There are many flooring details to consider when designing a new school or developing plans to renovate an old one. Over the years, we’ve noticed that one of the most important accessories you’ll have to choose is cove base, which will help protect your walls from chemicals the maintenance crews will use to clean the floors, as well as from damage from rolling carts, book bags, and other equipment that teachers and students may be traveling with through the halls.
There are three main factors to consider when selecting the best cove base for your installation: the type of cove base, common cove base material, and the ideal height that it should lay up against the wall. We’ll go over the basics below.
TYPES OF COVE BASE IN SCHOOLS
There are four types of cove base that we typically see in schools:
- Set-In Cove Base - this type of cove base is installed into the wall and onto the floor. It’s typically heat welded to the floor covering, giving you an impervious seal between the two sections. This makes the cove base almost completely water-resistant, protecting your wall from floor and carpet cleaning liquids and chemicals. This makes it ideal for areas that will be cleaned frequently, like school hallways and classrooms. Set-in cove base works with almost any type of flooring (hardwood, vinyl, linoleum, carpet, carpet tile, etc.).
- Sit-On Cove Base - this profile simply sits on top of the floor and goes up the wall. It provides a neat finish but isn’t as protective and water-resistant as set-in cove base. Sit-in cove base works with almost any type of flooring, but is seen most often on hardwood floors.
- Flat Cove Base - this type of cove base is glued directly to the wall and stops just before the carpet or flooring below. It’s typically used with carpet or carpet tile floors, and not good for hard flooring surfaces. There’s no advantage or disadvantage to flat cove base - it’s simply an aesthetic choice.
- Flooring with Cove Former - this is a process that can be done with carpet, linoleum, or vinyl flooring, and is often the most cost-effective choice. The process is simple - the flooring material simply runs from the floor up the wall with a cove former and capping seal. When installed by an experienced contractor, it’s no more difficult than installing standard cove base.