We’re often asked, “What is the best floor for oral surgery suites and operatories?” Well, right off the bat we can tell you, “…carpet ain’t it!” There is so much spray of water and bodily fluids that there is no way in a million years one could ever possibly get carpet clean enough to rid it of bacteria. While carpet may help muffle sound and be easier to stand on for long periods, the health risks outweigh these benefits. Unfortunately, we still see operatories that are carpeted, and believe me when I say they just make us cringe.
The better choice is always a solid surface; preferably one that is seamless, easy to clean, and durable. Sheet vinyl is an okay lower priced option. Moving up the price scale, good old-fashioned linoleum is a good choice. Linoleum is a greener design choice than vinyl as it is made with natural products and can be recycled. The linseed oil in the linoleum also helps reduce the spread of microorganisms. For oral surgery suites we really like terrazzo. For cleaning and durability nothing comes close. Plus, the design options are virtually unlimited and it is a green! Other positive healthcare benefits of terrazzo include its minimal maintenance, is antibacterial, is water-tight, and it is non-staining (betadine resistant). Plus, terrazzo has the the lowest life cycle cost of all of the flooring options.
The downside of traditional terrazzo is that since it is poured in place it is not always practical to use in dental office remodel projects. There is a new option called Floorazzo. This is a product of premanufactured terrazzo tiles that are laid in place on the jobsite and fused together, creating a durable, water-tight, and infection resistant floor.