Should flooring in hospitals be dressed up cabinet plinths or should the cabinet plinths sit on the finished flooring?
At Stirling Medical we often come across this question and there is not just a straight forward yes or no answer to this.
When the flooring is dressed up the plinth the floor is easier to clean and mop which may help with Infection Control targets. However, it does not work well with future proofing requirements for rooms which is also an important consideration in the tight financial budgets operating today. Eg If the cabinet layouts need to be adjusted further down the line to suit new equipment or room use changes it will involve new flooring needing to be patched in to suit which can be quite costly and difficult. Also, on larger projects it will normally involve putting specific plinth base framework ahead of time for the flooring to dress up at an earlier stage than the cabinets are able to go in (because of additional work normally still needing to be done to wall and ceiling finishes) involving additional cost.
All Systemed plinths are made from HP Laminate faced ply core material so are designed to be able to withstand frequent mopping for situations where the plinth is sitting on the finished flooring. It is recommended that the plinths are silicone sealed to the floor surface providing an effective barrier for cleaning. This option means that the cabinets can be fitted at a later stage in the project giving less risk from damage to the worktops and other finished surfaces from other trades working in and around the units. It also means that if the cabinets need to be adjusted or moved to suit with future room or equipment changes, this can be done quite simply with the original floor is still complete and intact to suit with this. Around 75% of the time this is the route that is chosen and generally it works well.
At the end of the day the choice is yours but so are the consequences!