A Prescription of Acoustic Flooring for Patients, Staff at Methodist Mansfield

April 28, 2022

Renovated medical center’s NICU experiences the unexpected quiet of vinyl Rx surfacing.

Mansfield, Texas
Whitney Hendrickson, Perkins&Will

The center in Mansfield, Texas, began the $8.7 million expansion of its existing Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in 2018. The hospital, which offers full-service maternity care, added eight private rooms, family amenities, a state-of-the-art infant security system, and dedicated respiratory and lactation support spaces. They needed a flooring fit for the job.


Interior designer Whitney Hendrickson had unique insight into what the space demanded. Prior to becoming a certified interior designer, Hendrickson was a pediatric nurse.

When it came time to select the flooring, Hendrickson recalled a 2017 tour of a Philadelphia hospital where Ecore’s Rx Collection was installed. “It was so eerie because it was unexpectedly quiet,” said Hendrickson. “My eyes and ears did not match up. I thought they must not have had many patients, but they did! I could see staff moving around and carts being pushed down the corridors, but I didn’t hear what I normally hear in an icu. It didn’t feel ‘clinical’ at all—in a good way!”


Hendrickson worked with Thais Pimentel, leed ap ID+C and Interior Designer II with Perkins&Will, to specify Ecore’s Strait Rx and Infinity Rx flooring for the Methodist Mansfield nicu. Both engineered surfaces from the Rx Collection feature its patented tru technology, where vinyl is fusion bonded to a vulcanized composition rubber backing. The result is two bonded surfaces that, in addition to significantly reducing surface-generated noise, provide a force reduction of 11.5% and energy restitution of 72%—a major benefit for healthcare environments where staff spend the majority of their shifts on their feet. The enhanced ergonomic performance also reduces the force of impact related to falls.

The Ecore solution was specified in a subtle curved pattern to assist with wayfinding and to help delineate staff and family areas. Additionally, the inclusion of the recycled rubber improves the environmental footprint of the floor. Ecore uses reclaimed truck tires in its products, and the material is technically upcycled, which means it is turned into a higher value product that has a much greater lifespan. The flooring used for the Methodist Mansfield project diverted 5,897 pounds of tire rubber from the landfill, equivalent to about 59 tires.


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