Every commercial space has its own uniqueness. Whether you are choosing commercial flooring for a specialty boutique, an office building or a large mall, a commercial space demands high performance, easy maintenance and maximum style to help convey a particular brand experience. Part of that experience is the flooring material used. Flooring requirements for these spaces range from low-cost, high-performance options like VCT to upscale, high-end wood products.
When choosing flooring for a commercial space look closely at how the space is being used. Flooring for a high-traffic area like lobbies and hallways will have different requirements than flooring used in a showroom for a retail outlet. There are plenty of choices in commercial flooring solutions. You have to match the materials to the environment, traffic and use.
When evaluating commercial flooring solutions, it’s wise to consider the following before making any purchase:
Cost: The real cost of the flooring is more than the initial cost of the material. There are many other factors to consider: installation cost, material longevity and maintenance expense. Some commercial flooring materials are fairly inexpensive, but installation costs are high. Other flooring has a high up-front cost, but can last forever. Others are fairly inexpensive but must be replaced frequently.
Maintenance: Maintenance costs are one of the major factors in flooring choices. In some cases, selecting the more expensive flooring option may pay off because it will require less maintenance or repair. On the other hand, less expensive commercial flooring may have additional costs for refinishing, stripping and resealing. Concrete, porcelain or epoxy treated floors are relatively easy to keep clean. Carpeting can simply be vacuumed on a regular basis and cleaned on a monthly schedule. Materials like marble and vinyl may require more labor intensive cleaning and buffing in order to maintain their appearance.
Durability: All flooring is subject to stress. Heavy traffic is usually encountered, and flooring must be resistant to both damage and general wear. Even with regular maintenance many commercial flooring applications will wear out and need to be replaced every few years. The longer the life of the material, the less this will be a cost issue.
Ease of Replacement: The durability of a material can be balanced against how easy it is to remove and replace. While granite is extremely durable it is quite hard to remove. On the other hand, carpet wears out every few years in high traffic applications, yet it is relatively inexpensive to replace.
Safety: One of the most essential considerations in commercial flooring solutions is that the flooring upholds basic safety standards and minimizes the possibility of slips and accidents.
Comfort: Depending on how the environment is used, you may want to use the flooring to create a certain ambiance. Carpet is popular in spaces where you want people to feel warm and comfortable, such as in hospitals or schools. Carpet can also buffer noise. In places where you want to impress, such as retail stores, you may see hardwood, marble, slate or porcelain tiles used in flooring.