Antimicrobial Flooring: Inherently Cleaner and Longer Lasting

Written by Haley Margies, North America Marketing Assistant

Staying home for months has had many reevaluating their living situations. For some, functionality of their spaces suddenly became an obvious issue, while others began to desire a major HGTV-level design overhaul. DIY projects have soared.

Something at the top of everyone’s list of concerns, however, is maintaining the cleanliness of their spaces - something a bit more complex to tackle than with a do-it-yourself weekend.

Carpets and floors can be some of the dirtiest surfaces in homes as a result of the volume of traffic they encounter (shoes, spills, pets and more), combined with lack of regular cleanings. In a study done by the University of Arizona, 96% of shoes were found to be contaminated with fecal bacteria among an array of others. The study revealed that the transfer rate of this bacteria onto uncontaminated surfaces ranged from 90-99%.

Busy schedules typically push off the dreaded cleaning chore to the last possible moment, and even then floors are a last priority. These practices are insufficient to control the abundance of unwanted microbes, bacteria and fungi that frequent our carpets and floors. Even after essential disinfecting and cleaning, microbes double on surfaces every 20 minutes.

The Invisible Technology That Protects Ceramic Flooring, Sheet Vinyl, Carpets, LVT and More

Built-in Microban® antimicrobial technology is an invisible layer of product protection that keeps flooring and carpets cleaner for longer in between cleanings. These technologies disrupt the growth and reproduction of microbes that come into contact with treated surfaces, eliminating odors, stains and product degrading bacteria, without affecting the visual aesthetics of carpets and floors.

Carpeting and flooring solutions manufactured with built-in Microban® antimicrobial technology are inherently cleaner, as the invisible treatment works around the clock to fight the reproduction of bacteria, mold and mildew 24/7. Fighting even in the areas we can’t reach with regular cleaning practices, antimicrobial treatment stops the growth of stain and odor causing microbes and reduces them up to 99%.

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How do antimicrobial flooring solutions work?

Microban® antimicrobial technology has a broad portfolio of applications and formulas that can be tailored to meet a variety of needs. Whether being added to the fibers of carpets or the underlayer of LVT flooring, Microban’s dedicated team of microbiologists work closely with manufacturers to incorporate effective treatments without compromising the aesthetic look and feel of these materials.

Ceramic Tile - antimicrobial compound is incorporated during the firing stage of the tiles as part of the ceramic glaze.

Key benefit: Fungal control. Antimicrobial cannot rub off ceramic flooring and is not dependent on environmental factors such as light and moisture.

Carpet - antimicrobial can be weaved into the carpet fibers or added topically through a spray or foaming process, or added to carpet backing by incorporation directly into the liquid latex

Key benefit: Cleanliness. Spills can seep through carpet fibers and collect on the underside of carpets and rugs - antimicrobial technology maintains cleanliness in the areas you can’t reach.

Sheet Vinyl - antimicrobial can be added to all three layers (foam, vinyl, surface top coat) prior to extrusion, calendaring or coating

Key benefit: Stain control. Vinyl is particularly susceptible to staining from the growth of mold and mildew, especially in areas susceptible to spills and higher humidity such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms - antimicrobial treatment prevents staining by inhibiting the growth of these stain-causing microbes.

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) - antimicrobial can be incorporated into both the surface wear layer and the pre-attached underlayment

Key benefit: Odor control. Spills and dirt that fall through seams of LVT are unable to evaporate or be cleaned - the presence of antimicrobial technology helps prevent odors caused by bacterial and fungal growth from developing.

Cork - antimicrobial treatment is applied as a coating to the naturally occurring material

Key benefit: Durability. Prevents degradation and staining of product as fungus can eat away and break down cork.

Artificial Turf - antimicrobial can be extruded directly into the synthetic strands during the manufacturing process, as well as incorporated into the silica infill sand

Key benefit: Durability. Maintains look and feel of turf by helping to prevent degradation and odors caused by bacterial growth that thrives with moisture and food sources such as soil and pet waste.

Flooring Installation Materials - antimicrobial can be incorporated directly into underlayment materials via applications processes such as foaming, spraying, extrusion, etc., and can be mixed into adhesives and grout materials at the point of manufacture

Key benefit: Durability and aesthetics. Upholds the strength and functionality of underlayment by helping to prevent the growth of damaging mold and mildew. Provides stain control and optimal performance to grout and adhesives by actively discouraging microbial growth that may lead to unsightly stains and deterioration.

Antimicrobial flooring solutions have a range of benefits and can also be applied to an additional variety of surfaces including concrete, resin and hardwood flooring.

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Benefits of Microban® Treatments: Increase the integrity for your flooring and carpet lines

  • Extends durability and longevity of surfaces - floors maintain cleanliness and freshness and are constantly protected from damage-causing bacteria, mold and mildew

  • Cleaner home surfaces & greater peace of mind - antimicrobial technology actively works to help prevent odors, staining and degradation, keeping floors cleaner for longer in between cleanings

  • Complements existing cleaning practices - treatment will not wash off or wear away when met with household surface cleaners

  • Versatile treatment options - antimicrobial treatment fits various needs in public, professional and residential settings

  • Maintains desired look and feel - design, texture and visual quality are not compromised when incorporating antimicrobial technology

Mannington Mills Microban video poster

The best defense against unwanted microbes is prevention. Microban is a leader in addressing consumer and commercial concerns around cleanliness with built-in product protection, and is currently partnered with various flooring solution industry leaders.

Ready to redefine your flooring products? Fill out the form below to get started.

References:

[1] The Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI). 2008. Study Reveals High Bacteria Levels on Footwear. (Online) Available at: https://www.ciriscience.org/a_96-Study-Reveals-High-Bacteria-Levels-on-Footwear

IMPORTANT!

Due to regulatory differences, the performance claims related to Microban® technologies that are referenced in this article may not be valid for use in all countries or regions. In some cases, legal regulations may restrict or prohibit the selection of available Microban® technologies, the field of application for which they are approved, and/or the permissible claims for finished goods containing Microban® technologies. For more information, view our official regulatory statement or contact us.

Microban® technologies are not designed to protect users or others from disease-causing microorganisms or viruses and are not a substitute for normal cleaning practices.

*Subject to the performance properties of the antimicrobial agent manufactured into your product. Treated product efficacy claims against specific microbes are dependent on the results of laboratory testing.