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November 2018

What do Adele, Die Hard, The Wonder Years and Altro Walkway 20 have in common?

They all turn 30 in 2018.

Picture the scene: the hair was big, the shoulder pads were bigger and the mobile phones were enormous. At Altro’s head office in Letchworth Garden City, lorries started leaving with the first rolls of Altro Walkway 20.

The new safety floor had a Pendulum Test Value of ≥36, was available in eight shades and, at 2mm, was the thinnest product we offered at the time, offering a cost effective safety solution in areas where lino or a smooth vinyl might have previously been chosen.

Altro Walkway quickly became a customer favourite, installed across the world from Mexico to Australia and many countries in between.

In the years following its launch, Altro Walkway became our best-selling product. Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do and Wet Wet Wet’s Love is All Around spent a combined 31 weeks at the top of the charts in the nineties but they’ve got nothing on Altro Walkway. When it comes to longevity, it’s been with us nearly as long as 24,000 run-throughs of Isner versus Mahut’s 2010 record breaking 11 hour, 5 minute tennis match!

David Gatfield, Regional Technical Services Manager at Altro, has been with the company for 47 years. Recalling the arrival of Altro Walkway and customer feedback during the last thirty years, he says: “When Altro Walkway launched, it was welcomed both by the team here at Altro and our customers. Over the years I have installed countless thousands of metres and it’s one of my favourite products, no question. It’s robust yet forgiving and easy to work with, and I know people in the trade who won’t use any other 2mm safety floor; it’s the product of choice time and time again.”

To ensure that Altro Walkway continued to be suitable for multiple application areas, in 1992, Altro Walkway SD was launched, a static-dissipative version of Altro Walkway that offers a simple way of minimising the risk of damage to static-sensitive equipment, such as computers. This makes it the ideal choice for computer suites, laboratories and electronic assembly areas. This wasn’t the only addition during the nineties.

As building designs evolved, so did the demand for more colour choice for floors. “Blue, beige and grey shades are classics; popular both in the early days and today,” says Altro New Products Introduction Manager, David Brailsford. “During the 1990s and into the 2000s, interior design evolved, with the use of colour becoming more adventurous. Being such a versatile floor, it made sense that Altro Walkway was the perfect product to introduce a much wider palette. Shades were added, including Haze, Petrol and Copperbeech, until, in 2013, we had a choice of 42 colours, including several that were added following customer requests.”

As the new century established itself, advances in technology meant that our innovation team were able to develop and launch Altro XpressLay, the first adhesive-free safety floor. Its design and colour palette mirrored that of Altro Walkway, still our most popular product. It gave our customers more choice when facing an installation where a traditional, adhered floor couldn’t be installed. The shared shades meant that the two floors could be laid side by side for example, a damp area of a refurb which may have previously caused problems could have Altro XpressLay installed, with Altro Walkway running through the rest of the installation. As usual with Altro, it’s about giving you as many options as we can to help you get the job done.

Richard Kahn, CEO Floors and Managing Director, Altro Group says: “At the time Altro Walkway was launched I was in the London sales force and I remember all the discussion about the merits of launching a 2.00mm floor following a 30 year history of manufacturing and marketing Altro Classic 25 and Altro Designer 25 2.5mm safety flooring. But, thanks to the tremendous growth in the global market for safety flooring and the tremendous performance of Altro Walkway, it has proved to be one of the best decisions we ever made.”

So onto the next 30 years and, after all, for a company that has been around for a century, 30 years is just the beginning really…

Posted: 05/11/2018 08:00:00 by Heather Mussett | with 0 comments

Altro Whiterock to suit

In areas such as washrooms, toilets and kitchens, tiles are usually used for small work areas to protect walls. Yet it causes more harm than good. Grout is absorbent, difficult to clean, and can harbour bacteria. It can also shrink and cause gaps between tiles. Tiles can get damaged and are difficult to replace.

There is an easier way to deal with staining, cleaning and maintenance.

Altro Whiterock is a smooth, non-porous and easy to clean surface, but comes in sheets to provide coverage from floor to ceiling. But there is another option: Altro Whiterock Splashbacks.

Hygienic, low-maintenance, convenient and easy to install…no wonder Altro Whiterock Splashbacks are such a popular alternative to tiles. They’re available as kits in a range of sizes to suit most hand wash basins and vanity units, or custom sized for the perfect fit.

Giving you the flexibility to coordinate or contrast, Altro Whiterock Splashbacks come in a vast array of colours and finishes complemented by colour-matched sealants. Choose from Altro Whiterock Satins or Altro Whiterock Chameleon ranges, pick your size, and away you go.

Dimensions Cut Size Only, in mm Format: Sheet Thickness: 2.5mm
Standard Sizes
Ref SB10/..... 500x305 Ref SB4/..... 1250x305 Ref SB3/..... 1250x610
Ref SB8/..... 625x305 Ref SB5/..... 833x610 Ref SB12/..... 1220x833
Ref SB6/..... 833x305 Ref SB14/..... 1220x500 Ref SB11/..... 1250x1220
Ref SB9/..... 500x610 Ref SB13/..... 1220x625 Ref SB1/..... 2500x610
Ref SB7/..... 625x610 Ref SB2/..... 2500x305  
Posted: 22/11/2018 10:48:51 by Heather Mussett | with 0 comments

The top five ways to reduce slips and falls in restaurants, cafés and bars

Did you know that slips and trips injuries comprise 35% of ‘major’ injuries in the food and drink industries* (for example, causing a broken arm or requiring hospitalisation). Slips injuries are more prevalent in the food and drink industries than in most other industries.*

While preventing slips and falls should be an obvious priority, even the slightest miscalculation can prove to be an expensive liability. Food and beverage spills, torn carpets, damaged flooring and poor lighting are all ingredients for creating slip and fall accidents in modern eateries. The following are five ways to reduce the chances of these accidents occurring in restaurants and commercial kitchens.

Ensure that your restaurant’s floors have the right slip resistance.

A slip occurs when there is not enough traction between your shoes and the walking surface.

Surfaces subject to water, grease, oils and other common restaurant contaminants are more prone to slipping and so we developed Altro Stronghold 30 which has our highest rating for slip resistance (PTV ≥55, R12), which is ideal for the kitchen area where these contaminants are typically found.

Whatever your risk assessment shows, we have a floor option that will suit, be it a specialist floor, a safety floor, or a smooth floor for areas where there is a low slip-risk.

Choose a floor with sustained slip resistance

Restaurant, café and bar floors see a lot of feet. If you choose a safety floor, you expect it to help prevent slips – but what if the slip resistance deteriorates over time? Our safety floors offer sustained slip resistance for the life of the floor; up to 25 years.

Clean and maintain your floors regularly as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Even the most slip-resistant floor, can become dangerous if not maintained regularly and properly. Cleaners, sealers, and waxes all have an impact on slip resistance. Using the wrong maintenance procedures can be detrimental to the slip resistance of your restaurant’s flooring and compromise safety.

In the case of commercial kitchens, an eroded surface can harbour harmful bacteria that can potentially find their way into a customer’s meal in addition to contributing to slips and falls. It’s a fact that one in ten people fall ill every year from eating contaminated food, and 420, 000 people die each year as a result**.

Help avoid these issues by adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning and maintenance guidelines.

We offer downloadable cleaning guides, covering manual, mechanical and steam cleaning methods.

Ensure there is a smooth, seamless transition between flooring surfaces.

Contrary to popular belief, a raised transition strip is not the only solution to connecting adjacent surfaces. Raised structures can contribute to accidental trips and impede movement. This includes tears in carpets and flooring warped from moisture and subpar installation.

A seamless transition via heat welding or other means between areas (such as a wet to dry area transition) gives your flooring a uniform look while preventing tripping incidents caused by raised structures.

Use contrasting LRVs to clearly identify surface changes.

Light Reflectance Values (LRVs) and the difference they can make in an environment are not always taken into consideration. LRVs measure contrast of light on a zero to 100 scale, with zero being dark and 100 being light. When designing a restaurant, similar values make distinguishing two adjacent area finishes difficult – it could even create the perception of a step when there isn’t actually one there, which could cause a fall. Alerting people to a step can of course be an advantage: contrasting LRVs are a great way to signal a step up or down, which is ideal for busy staff or customers who aren’t familiar with the lay-out. To get this right, there should always be a 30 point difference in LRV between floors, walls and ceilings.

For help choosing the right floor for every area within your café, bar or restaurant, take a look at our product selector.

We also have new guidance on floors and walls for these areas, including a downloadable brochure.

*Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/food/slips.htm

**Source: 10 facts on food safety http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/food_safety/en/

Posted: 29/11/2018 10:44:38 by Saloni Robinson | with 0 comments