By Roxanne Squires
CANTON, N.C. — Situated in between the mountains on a river bank in North Carolina, Canton-based Silver Bluff Village stands as a family-owned and -operated senior living community offering short-term rehab, long-term care, independent living and social activities for residents.
Lisa Leatherwood, MSN, RN and administrator of Silver Bluff Village, pursued a renovation to the corridors and nurses’ station in the main skilled nursing building of the long-term care facility serving more than 120 patients. The challenges included replacing the flooring without creating a louder environment and specifying a surface that could be easily cleaned and maintained. While the main building was originally built in 1984, it originally featured luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), which created noise from patients, staff and families passing through the halls.
According to Leatherwood, acoustics is a prominent issue in senior living facilities. Patients being pushed on wheelchairs, linen carts, food carts and refuse barrels all create noise pollution throughout the building.
Trying to find solutions, the first renovation replaced the flooring with carpet, which reduced noise, but proved problematic for cleanliness. As a result, Leatherwood began searching for an alternative to carpet. She learned about Ecore flooring’s Rx line after attending a skilled nursing convention.
“We researched a less costly LVT brand engineered for sound control from a different manufacturer,” Leatherwood said in a statement. “However, when we followed up with that company, they couldn’t provide us with any resources or a customer referral to discuss noise levels. At that point, I just wasn’t convinced that LVT would be as effective as Ecore’s Rx line in sound absorption.”
Leatherwood then made the decision to install Ecore’s Forest Rx surface in European Oak in the hallways of all four resident wings, a business office area and in a short wing that leads to the assisted living building attached to the long-term care building. This type of flooring creates a surface that has the capability of reducing the risk of injury associated with falls while also offering sound control and comfort for walking.
The flooring was installed one wing at a time, starting with the facility’s most alert residents so they could immediately determine whether noise would be an issue. Once the project was completed, Silver Bluff residents and staff took notice of the positive results of the flooring installation, with no difference in noise between the carpet and Ecore flooring. According to Leatherwood, staff also observed that it was easier to roll their carts and move residents around, as well as clean the surface, stating the floor could be cleaned with a simple damp mop.
“We are extremely satisfied with the Ecore floors,” added Leatherwood. “They are beautiful, they really are as quiet as carpet, and everyone is enjoying them so much. We could not be happier.”