knocks and scrapes. Heavyweight contract vinyl wallcoverings with a fabric backing ensure longevity and better overall value. They are impact resistant, and the fabric backing adds to tensile strength and keeps the wallcovering flexible thereby minimising the risk of tearing. (eg on external corners).
A vinyl surface is washable – and most contract-quality vinyl wallcoverings are scrubbable. Take care when choosing metallic effects in high traffic areas as the inks used may be more vulnerable to scratching. Avoid abrasive or solvent based cleaners as these may affect the printed surface of the wallcovering. Diluted bleach can be used. Some vinyl wallcoverings have extra stain resistant coatings and stronger cleaning agents such as undiluted bleach can be used. Non-metallic contract vinyl wallcoverings can be steam-cleaned.
As above, there are specialist vinyl wallcoverings available with extra-protective coating for added stain resistance and cleanability. With these, stronger solvents such as undiluted bleach can be used for cleaning.
All contract vinyl wallcoverings contain anti-microbials which guard against a whole spectrum of fungi and bacterium including actynomycetes. These additives are also effective against a broad range of micro-organisms including staphylococcus aureaus, klebsiella pneumoniae, mucor racemosus, streptoverticillium reticulum. Well known brand names include BioPruf®.
PATTERN & TEXTURE
Choose textured surfaces as these will hide imperfections in a wall surface. A random printed pattern can also help hide underlying defects and minor surface blemishes.
A smooth, shiny, unpatterned wallcovering will highlight imperfections in the underlying wall.
VISIBILITY, LRVs and CONTEXT
Where required, to ensure the wall/floor/doorway remain distinct from one another and therefore visible, a minimum difference of 30 LRV points between surfaces is recommended.