South Florida’s hospitality industry is flourishing. Room demand continues on an upward spiral, the cruise industry is strong and restaurants are expected to be busier than ever once season starts. Maintaining a fresh, clean look is a key competitive edge in the South Florida hospitality business.
One of the best ways the hospitality industry can stay ahead is by updating the flooring. Hospitality flooring installation makes a strong statement. Oftentimes, it defines the space. The right hospitality flooring installation can offer the high-end look and feel that keeps guests coming back.
With higher occupancy, comes higher foot traffic. But not every hospitality venue can handle the same material. Hotels require different flooring than restaurants and cruise ships require different flooring for different zones. No matter the venue, hospitality flooring installation must meet the same criterion: it must perform, be slip-resistant and be able to hold up to heavy foot traffic for long periods of time. Because of advances in technology and production, the flooring market now offers a plethora of material options that have dramatically impacted hospitality flooring design and installation.
Carpet plays a major role in the hospitality industry – from cruise ships to hotels to casinos to restaurants. Broadloom and Axminsters with bold patterns still dominate the sector in public spaces, corridors, ballrooms and meeting rooms. These popular carpet installations absorb sound, provide heat insulation and create a safe environment, providing a non-slip surface and the ability to soften any impact. Carpets in general absorb airborne pollutants, allowing for better air quality indoors. Plus, they are easy to clean.
Tribal gaming operations and riverboat casinos favor modular carpet tile installation because it’s versatile and easy to replace. Carpet tile’s growth in the last decade has been driven as much by its rugged construction as by its sustainability and its design and installation flexibility. Engineered to be tough and hold up in high-traffic areas, each piece is dimensionally identical so you get a perfectly “square” job every time.
Also popular in common spaces is hard surface flooring. According to the World Floor Covering Association, this segment of the floor covering industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Fifteen years ago, carpet accounted for 80 percent of the market. Today, it’s down to 65 percent. Improvements in hard floor products have helped fuel the trend.
Following a trend in residential and commercial construction, many new hospitality venues have installed hard surface flooring in their public spaces, especially in the lobby. Many hotels and luxury properties are installing ceramic, marble, wood and faux wood flooring in the lobbies, baths and even the restaurants. Cruise ships are also taking the luxe factor up a notch by incorporating marble, hardwood, tile, and faux wood flooring in their private suites and high-traffic areas.
Faux wood, luxury vinyl tile flooring and vinyl plank flooring have made dramatic strides and are also being used in budget and extended stay hotels, as well as restaurants. Vinyl floor coverings are available in sheet or tile installations. Sheet vinyl is one of the most sanitary and easy-to-clean floor coverings on the market. Unlike tile, it has no joints to trap dirt, and spills can be easily mopped up. Vinyl flooring comes in a wide variety of styles and colors, which can be mixed and matched to create any look. Staff and customers will appreciate the comfortable, soft feel of these floors, as well as its clean, modern look. Vinyl is resistant to damage, but has a short lifespan.
Ceramic and porcelain tile are also widely used restaurant flooring materials because of their strength and durability. Ceramic tile can withstand heavy foot traffic, as well as scrapes from chairs and tables, and it’s unlikely to chip or crack. Tile that is properly installed is also virtually waterproof, making it both sanitary and easy to clean. Because it is made from all-natural clay and sand, tile is also environmentally friendly and does not release harmful fumes or gases into the air. Tile is available in a large variety of styles, colors and textures, allowing restaurant owners to find a style to suit any decor.
While carpet has long been a common flooring material for restaurant dining areas, alternative materials like polished concrete, which is highly durable and easy to maintain, are trending. Concrete flooring is one of the most inexpensive materials available to restaurant owners. It is part of the building’s construction, and when left uncovered, can provide significant savings in materials and installation. Incredibly durable and long-lasting, concrete flooring requires virtually no maintenance. By treating the surface of the floor with a clear seal coat, owners will find that spills and other messes are easy to clean and will not stain.
No matter what hospitality flooring installation you choose, it’s all about durability, timeless design and ease of maintenance.