Country clubs are taking lessons the hospitality market learned during the economic downturn and incorporating them into their own long-term design plans. Realizing that today’s is about providing members a space that feels comfortable and caters to modern life, country club’s are re-evaluating their material selection and design motif. A big part of this evaluation is the country club flooring installation.
Flooring should be an integral part of the image that a country club conveys to both members and prospective members. And like the hotel industry, country club management should consider country club flooring installation with products that look good longer. For soft surface flooring, that means five to seven years, and seven to 10 years for public space flooring, about the same as hard surface flooring.
The focus and priority should be on country club flooring installation materials that offer durability. Within the hospitality industry there has been a significant shift from soft surface to hard surface flooring. And like their cousin, country clubs are converting lobbies into more of a multipurpose area that is used as meeting space, workspace and social space rather than a formal entry.
With country club flooring installation, management and designers need to consider the long-term impact and how the materials cohesively tie into the design statement. While the country club environment generally reflects its membership and location, that doesn’t mean traditional flooring is required.
Innovative materials that are both durable and sustainable and are used frequently in hospitality are finding their way into country clubs. These materials — carpet tile, cork, luxury vinyl, bamboo and concrete — allow designers to achieve any look and feel with assurance that the material used is durable. For example, wood-look ceramic tile is a great alternative for wood, which has maintenance and durability challenges for a location with high foot traffic. Wood-look ceramic tile provides the same feel on a material that is well-suited to the country club environment.
Carpet tile is another flooring installation material that is trending. While country clubs generally install broadloom and Axminsters in corridors, ballrooms and smaller rooms, carpet tile offers an inexpensive option. Offering the same soft look and feel of broadloom, carpet tiles are far more versatile. They are available in a wide variety of colors, styles and materials and can be installed in any pattern desired. It’s easy to create unique patterns and designs with very little effort. And, in the past few years manufacturers have begun allowing designers to customize colors and patterns.
Luxury vinyl flooring has also come a long way. The newest generation of luxury vinyl tile, vinyl plank flooring and vinyl sheet flooring, is as durable and attractive as any other flooring product on the market. Advances in printing techniques have produced amazing finishes that are increasingly difficult to distinguish from granite, marble, hardwood, slate, bamboo or limestone flooring. And because the design process is limitless and luxury vinyl flooring is one of the easiest materials to install, it is fast-becoming a popular flooring choice in the country club sector.
Linoleum flooring is also a country club flooring installation material that should be considered. Known for its vivid, saturated colors, linoleum flooring is available in traditional marbled patterns, solid colors, contemporary flecked designs and graphic patterns. You can also find linoleum in softer earth tones that highlight its organic qualities. In an older country club, linoleum flooring can complement the original period design. In modern settings, linoleum can shine in radiant colors or be custom-cut to create beautiful and creative patterns on the floor. Among the “greenest” of floors, linoleum is made from natural materials: linseed oil, resins, recycled wood flour, cork dust, limestone and mineral pigments, mounted on jute backing. It’s naturally antibacterial and biodegradable.
Cork is another durable product that is finding its way into country club flooring installation. Used for more than a thousand years, cork has been traditionally used in the United States in libraries and churches. Its shock-absorbent structure means comfort underfoot. It also means that dropped glassware or dishware have less chance of shattering. Plus, its non-slip, even when wet, and has amazing acoustic-insulating qualities. Cork flooring adds a unique texture and look to a room. And thanks to new factory finishes, cork is far more durable than it was just a few decades prior and is available in a variety of patterns and colors.
Country clubs require different flooring for different areas, but it all must meet the same criterion: it must be beautiful, it must perform, be slip-resistant and be able to hold up for long periods of time.