Some common areas in high-rise condos have a tougher time than others. Corridors, for example, take a lot of abuse, as carpet stains, fades and wears out fairly quickly, and baseboards and corners get banged up by everyday traffic.
High-rise condo flooring is not something that should be skimped on. Experts say it’s worth making an investment in high-rise condo corridor flooring because it experiences a great deal of wear-and-tear. After all, flooring is walked on every day by anyone who enters or leaves the building.
Floor coverings have come a long way in both development and design, and offer condo boards and managers an opportunity to liven up an otherwise boring hallway. Where once wall-to-wall carpeting was bland and offered few options, today there are a multitude of colors and designs to select from.
Still the number one flooring choice for many South Florida condo hallways, wall-to-wall carpet is affordable, easy to maintain and greatly cuts noise. Plus, it reduces wear-and-tear on underlying flooring materials and adds visual interest. Today’s carpet options can hold up even to the most challenging requirements.
“In public spaces such as corridors, we recommend using wall-to-wall carpet where the original floor isn’t valuable,” says Jeremy Lewin of East Coast Flooring & Interiors. “It reduces noise levels and makes the area look more expansive.”
Before deciding on carpet or any flooring material, it’s important that the condo property manager, maintenance manager and board speak to a qualified flooring expert to understand the different types of carpet. The look and performance of a carpet is determined by its construction, which may be loop, cut or combinations of the two. In corridors, lobbies and other public areas, loop piles of low, dense construction tend to retain their appearance and resiliency and, generally, provide a better surface for the rolling traffic of transport carts or food carts. Cut pile or cut and loop pile carpet are great choices for libraries, offices and board or meeting rooms.
A condo board will have the choice of natural or synthetic fibers. Nylon and olefin are the two leading carpet fibers used in commercial applications, while wool is the leading natural fiber. Synthetic fibers offer greater fiber strength and resistance to soiling, but there are applications where wool is the fiber of choice.
The most commonly used fiber in commercial carpet installations is nylon. Nylon fibers are extremely strong and flexible, and offer excellent wearability, resilience, abrasion resilience, and resistance to oils and chemicals. Nylon fibers do not readily absorb moisture. Most carpets made from nylon fibers are solution-dyed. During the solution dyeing process, the color is added to the nylon crystals before they are processed into individual fibers. As a result, the fibers offer very good color stability and resistance to fading.
Carpets constructed using olefin fibers are less expensive than those that use nylon. Olefin fibers offer excellent resistance to moisture, making them suitable for indoor use. They are chemical- and stain-resistant, but tend to hold more dirt than nylon fibers. These carpets require more frequent cleaning to prevent damage to the surface of the fibers from dirt abrasion.
Wool is the most expensive of the fibers used in commercial carpet construction. The fibers will resist moisture to a point, but will shrink if saturated with water. Wool fibers are more susceptible to abrasion than either nylon or olefin. The biggest drawback is the ease with which the fibers can be stained. Wool fibers hide dirt very well and resist binding to dirt, making cleaning an easy task. It is recommended that wool carpets be cleaned more frequently than those made from synthetic fibers as embedded dirt, while not visible, can readily damage the surface of the fibers.
The maintenance staff should also learn the best and easiest ways to clean and maintain the carpet. Proper vacuuming, for example, is the single most important step to maintaining the life and beauty of carpet. The Carpet and Rug Institute offers tips on cleaning and maintenance as well as an approved list of products to clean carpets.