The University of North Texas is a major public research institution deeply committed to advancing educational excellence and preparing students to become thoughtful, engaged citizens of the world. In any academic institution, it is important to foster an environment where students will learn and flourish.

As the University of North Texas began renovation on Sage Hall, transforming it from an office building into the campus’ new Academic Success Center, Kim Nguyen, manager of campus planning, facilities planning, design and construction, aimed to create an aesthetic that would both inspire students and please administrative officials. The first phase of the renovation required flooring for communal work/study areas, classrooms and tutoring spaces, in addition to the connecting corridors. The school’s administration was looking to create a clean, open space with streamlined visuals that struck a balance between commercial and residential. 

“We wanted something contemporary that didn’t look overly commercial. It was important that the space be relatable to students. Because it was an open design for students to gather, either self-directed or with a tutor, acoustics were also a design consideration,” Nguyen said. 

From there, a combination of familiarity with Karndean Designflooring products and working with the area’s Karndean commercial sales representative led Nguyen to decide on Karndean LooseLay. 

“We knew we wanted something durable and with a thick profile for installation over our existing subfloors. After learning about Karndean LooseLay’s thicker profile and acoustic properties, and seeing the clean lines and texture within the collection, we decided this was the right product for the job.” 

In addition to sleek visuals, Karndean LooseLay planks and tiles measure 4.5mm thick, not only meeting the need for a thick profile, but facilitating a quicker installation as they do not require a full-spread adhesive (although they can be fully-adhered to the subfloor). Karndean LooseLay can be carried throughout large spaces without the need for transition strips and its large-scale format shows less seams when compared with other types of flooring. Equipped with a commercial 20mil wear layer, these planks and tiles will undoubtedly withstand the heavy foot traffic throughout the hallways and classrooms. 

To fit the contemporary theme of the space, Nguyen selected Colorado, a Karndean LooseLay concrete-look tile, for the classroom areas and three colors from the LooseLay Longboard range to be laid in a random herringbone pattern in the corridors. Nguyen worked with the contractor to determine the random lay pattern and went with a 40/30/30 split mix overall.