A dilapidated former care home has been transformed into award-winning supported living flats by social care provider Precious Homes. Interior Designer Penny Green worked with Altro to select a range of flooring options to deliver flexible solutions in different application areas throughout the scheme.

Located in the former Nethercest Residential Home in Dudley, the previously empty buildings have been redeveloped to a very high specification, resulting in modern flats and communal space for up to 25 people. The new supported-living flats provide bespoke, accessible accommodation for people with autism, learning disabilities and physical disabilities, with an on-site cafe that is open to the community.

Michelle Cox-Coley, Director of Business Development at Precious Homes, explains, “The new flats within – Osprey Mews, Goldcrest Court and Turaco View – have been developed in partnership with Golden Lane Housing, a leading social housing landlord for people with a learning disability, in response to demand for this type of bespoke accommodation alongside specialist support in the local area. We’ve worked hard to create bright and modern homes which are fully equipped to be accessible to all and can be tailored to meet the individual needs of the people we support. The new flats and the team we have in place provide support which is outcome-focussed and person-centred, encouraging individuals to become as independent as possible in their own homes.”

The Foundry Café is a key element to the project’s success. Run as a social enterprise, it offers opportunities for people to learn transferable workplace skills, and it provides a social hub for residents and the wider community. Interior designer Penny Green drew design inspiration for the café from Dudley’s industrial heritage. “I looked to the industrial revolution, the turn of the century – so important in the development of Dudley,” she explains. “The ‘foundry’ style is big, open and robust, so it was so important we chose products that delivered on looks but also worked to soften the feel.”

Penny chose Altro Ensemble™ modular flooring system – luxury vinyl tiles, in four modular sizes that can be mixed and matched to create unique designs from colour blocking to geometric patterns. It also brings the benefits of 15dB sound reduction and added comfort underfoot. “It was quite a dark space at the start, so we took all the walls down to open it up, and chose a light tone of flooring – Greige Rustic Oak.”

Although Penny and Precious Homes have used Altro products for years, this was their first project using Altro Ensemble. The flexible LVT modular flooring has delivered on many levels. “The feedback has been phenomenal,” says Penny. “People simply cannot believe it is vinyl and not wood, they are so complimentary about it. But even more importantly it delivers so many benefits over real wood in this space. It wears better, it feels softer, and its acoustic properties help soften the Foundry environment, which is so important for the individuals who will be accessing the café.”

Penny worked closely with Altro consultant Joe Hurst to find the right solutions. “We have some big spaces here and needed to avoid looking too institutional,” she says. “Altro Ensemble was ideal for that as we explored different patterns and layouts to define different areas. Using the same flooring but laid differently – basketweave in one area, plank to plank or herringbone in another. The results are incredibly effective.”

In areas with higher risk of slip, Penny selected Altro Wood™ safety flooring, choosing Vintage Cherry for the café as the red tones sit well alongside the foundry brick, and the cooler, greyer tones of Ranch Oak for the innovative, accessible and inclusive communal kitchen areas of Goldcrest Court.

Altro Wood is homely and stylish – a great biophilic safety option. The general purpose 2mm wood-effect vinyl safety flooring is available in a range of designs with different plank sizes and shades. It is designed to cope with medium to heavy traffic and, like all Altro safety floors, has sustained slip resistance for the lifetime of the floor.

The flats within this location offer different levels of support for individuals with learning disabilities, autism and physical disabilities. Support provided within people’s own homes is tailored to each person’s needs and also supports individuals who are stepping down from secure units and hospitals including those who may have experienced previous placement breakdowns. They provide tiered support and a range of accommodation options from self-contained flats to rooms with communal areas. The accommodation is flexible, with furniture that can be moved and rooms that can be configured to suit.

“The partnership with Golden Lane Housing means we work collaboratively to create a home for people – a calm haven, a safe space. We use a palette that allows people to add their own personality, and I spend a lot of time searching for safe, good value accessories – rattan, knitted – ones that don’t matter if they break,” Penny explains. “At the other end of the scale we can spend a lot on items such as magnetic curtain poles that might be pulled down repeatedly but can be quickly and easily reattached. We have to think through all angles of the environment so that it doesn’t become challenging.

“The Precious Homes ethos is that everyone goes on their personal growth journey – whatever journey is right for them. A lot of people help with that – occupational therapists, psychologists, therapists, carers and many more. For many people living in their own flats it is critically important that their home environment enables them to have a home that is safe and supportive of their goals and aspirations.

“The domestic, homely feel was so important, but we also needed products that are robust and above all safe,” explains Penny. Safety is paramount, which is evident in many elements of the interior, including the flooring, chosen due to a variety of properties to fit with the design themes throughout. Altro Ensemble with its acoustic and comfort properties, then in areas where sustained slip resistance was key there is Altro Wood safety flooring in corridors, entrances and reception areas, Altro Pisces™ specialist safety flooring in the bathroom areas, Altro Stronghold™ in the café kitchens and Altro Reliance™ in back of house and delivery areas – each product meeting a different need.

Tina Hanson-Jones is Project Manager across the Dudley schemes and she is full of praise for the environment that’s been created: “WOW is the best way of describing the interior of the flats. It is fresh, appealing but homely, very good taste. It is well thought out and not what supported living places are usually like. Everyone that visits wants to live here.”

Partnership was key to the success of the project. “Altro are amazing to work with from a specification point of view,” says Penny. “They understand what designers need and are constantly developing products to meet those needs. As a designer you are confident to use their products as you know they have been developed for all the right reasons and to provide solutions. We hugely appreciate the effort they go to for designers, and all that Altro products bring to our projects.”

About Altro –


Altro Ensemble modular flooring has helped create a comfortable and elegant reading and learning environment for children and adults in a Swedish library.

The old library in Smedstorp was squeezed into a school, which meant visitors had to go through the school building to access it. Tomelilla Municipality moved the library to new premises and decided to allow visitors to access the library after hours on evenings and weekends with a library pass. They needed to find a floor for the new library that improved sound reduction and provided comfort underfoot. They chose to install Altro Ensemble.

Award-winning Altro Ensemble is a modular flooring system that gives complete design freedom to create stunning floors for interior spaces. From colour blocking to geometric patterns, the possibilities are as endless as the imagination.

The flooring has up to 15dB sound reduction with added comfort underfoot, making it perfect for front of house areas in hotels, including foyers and receptions, restaurant and café dining areas, retail, offices and student accommodation – any environment where design is key. With 39 colours and four modular sizes, you can mix and match to create unique patterns using colour and design.

“We chose Altro’s LVT flooring mainly because of its acoustic benefits,” says Lars Axelsson, Project manager, Tomelilla municipality. “We have invested in sound absorbents on walls and acoustic solutions in the ceiling, but we wanted to dampen the noise as much as we could to promote peace and quiet when reading and that’s where Altro’s solution fitted in well. It is a floor that is neat, quiet and easy to maintain, so everyone has been happy: the visitors, the staff and the cleaning staff.”

Ronnie Bergström, from Floors in Ystad, was the installer on the project. “Altro Ensemble was incredibly easy to handle which is always an advantage to an installer. In addition, it is a good floor for a library, as the underside of the tiles offers both sound reduction and provides a nice surface to walk on. The process was smooth from start to finish and the result was very good.”


About Altro –

New Altro Wood™ adhesive-free is providing Coate Water Care’s Woodstock Nursing Home in Gloucester with homely flooring for bedrooms and en suites, was quick to fit and caused minimal disruption.


Altro Wood adhesive-free is a safety wood-look floor with easy cleanability; perfect for decorative, homely or biophilic areas. The range has been created with design freedom in mind – Altro Wood adhesive-free shares some designs with Altro Wood Comfort and Altro Wood, allowing you to coordinate floors with different performance criteria across different areas of the building.

Nursing Home Manager, Trudy Glassonbury, says: “Our previous flooring was getting very tatty and needed replacing. We wanted to continue with a wood effect product, as it is stylish, homely, and warm looking. We needed something that would be quick to fit, so that it would cause minimum disruption to residents.


“C&C Flooring, who we have worked with for many years, recommended the new Altro Wood adhesive-free product, because it could go down on top of the existing flooring and would take a fraction of the time to install compared with an adhered product.


“This was ideal for us, as we could fit it in the five bedrooms and en suites we were refurbishing without prolonged disruption to residents. It took far less time than an adhered flooring would have taken. There was no need to remove the old flooring, or put down a screed, or drying time. It was so professional and fast. Plus of course there were no adhesive smells, which in a care home setting with vulnerable residents is a very important consideration.”

Using Altro’s award-winning adhesive-free installation method, you can halve installation time compared with a traditional adhered installation. Depending on substrate condition, a 200m2 corridor would be laid in two days compared with four days with an adhered floor covering, with a significant cost saving too.

With no DPM and no adhesive required, floors can be welded and walked on the same day. Adhesive-free floors are ideal for busy public spaces where disruption needs to be minimal, plus there are no associated adhesive odours. And at the end of their life, they can be re-used elsewhere or recycled.

The new Altro Wood adhesive-free range was the first floors to use Altro’s innovative underside emboss structure, which provides 14dB impact sound reduction and comfort underfoot. It has 12 wood-look designs, enabling you to create biophilic, stylish, or warm and homely aesthetics together with the safety and durability needed for medium to high traffic areas.

With a 10-year guarantee and Altro’s one in a million slip-resistance reassurance, Altro Wood adhesive-free offers high levels of comfort underfoot providing a safe, durable and decorative solution for busy spaces. Robust enough to withstand rigorous and frequent cleaning, like all Altro floors, Altro Wood adhesive-free can be steam cleaned thousands of times without damage. It is ideal for public-facing areas, where it will continue to make a great first impression and support the wellbeing of users for the lifetime of the product.

Trudy says: “We are delighted with our new flooring; it looks lovely, has superb safety credentials, is very easy to clean and the entire installation process was completely hassle free.”


About Altro –

Altro Wood™ adhesive-free flooring is helping to create a homely, welcoming and safe environment for residents at The Lawns, a family-run care home in Gloucester.  


Owner Anna Carrier said: “The previous carpet flooring was starting to look tired, and we were worried about infection control issues. Frankly it didn’t look very good. But we also wanted a floor that looked warm, to help residents really feel at home, so we knew we needed to make a change.”


The new Altro flooring was installed on the ground floor at The Lawns in the circulation areas, dining rooms, lounges and in reception. It was fitted by C&C Flooring. MD Roo Williams said: “We have used other Altro adhesive-free floorings for a few years now, and the new Altro Wood adhesive-free product is fantastic. It looks great, really creating a home-from-home look, and it complements the care home perfectly.


“It’s ideal for this kind of environment where there are vulnerable end users, because there are no harsh adhesives creating odours or potentially causing breathing difficulties. Installation is so much quicker because we are not waiting for glues to cure before laying, and it can go straight down onto the existing floor, so there is minimal disruption for residents. The acoustic value is brilliant, too, which is a huge benefit in any environment where there is a lot of noise.”


New Altro Wood adhesive-free creates maximum impact with minimum downtime. Its 12 wood-look colour choices allow the creation of biophilic, stylish, or warm and homely aesthetics. With up to 14dB impact sound reduction, a 10-year guarantee and Altro’s one in a million slip-resistance reassurance, the flooring offers high levels of comfort underfoot, providing a safe, durable and decorative solution for busy spaces.


Using Altro’s award-winning adhesive-free installation method, it can be welded and walked on the same day, and at the end of its life can be removed easily, allowing it to be reused or recycled. Using Altro adhesive-free floors, installation time can be halved, compared with a traditional adhered installation. It’s ideal for busy public spaces, where disruption needs to be minimal, plus there are no associated adhesive odours. 


Anna Carrier added. “We love the new flooring because it’s easy to clean, reduces noise in the building, but mostly the wood effect is lovely, so welcoming. It looks and feels like something the residents might have in their own home, so it makes them feel very relaxed. It’s also very comfortable to walk on, and this is so important for our residents. Overall the flooring fits exactly with what we want to achieve.


“It was so quick to lay, going down in just a day, and for a busy environment like ours, where we are looking after people with complex care needs, this made the lives of both residents and staff so much easier. From an infection control perspective replacing carpet with this Altro flooring has made our life so much easier.


“We will definitely use this product again, because we wanted a flooring that would enable us to keep the same homely ‘look’ throughout the home, and one that would meet our hygiene requirements. Both these critical issues have certainly been delivered.” 


Watch a video case study of this project at:

Altro has added innovative new ranges to its award-winning, adhesive-free, sustainable floors to offer adhesive-free options for a host of applications in the building. Benefits include enhanced comfort underfoot and greater sound impact reduction, as well as greater creative freedom as more colour and wood design options give complete flexibility for differing application areas. Altro’s adhesive-free floors also feature the most advanced Altro Easyclean technology, while retaining the benefits of reduced installation time and 100% recyclability.

New Altro Wood™ adhesive-free floor is a safety wood-look product with easy cleanability; perfect for decorative, homely or biophilic areas. The range has been created with design freedom in mind – Altro Wood adhesive-free shares some designs with Altro Wood Comfort and Altro Wood, allowing you to coordinate floors with different performance criteria across different areas of the building.

The popular Altro Cantata™ tonal and modernist adhesive-free floor also now has a refreshed palette of colours and designs and improved cleanability.

The new Altro Wood adhesive-free and Altro Cantata ranges are the first floors to use Altro’s innovative underside emboss structure, which provides 14dB impact sound reduction and comfort underfoot. Coupled with exciting, aesthetic options, these ranges are ideal for more public-facing areas, where they will continue to make a great first impression and support the wellbeing of users for the lifetime of the product. Where safety and toughness are the key drivers for hard-working service areas, Altro XpressLay™ adhesive-free safety floor continues to deliver robust, good looks.

New Altro Wood adhesive-free has 12 wood-look designs, enabling you to create biophilic, stylish, or warm and homely aesthetics together with the safety and durability needed for medium to high traffic areas. With 14dB impact sound reduction, a 10-year guarantee and Altro’s one in a million slip-resistance reassurance, Altro Wood adhesive-free offers high levels of comfort underfoot providing a safe, durable and decorative solution for busy spaces.

Altro Cantata’s 17 colours, designs and textured looks range from subtle, natural shades to terrazzo — organic with a metallic twist — and a selection of concretes allowing you to create an urban chic look. Altro’s most advanced cleaning technology ensures ease of maintenance and enhances infection control with the reduction of bacterial and mould growth by improved cleanability.

Using Altro’s award-winning adhesive-free installation method, you can halve installation time compared with a traditional adhered installation. Depending on substrate condition, a 200m2 corridor would be laid in two days compared with four days with an adhered floor covering, with an approximate 20% cost saving too.

With no DPM and no adhesive required, floors can be welded and walked on the same day. Adhesive-free floors are ideal for busy public spaces where disruption needs to be minimal, plus there are no associated adhesive odours. And at the end of their life, they can be re-used elsewhere or recycled.

Revolutionary, international award-winning Altro XpressLay was the world’s first ever adhesive-free safety floor and was introduced to the market place after 5 years of development and testing. In 2019 Altro XpressLay celebrated its 10th anniversary of providing safe flooring in diverse environments. Altro’s adhesive-free flooring is durable and can tolerate medium to heavy-duty traffic. They hold as effectively as Altro floors installed using adhesive: no rucks, no movement. Now that’s revolutionary.

About Altro –

By Lucy Bilotto, European Marketing Manager

In recent years the arguments for and against the use of biocides have intensified. Some pro-biocide organisations (typically manufacturers utilising biocides in their prod

ucts) are making bolder claims than ever before. In the absence of firm evidence to support these claims, however, there are concerns that these additives may be having no positive impact on infection control. At the same time, newly-published research is painting an increasingly worrying picture regarding the long-term effects of these substances on human and animal health, and on the environment. These issues are being debated widely by academics and regulatory bodies throughout the world.

This article will aim to outline the arguments that are being put forward by organisations on both sides. It will provide an update on the regulatory status of silver biocides, from bodies including the European Chemical Agency’s Biocidal Products Committee and the US Food and Drug Agency. Lastly it will explain Altro’s current policy regarding use of biocides.

Pro-biocide claims

Organisations on both sides of the divide agree on the need for effective infection control, particularly in sites such as hospitals and commercial kitchens. Those for and against the use of biocides differ, however, on the best practice recommended for hygiene in these environments. They also disagree about the effectiveness (and therefore the advisability) of using biocides.

For some years, organisations backing the use of biocides in areas where infection control is paramount have argued that a range of silver-based additives used in products for the healthcare environment are capable of slowing the growth of bacteria, mildew and mould. The process they describe is one in which silver ions block the ‘food’ required by the bacteria by interfering with the surface of the microbes and coating them. These organisations argue that incorporating silver ions into products used in the hospital or commercial kitchen will reduce the spread of infection.

Anti-biocide arguments

Organisations opposed to the use of biocides, however, argue that the use of these substances needs much tighter regulation, because the extremely widespread (and largely uncontrolled) use of these chemical additives in the world today leads to antimicrobial resistance.

The World Health Organisation has identified antimicrobial resistance as a major risk to human life and is urging countries to collaborate in a global action plan to tackle the problem. The WHO factsheet explains:

Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics). Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.

As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally over time, usually through genetic changes. However, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is accelerating this process.[1]

The extremely widespread use of biocides threatens to speed up antimicrobial resistance because increased exposure means increased opportunity for genetic mutation within the bacteria. WHO stresses that this is not a problem of the future, but an immediate health risk. Data published by WHO’s Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System group in January 2018 revealed ‘widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance among 500,000 people with suspected bacterial infections across 22 countries’. The most commonly reported resistant bacteria include E.coli and Salmonella, among others.

Genesis Biosciences, a company involved in the development of new ‘eco-benign’ antimicrobial products, explains that a key problem with today’s most commonly used biocides is the long-term contact between biocide residues and the bacteria they are designed to kill. The company states that, ‘because the residues contain sub-lethal concentrations of the biocidal product, the targeted bacteria are becoming more resilient against the products used to treat them’. In other words, the more ‘competitive’ bacteria (often those associated with serious health problems) are not entirely destroyed by the biocide. Instead they can remain in contact with the biocide over an extended period of time, if traditional hygiene processes are not followed stringently. This close contact between the bacteria and the chemical designed to kill it creates an ideal environment in which the bacteria can mutate and develop resistance. We all remember the claims about 99.9% of germs being killed by strong cleaning fluids. It is now understood that it is the remaining 0.1% of bacteria that is the long-term risk factor. A particular concern is that use of products containing biocides could lead to a harmful relaxation of cleaning regimes in areas where hygiene is critical, if reliance on the infection control capabilities of the products leads to complacency.

In recent years a number of scientific studies have contributed towards a better understanding of the processes of mutation involved in the development of antimicrobial resistance as a result of biocide use, in addition to the environmental impact of biocides leaching into water resources. A research project carried out at the University of Cardiff, for example, concluded that ‘exposure to triclosan (0.0004%) was associated with a high risk of developing resistance and cross-resistance in Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli (E.coli)’.[2] The recommendation of the Cardiff research team is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Union Biocidal Products Regulation should demand information from manufacturers on antimicrobial resistance and cross-resistance in bacteria after the use of their products.

Regulatory decisions

The United States regulatory body has already taken action regarding biocides. On September 9th, 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the incorporation of triclosan and 18 other antimicrobial chemicals in household soap products. In 2017 it banned companies from using triclosan in over-the-counter health care antiseptic products without premarket review. The reason given was that manufacturers had failed to provide the FDA with sufficient proof that triclosan was safe and effective in the light of research into long-term health risks, such as antimicrobial resistance.

European regulatory bodies are also taking action. The Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) of the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has been examining the use of silver copper zeolite, silver sodium hydrogen zirconium phosphate and silver zeolite in a range of different products. Decisions are still pending for floor and wall covering products but, on 17th October 2018, the ECHA BPS decided not to approve the use of silver compounds in disinfectant products.

The committee opted for ‘non-approval’ as there was insufficient evidence to suggest that biocides were effective under dry conditions. The BPC of the ECHA stated, for example, (with regard to silver sodium hydrogen zirconium phosphate):

Generally, the antimicrobial effect of polymer materials containing silver active substances is dependent on how much of the silver is released. A precondition for the release of silver is a solvent, i.e. a liquid which the material comes into contact with. A dry polymer material surface will not release any silver ions and thus will not exert an antimicrobial effect.[3]

In other words, whilst the committee accepted that biocides might be effective if a surface is immersed continually in a solvent solution, and remains wet for a period of time, it was not proven that biocides had any antibacterial effect where surfaces are dry. In the absence of this proof, the committee decided not to approve the use of biocides in the disinfectant product category.

Whilst a decision is yet to be made regarding floor and wall coverings, the decision regarding disinfectant products has important implications. Flooring and wall coverings are typically employed in environments that are predominantly dry, particularly in healthcare sites. So there is every reason to believe that the ECHA BPC will reach a similar non-approval decision regarding the use of biocides in floor and wall coverings, within the next two to three years, when scientific examination of other product categories reaches completion.

Altro’s policy

For manufacturers such as ourselves the decision to include or remove biocides has been at the top of the agenda for nearly a decade, so our policies reflect our response to the latest research from academics and regulatory bodies. Traditionally, customers have been keen to have antibacterial additives included in wall and floor coverings. In an industry sector where research and technology is advancing rapidly, it is understandable that suppliers and specifiers welcomed this apparent opportunity to solve major issues. Our technical teams follow scientific and regulatory evidence relating to our products on an ongoing basis, however, as part of our duty to customers and end users. So a key question for us has been whether it would be better to remove biocides from all of our product ranges, irrespective of customer demand.

A breakthrough in recent years has been the development, by scientists, of new testing protocols for biocides which are revealing new insights and calling earlier findings into question. Responding to the latest evidence from teams of academics and bodies such as the ECHA BPC, we decided back in 2012 that inclusion of biocides could be discontinued in our resilient flooring ranges as they had no positive impact on hygiene. Use of biocides in Altro wall cladding products was also reviewed. In 2012 we decided to exclude biocides when designing new Altro wall cladding ranges, and began to supply specific geographical markets (notably the USA and Nordic markets) with biocide-free materials. Today we do not include any biocides in our products.

Inclusion of biocides is only one aspect of infection control, however. We continue to focus on hygiene as a key aspect of our research and development. Using the latest testing protocols, Altro Whiterock (without a biocide) was recently shown in tests to be up to 99.99% effective against MRSA and 99.89% effective against Ecoli, indicating levels of infection control equal to those claimed by manufacturers incorporating biocides, without the associated risks to health and the environment. It is also important to mention that, depending on the progress of research teams across the world, our policy on biocides could change over time. There have been exciting discoveries regarding new types of ‘eco-benign’ biocides, based on plant-based ingredients, which could possibly play a role in infection control in our products in the future.

In conclusion, research involving currently-available additives suggests that specifiers and customers should not consider biocides a ‘silver bullet’. But end customers can continue to rely on solid gold best practice for all areas where infection prevention is paramount. Firstly, research has confirmed the critical importance of hand hygiene, which has been shown to have far greater impact on infection control than was generally thought. Secondly, irrespective of whether biocides are incorporated into products, good cleaning regimes, that physically remove the microbes from surfaces, remain the most effective way to ensure hygiene criteria are met, even in critical hygiene areas. To make this possible it is advisable to look for impervious, grout-free wall coverings, such as Altro Whiterock, with a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. A thorough cleaning regime on impervious surfaces such as this, with supporting good hand hygiene, is the answer.

About Altro –


[2] Rebecca Wesgate, Pierre Grasha and Jean-Yves Maillard, ‘Use of a predictive protocol to measure the antimicrobial resistance risks associated with biocidal product usage’, American Journal of Infection Control 44 (2016), pp. 458-64.

[3] European Chemical Agency Biocidal Products Committee, ‘Opinion on the application for approval of the active substance: Silver sodium hydrogen zirconium phosphate, Product type: 2

ECHA/BPC/211/2018, 17th October 2018.

Altro Ensemble™ modular luxury vinyl tiles have helped to create a chic, dynamic and modern space with a new approach to bingo within the new Opera Bingo Club in Barrow-in-Furness.

Architects and designers, Bignell Shacklady Ewing, developed the new space and the company’s Interior Designer, Emily East, headed up the project. She said: “The brief was to create an energetic space with a contemporary, fresh approach to bingo that would attract customers of all ages.

“Our client was keen to represent the local area within the scheme, so we used a variety of bespoke murals, wall graphics and photographic designs to represent Barrow-In-Furness in an innovative manner.

“We felt the wood effect Altro Ensemble flooring system would enhance that contemporary feel the client wanted to achieve, and give it a chic and ‘funky’ feel. For example, we used the flooring to create an area of herringbone pattern that was unique to the bar area, using the tiles to enhance the bar overall design.”

This area featured three shades of Altro Ensemble. “The colour options worked well in this format, complementing the other interior finishes,” said Emily. “The overall effect is a wonderfully rich and contrasting pattern that is beautiful to look at; adding a superb quality feel. It makes a fantastic first impression.”

Altro Ensemble was also specified for the club’s book sales counter and various corridors, laid in straight planks.

“The beauty of this flooring is that it’s ideal for design-led projects, offering huge flexibility to create unlimited patterns with stone and wood effect modular tiles. It’s also hard-wearing and very comfortable underfoot, so it’s ideal for busy spaces where there’s a lot of traffic. This project was a great opportunity for us to try Altro Ensemble and we are very pleased with the results.”

Award-winning Altro Ensemble is a modular flooring system that gives complete design freedom to create stunning floors for interior spaces. From colour blocking to geometric patterns, the possibilities are as endless as the imagination.

The flooring has up to 15dB sound reduction with added comfort underfoot, making it perfect for front of house areas in hotels, including foyers and receptions, restaurant and café dining areas, retail, offices and student accommodation – any environment where design is key. With 39 colours and four modular sizes, you can mix and match to create unique patterns using colour and design.

Daryl Davidson, Head of Operations & Finance for the Opera Bingo Club, says: “When Emily East presented the Altro Ensemble flooring to us we knew it was perfect for the modern, high quality look we wanted and it worked so well with the overall design.

“We wanted this to be a bit different to other bingo clubs, and this needed to come across in the way we presented ourselves. The herringbone floor pattern in front of the bar is so striking, it’s one of the first things you see when you enter the club. A real focal point that sets us apart. The other flooring areas look superb, too, high quality and very in keeping with our ‘look’.

“This is a very busy club, so we needed a surface that wasn’t just great looking, but hard wearing too. One that would stand the test of time. The Altro Ensemble is fitted in the club’s high traffic areas, and it will stay looking good for many years to come. It’s comfortable to walk on, too, very easy on the feet.

“The cleaning staff are delighted with how easy it is to maintain, they mop it every day and it comes up beautifully every time. I would certainly recommend the flooring to anyone who is looking for beautiful, chic, comfortable and practical.

“The feedback we have had from staff and customers has been fantastic. They love the new club and there is a wonderful buzz here. The design and feel we have created is a million miles away from the ‘traditional’ bingo club, and we are thrilled with it. We have four other bingo clubs and two cinemas in the group, and we would certainly consider using Altro Ensemble there too.”


About Altro –

Altro has been appointed as a recommended supplier of vinyl and resin floors and floor accessories on the Department of Health’s ProCure22 Framework for NHS and social care construction schemes in England. Altro floor systems, including Altro Orchestra, Altro Aquarius and Altro Wood Safety, are recommended for use throughout healthcare environments. This follows Altro’s appointment in 2018 as a recommended supplier of wall and door systems, including the Altro Whiterock and Altro Fortis systems.

The ProCure22 (P22) process is designed to achieve improved value for money and reduce exposure to risk through a simplified capital procurement procedure.

With up to 20-year product guarantees, Altro can ensure healthcare environments provide an impervious, hygienic and durable environment, meeting the stringent requirements in critical hygiene areas. With a vast array of colours, including wood-look designs, a warm and welcoming environment can be created to reduce stress and improve patient and staff wellbeing, without compromising on hygiene standards.

Altro provides a wide selection of floor solutions that can be used in all areas of health and care environments, including specialist safety solutions for areas with a high slip risk, including bathrooms and kitchens.

Altro has also been awarded DSDC accreditation, and is the only manufacturer to have HACCP approval for both floor and wall products.

Mark Johnstone, Head of Commercial, UK, Middle East and Ireland says: “Altro pioneered hygienic wall sheets and safety flooring, and we have over 60 years of experience providing solutions in health and care environments, including many projects within the NHS and social care. We are proud to have our floor and wall solutions included on the Procure22 Framework. Our floor, wall and door systems are recognised as cost-effective and durable solutions for health and care, and work together to create a hygienic environment that is designed to support the wellbeing of patients, staff and visitors.”

The following products are included in the P22 standard components list:

  • Altro Aquarius™
  • Altro Pisces™
  • Altro Suprema™
  • Altro Walkway™ 20
  • Altro XpressLay™
  • Altro Wood™ Safety
  • Altro Wood™ Safety Comfort
  • Altro Reliance™ 25
  • Altro Stronghold™ 30
  • Altro Zodiac™
  • Altro Cantata™
  • Altro Orchestra™
  • Altro Operetta™
  • Altro Serenade™
  • Altro Proof™
  • AltroFix™ 19 Plus
  • AltroFix™ 365
  • Altro adhesive-free flooring approved installation tape
  • Altro Acoustic Underlay 101
  • Altro Flexiflow™ 2mm classic standard variant
  • Altro Flexiflow™ 8mm acoustic standard variant
  • Altro Screed™ 3mm standard variant
  • Altro Crete™ 8mm standard variant
  • Altro Tect™ standard variant

This award is valid until October 2021.

The following products were included in the P22 standard components list in 2018:

  • Altro Whiterock White
  • Altro Whiterock Satins
  • Altro Whiterock Chameleon
  • Altro Whiterock wall designs
  • Altro Whiterock Splashbacks
  • Altro Fortis Titanium
  • Altro Fortis corner protection
  • Altro Basis
  • Altro Whiterock Digiclad
  • Altro Whiterock hygienic doorsets

This award is valid until October 2020.


About Altro –

Altro Ensemble™ modular flooring system has been fitted in a new 76-seater Mexican restaurant in West Vale, near Halifax, adding an edgy and stylish chic to a village that’s fast becoming a destination for diners and drinkers.

Taquito’s Restaurant, Tapas & Tequila Bar is one of a clutch of new, sophisticated dining and drinking venues that have opened in West Vale — and each one has benefited from the vision of up-and-coming interior designer Vanessa Thornton, owner of Vanessa Thornton Interiors.

Taquito’s owner, AJ, bought the premises in August 2018 and approached Vanessa to help him create the right interior. “AJ wanted Taquito’s to be urban, chic, edgy and very true to the Mexican feel, but with a twist. He didn’t want it to look like a chain, there needed to be a very strong identity, a uniqueness and a real ‘wow’ factor.

“I did a lot of research to put together my interior design; it was quite a sophisticated process. I looked at other local eateries to see what they offered, which chain restaurants were doing well and why, and how traditional Mexican themes and colours could work together with modern ideas. It wasn’t just about how it looked, but how it could work for AJ and his specific business.

“Taquito’s is on three floors and I wanted them to all work together, but look different as separate spaces. The ground floor is popular with the drinking crowd, but I didn’t want this to encroach on the dining space, or the upper floor, which is great as a dedicated party area.

“I created an overall dark, classic design with a floral vibe, using the Mexican flag colours of green, white and red, and the overall vibrancy of Mexico. The floral pattern is reflected in the use of ceramic tiles, which are on the stair risers and also sweeping up to and over the bar. I also created a ‘blossom tree’ for the busy ground floor bar, which adds a lovely atmosphere, and hanging white wisteria in the upper loft space.

“The flooring was crucial to the new venue, because it needed to be stylish and gorgeous, working with the design themes, but also fit for purpose, hard wearing and practical. AJ knows and trusts Altro, and I have also worked with them in my former career in commercial refubishment, so I approached them and they recommended Altro Ensemble luxury vinyl tiles.

“I immediately loved the colour range and the design flexibility it offered, and the wood-look options were perfect for the high quality, natural feel I was looking for. The texture of the wood perfectly complemented the overall design brief, because the textures and tastes of Mexico are so powerful, and this was exactly what I had incorporated into my design. Altro Ensemble also has great noise reducing properties and for a busy restaurant that’s really a plus.

“AJ and I chose two shades of Altro Ensemble; a dark shade called Anthracite Limed Harmonious Oak, and the lighter Greige Rustic Oak. Together they enabled me to create some beautiful flooring effects.

“On the ground floor we used the Anthracite in a herringbone pattern, which we used up to the bar abutting the tiled area. On the middle floor, which is primarily for dining, we used both shades of the flooring to create a random herringbone effect. We also used the Anthracite on the stairs combined with ceramic tiles, which looks so striking. In the upstairs loft space we used the Anthracite plank in a straight pattern. This space has a real rooftop terrace vibe, with lights in the eaves and that lovely trailing wisteria makes it feel like you’re really outdoors.”

Altro Ensemble modular flooring system is the next generation of luxury vinyl tiles. From colour blocking to geometric patterns, with a range of plank and tile sizes and textures, Altro Ensemble gives design freedom to create luxurious floors for commercial interior spaces. With 57 options to mix and match, the modular flooring system has natural wood and stone designs and bloc colours too.

Altro Ensemble is 2.6mm thick with a 0.55mm wear layer, 15dB sound reduction qualities and added comfort underfoot, with minimal residual indentation and excellent durability. A truly exceptional material, it combines these features with unique flexibility and is lightweight, making it easy to transport, cut and handle for installation.

Vanessa adds: “The overall effect of the flooring is that it pulls the entire restaurant together in terms of a cohesive space. It creates a flow that works on every level, and it’s hard to do that in a restaurant on three floors. It looks beautiful, feels comfortable — the perfect stylish and hardwearing flooring for this project.

“Using Altro Ensemble flooring has really opened my eyes to what can be achieved with it, both in terms of the design possibilities, and also for durability and reliability. In a high traffic environment like a restaurant this is essential, because if one plank somehow becomes damaged or worn it can be replaced without having to fit a completely new floor.

“Altro is known for its quality and I will definitely be using their products, including Altro Ensemble, again for future projects. They were wonderful to work with, fast, efficient, helpful and they totally understood the vision. The flooring fitter Lee Rogers was wonderful, too, professional, clean and he finished on time. This was a really great experience.”

Taquito’s opened in December 2018 and has already become one of the go-to places to eat in West Vale. Owner, AJ, says: “We have only been open six months but we are delighted with how things are going. Working with Vanessa has really given us a design edge, and we now have the most original and stunning restaurant that offers an unforgettable experience to drinkers and diners.

“The Altro Ensemble flooring looks and feels superb and is ideal for this space. It adds quality and works so well with the overall design. It’s very easy to clean and maintain as well, and that’s so important for practical everyday use. It’s a big step away from dull, industrial restaurant floors that add nothing to the atmosphere. It really brings our restaurant alive.”

Vanessa Thornton Interiors has been awarded an Altro Design Recognition Award for Taquito’s. Dave Ford, Altro’s Specifications Manager – North, says: “Vanessa has created a fantastic, human-centric design using a mixture of street art and biophilic elements to create an outdoor Mexican dining experience.

“The effect runs floor to ceiling, from the use of different Altro Ensemble shades that mirror the colour schemes and patterns on the walls and ceiling, to cascading flowers, and trees. The creative pattern on the floor effectively creates dining ‘zones’ within the restaurant, giving a cosy feel when seated.

“This is added to with the low, slanted ceilings above the tables, with the use of a starry night scene ensuring this feels intimate. It’s one of the best examples of inclusive design we’ve seen.”

For further information please visit

SiMBA, the charity supporting families who have suffered the loss of a baby, has opened a new Family Room and Quiet Room at the Royal Alexandra maternity hospital in Paisley.

The project, funded by the Lola Commons for SiMBA Fund has been in planning and discussions since 2013. The rooms are for families experiencing the tragedy of losing a baby. The project was able to go ahead after locally bereaved families fundraised over £30,000 to support the SiMBA charity project.

As part of the project, Altro donated Altro Wood Safety Comfort flooring for the family and quiet rooms, and Altro Pisces flooring for the en-suite bathroom.

The family room provides an area for parents who are experiencing bereavement to stay from induction to delivery and for postnatal care so they can spend precious time with their baby. The quiet room, specifically designed for families returning to the hospital to spend time with their baby or see their babies name in the book of remembrance; it can also be a space for family members while visiting, to have a space out of the family room or to have some time alone.

Victoria Boulton, Lead designer with Grosvenor Interiors which works closely with SiMBA to create the look and feel of SiMBA’s rooms across Scotland says, “We chose Altro Pisces in Beach Hut for the en-suite as it has soft lilac tones that work well with the wall graphics. Also the shod/barefoot coverage and the homely look of the product is a big plus.

“Altro Wood Safety Comfort works well as a contrast to our furniture finish. The look, comfort and safety underfoot were important features.”

Altro Wood Safety Comfort offers aesthetics combined with comfort. It’s an ideal choice for areas that need to look good while helping to give comfort underfoot. This 2.85mm thick option offers 14dB sound reduction.

It is also suitable for wheeled traffic and low residual indentation facilitates the flexible use of equipment and furniture.

Altro Pisces achieves Class B to DIN 51097 for barefoot use, plus a Pendulum Test Value (PTV) of ≥50 (Slider 96). Altro Pisces offers 16 soft-look shades; the result is the consistent, soft appearance that you would want from domestic interiors, with the lifetime sustained slip resistance you expect from Altro. Altro Pisces performs whether wet or dry, in shoes or barefoot.

About Altro –