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Hygienic materials

Hygienic materials

It's our pioneering research and material development that have made our systems so effective. Discover more about what makes our materials unique, and why they perform so much better than other industry options.


Why Altro wall cladding is so hygienic

Altro wall cladding is specifically designed to meet today's hygiene regulations: it's durable, impervious and impact resistant, and has smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces. So it's the perfect solution in areas where hygiene is paramount.

  • Impermeable
    Altro wall cladding has an impervious surface that's highly resistant to chemicals, stains and odors. It's a fully-sealed, watertight, airtight system, with nowhere for bacteria to hide and grow. 
  • Hardwearing and robust
    Surface damage like cracks and dents can trap dirt, moisture and bacteria, making cleaning more difficult. This isn't a problem with Altro wall cladding as it has extremely high impact resistance. Durability test results showed that impacts that would damage ceramic tiles barely left a scratch on our tough surfaces. And the same is true for the wall cladding's thermoformed corners – an area where ceramic tiles are especially vulnerable
  • Easy to clean
    With its uninterrupted surface, smooth joints and thermoformed corners and angles, all you need to clean Altro wall cladding is warm water and standard cleaning agents

Why Altro PVC flooring is so hygienic

PVC flooring is so hygienic because it's resistant to impact damage and point loading. And Altro PVC flooring is watertight and resistant to most chemicals, staining and odours, which makes it even easier to keep clean.

  • PUR technology
    Our exclusive Altro Easyclean Maxis PUR Technology can be found in Altro safety flooring. It makes our flooring more hygienic and cleanable, and this was proved in tests that showed unrivalled low dirt pick-up along with resistance to most staining and chemicals. In fact, we're so confident in the long-term hygienic performance of our PUR Technology that we back it with a no-quibble Lifetime Pledge

Why Altro resin flooring is so hygienic

Altro epoxy and polyurethane resin floors provide an impermeable, seamless surface. Like PVC, resin is hardwearing and resists damage, meaning it will stay easy to clean for its lifetime.

  • Top coat
    It's possible to add a polyurethane (PU) top coat on some resins, which makes cleaning even more efficient
  • Heat resistant
    Some grades of resin are heat-resistant and can be steam cleaned to improve hygiene levels even further

Top quality, top hygiene

All Altro products are manufactured from the finest raw materials, with stringent quality control measures that guarantee high standards and consistency across all of our ranges. This commitment to quality means that our products carry on delivering the same performance and hygienic benefits as they day they were installed. 

Altro specialist hygienic materials

Water resistance

Altro Aquarius is a unique safety flooring that's designed for both bare feet and footwear in wet areas. It combines enhanced safety features with all the hygiene benefits of Altro flooring.

Combining Altro Aquarius flooring and Altro Whiterock wall cladding gives a complete wall cladding and flooring solution for wet environments like bathrooms, changing rooms and shower rooms, where cleanability, hygiene, waterproof sealing and safety are more important than ever.

Oil and grease resistance

Altro Stronghold safety flooring was designed for places where there are often wet or oily spills, like busy kitchens. Resistance to oil, grease, water and many chemicals means Altro Stronghold stays durable, safe and easy to clean for the lifetime of the installation.

Altro Whiterock works well with Altro Stronghold too; together they provide a watertight, airtight covering with no space for bacteria or vermin to hide.

Advantages of Altro products over alternatives

Why Altro products are better than the alternatives

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiled floors and walls are often found in areas like kitchens and bathrooms. But tiles aren't always the most practical or hygienic choice compared to PVC or resin…

  • Grout issues
    Tiles need to be grouted, and some grouts absorb grease and oil. This make them discoloured and can lead to fungi and bacteria growth. Grout can also crack and crumble and become damaged over time. If water then seeps in, the tiles can become de-bonded and fall off. Not only that, but water leaking behind tiles can cause significant damage that isn't obvious until it's too late
  • Damage risk
    In busy places like kitchens, knocks to walls from trolleys, pots and pans are common, and so are impacts to floors from dropped items. Ceramic tiles are easily chipped or cracked, which means dirt and contaminated water can penetrate the tile and cause ugly staining, potential bacteria growth and hygiene issues. Corner joints in tiled areas are especially vulnerable to damage and corner trims can trap dirt and bacteria, making cleaning a problem.
    Altro's wall cladding and flooring have superior durability and a high impact resistance, especially compared to ceramic tiles. Independent tests were carried out on Altro Whiterock and ceramic tiles – both were subjected to a variety of impacts and scratches. Water was then applied to the front face and ingress was measured after 24 hours. At the end of the tests, there was no damage visible on Altro Whiterock.
    Plus, Altro Whiterock is thermoformed on-site, which creates a continuous surface around corners and angles. So in places where tiles are particularly vulnerable, Altro Whiterock stays strong and reliable. We're so confident in the longevity of our wall cladding and flooring, that we offer generous, industry-leading warranties
  • Installation method
    According to the Ceramic Tile Federation, 65% of all tiles are fixed incorrectly. Tile manufacturers and food regulations specify the use of water-resistant adhesives and epoxy grouts for wet areas, but it's usually hard to tell whether they've been used or not until the damage has been done.
    Altro wall cladding and Altro PVC flooring can be completely bonded to the substrate with a full layer of adhesive. Altro resins are also fully bonded to the substrate, making sure that all Altro flooring and wall cladding products will be secure for the life of the installation.


Carpets create a number of hygiene challenges. They act as a reservoir for dust, containing hair and skin cells, debris, dirt and insects. Significantly, they have been banned by the NHS in clinical areas. The fibres can trap dirt and absorb liquids, making stains and odours difficult to shift, and providing a breeding ground for bacteria.

"Carpets should not be used in clinical areas. This includes all areas where frequent spillage is anticipated. Spillage can occur in all clinical areas, corridors and entrances. Aesthetic considerations and noise reduction are most often cited as the reason for using carpets; yet in areas of frequent spillage or heavy traffic, they can quickly become unsightly. Smell and staining have been responsible for the removal of carpets in many clinical areas."
Department of Health, Health Building Note 00-09: Infection control in the built environment

Altro PVC and resin flooring don't suffer from any of these problems. Watertight and impermeable, they resist most chemicals, dirt, staining and smells, providing a solid surface that can be regularly wet-cleaned.


  • Joint issues
    Wooden floors have lots of joints which can trap dirt and – unless every single one is correctly sealed – can form weak points where water can seep in. And this can damage the substrate and the building structure.
    Altro flooring has a minimal number of fully-sealed joints, creating a waterproof seal and an uninterrupted surface that's easier to clean
  • Damage risk
    Soft wood can become marked or damaged from trolley wheels, high heels and dropped objects. Dents and scratches can trap dirt and make cleaning harder, and deep scratches can even cut through the floor's wax or varnish, exposing the wood underneath and leaving it unprotected
    Altro flooring is highly durable and resistant to impact, so it stays easy to clean for the lifetime of the installation
  • Maintenance issues
    Wood needs to be varnished or waxed, and if this finish deteriorates over time, the wood can absorb water or become stained and difficult to clean. And depending on how the wood has been treated, it may not be chemical resistant, which means not all cleaning agents are appropriate. >
    Altro flooring is fully waterproof and resistant to most chemicals. It doesn't need any special maintenance to keep it clean and damage-free, just regular cleaning with warm water and appropriate cleaning agents

Linoleum and rubber

Linoleum and rubber need to be prepared and protected through a sealing process, and the sealed top layer occasionally has to be stripped and reapplied. If the sealed layer becomes damaged, or isn't reapplied often enough, the linoleum and rubber flooring can trap dirt or absorb liquids.As Altro PVC flooring is tough, impermeable and water resistant, and doesn't need any special maintenance, it's durable and hygienic from start to finish.

Materials that meet hygiene regulations

HACCP food and drink applications

We've been developing and testing Altro Whiterock wall cladding for over 30 years to guarantee top performance. It's certified to U.S., British and European standards and is HACCP approved – as is Altro safety flooring— which means they're safe for contact with food.
NHS regulations – healthcare applications
Installing Altro Whiterock and Altro flooring helps meet the following guidelines:

  • FGI Guidelines 2014 for walls in clinical areas:                                               “Wall finishes…shall be free of fissures, open joints or crevices that may retain or permit the passage of dirt and particles.”
  • FGI Guidelines for walls in nutritional areas                                               “Walls shall be non-absorbent, smooth, easily cleaned and light in color.”
  • FGI Guidelines 2014 for floors in clinical areas: 
    "A3.1- Flooring A: Flooring surfaces should not inhibit ease of ambulation and self-propulsion. B. All floor surfaces shall allow easy movement of all wheeled equipment used in the facility.”                                                                                                                           “2.1- Flooring and wall bases: (1) Selected flooring surfaces shall be cleanable and wear-resistant for the location. (2) Smooth transitions shall be provided between different flooring materials. (3) Flooring surfaces, including those on stairways, shall be stable, firm and slip-resistant. (a) The slip resistance ratings of flooring surfaces shall be appropriate for the area of use – for dry or wet conditions and for use on ramps and slopes.”