Flooring makes a strong statement. Oftentimes, it defines the space. With higher occupancies, comes higher foot traffic. With commercial flooring spaces there are a variety of factors to consider, including cost, durability, strength and maintenance.
With commercial flooring the first thing that you want to do is consider the specific application that it will be used for. Flooring for a high-traffic hallway has different requirements than flooring placed in a retail outlet. Here’s a look at some of the more common materials used for commercial flooring spaces:
Vinyl: Vinyl is a popular flooring material for many commercial applications. It is water-resistant and requires low maintenance, and it is relatively durable. Vinyl is available in a wide variety of colors, textures and style options, including the look of wood, stone, terrazzo and concrete. Commercial vinyl flooring is available as a sheet, tile and plank. Sheet vinyl is available on large rolls, typically 6 feet in width. Some vinyl sheets are seamless. Vinyl tile is typically 12 by 12 inches and can easily be cut and assembled into colorful and decorative patterns. Vinyl tiles have high resilience to abrasion and impact damage and can be repeatedly refinished with chemical strippers and mechanical buffing equipment. If properly installed, tiles can be easily removed and replaced when damaged.
Linoleum: Linoleum is a high-quality commercial floor covering that comes in sheet rolls and tiles. Designed for high traffic-areas, it requires low maintenance. Very similar to the installation of vinyl, in sheet form it requires some careful cutting, while the tiles are relatively easy to install. Though water-resistant, linoleum is susceptible to moisture damage, and has to be treated with a surface sealer after flooring installation. When installing tile it is also important to ensure that the seams between tiles are as thin as possible, and are properly protected against water penetration.
Commercial Carpet: Specifically designed for high-traffic areas, commercial-grade carpet is one of the most durable and cost-effective flooring materials on the market. Its benefits are vast, including beauty and style, cushions slips and falls, reduces noise, maintains appearance and saves money over time.
Commercial Carpet Tile: Carpet tile, also known as modular carpet, is engineered to be tough. It offers many advantages: it’s easy to install, easy to clean and offers infinite design flexibility. It can be combined with other floor coverings to create a unique look. Whether it’s cushioned-backed or hard-backed, carpet tile holds up in high-traffic areas, including retail spaces, corporate offices and stain-prone restaurants. If you get a tough stain, just pop out the tile and clean it. Or, you can replace one tile – not the whole room. And because each piece is dimensionally identical, you get a perfectly “square” job every time.
Commercial Tile: Commercial tile is ideal for high-traffic areas such as large stores, supermarkets, schools, restaurants, kitchens and even hospitals. Commercial tiles are available in a wide variety of styles, sizes, shapes and structures. Tile can stand up to heavy foot traffic and new glazing methods have created surfaces that are impervious to stains and scratches. Tile is easy to clean and maintain; damaged or worn tiles can be easily replaced.
Commercial Hardwood: Hardwood flooring for commercial spaces has never been more popular. Hardwood brings an elegant, sensual aesthetic appeal to any interior. Hardwood flooring is easy to clean and a durable option that will last a long time if maintained. This type of flooring is available in different woods, including ash, oak, maple, cherry, walnut and hickory. It is also available in different finishes.
Stone: Stone flooring is chosen for not only for its character and beauty, but also for its durability. Natural stone can be found in upscale malls, department stores, in the lobbies of corporations and other commercial spaces. Because natural stone is porous, it requires a combination of regularly scheduled professional maintenance and careful attention. With the right professional care, stone floors will sustain their beauty for a lifetime.