From offices through to shop floors, the commercial flooring you choose needs to be hardwearing and reliable. High foot traffic, wheeled furniture and even spills can put their strain on the quality and aesthetics of your floor. To maintain your brand persona and the experience customers have when they visit you, it’s vital that your choice is able to stand the test of time. Our guide will help you best understand what to look for when choosing contract flooring and what options exist on the market to date.
What to look out for?
As we mentioned above, contract flooring has very specific and unique needs in comparison to that used in residential properties. This is due to the heavy footfall expected as well as the use of furniture such as letter trolleys, pushchairs and office chairs. Some of the environments where you would expect more durable, contract flooring include:
- Leisure Facilities (eg gyms)
- Retail stores
- Restaurants, Bars and Cafes
- Manufacturing Workshops
In all of these settings, the chosen flooring needs to meet strict specifications and requirements to suit its commercial purpose.
Main features of commercial flooring
There are a number of specific requirements needed from contract flooring that tend to filter throughout the settings we mentioned above. In short, it needs to be:
- Wear and Abrasion-resistant
- Comfortable Underfoot
- Easy To Maintain
Flooring that ticks all of the boxes above will be cost-effective to a business. It provides you, employees and customers with a comfortable environment to walk around in and longevity that minimises the need for excessive repairs.
What are the options?
In truth, you can choose from the entire portfolio of flooring options for your commercial property. However, many are more suited to residential properties due to the speed of wear and deterioration. It’s also worth considering whether there are any specific requirements set out by your industry. For example, in hospitals, carpet presents an infection-spread risk and is not allowed in clinical areas. Equally, commercial kitchens need floors that can be cleaned easily and have exceptional slip-resistant properties.
There are a number of options available on the market that we will look into now.
Commonly found in offices, carpet tiles are a cost-effective and durable way to warm up any commercial setting. As the name suggests, they are individual tiles of carpet that can be laid together to suit any sized shape. They were originally designed to improve the ease with which carpet could be laid in properties before becoming a popular option for offices due to their durability and efficient laying process.
Some of the key benefits of carpet tiles include:
- Robust and Hardwearing
Carpet tiles are able to withstand heavy foot traffic with their low pile, and looped design that minimises wear. Most are manufactured from man-made fibres to help with this strength too.
- Easy to Replace
When damage occurs, single tiles can be removed without pulling up an entire floor filled with carpet.
Carpet tiles can be easily laid in smaller spaces or used in abundance for larger areas. They come in a wide range of designs, materials and colours to suit most spaces. Additionally, tiles can be cut to suit awkward spaces or concealed cabling.
Carpet tiles have a low waste ratio in comparison to traditional carpets. They can also be stored in smaller spaces and transported easily. This makes them considerably cheaper than other options and a choice that requires minimal labour to install.
- Low Maintenance
As we mentioned above, most carpet tiles are manufactured from man-made fibres, making them stain-resistant and easy to clean with a simple vacuum.
In environments such as kitchens, supermarkets and hospitals, the risk of spillages and slipping means that specialist flooring is required. And, this is where safety flooring comes into play. This type of flooring is manufactured to last with anti-slip coatings and an impervious top layer to minimise damage. As each commercial environment requires it’s flooring to suit various needs, safety flooring is largely made-to-order meaning it can be manufactured in different colours and patterns.
Some of the key benefits of safety flooring include:
Even when wet, safety flooring minimises the risk of slipping or unsafe environments. This is vital, especially in environments where employees need to rush around for the safety of others.
Being easy to maintain means that less time needs to be spent cleaning with more effort directed towards the goals of the business. Safety flooring is highly stain-resistant to support this.
Infection control is a key requirement in settings such as hospitals and doctors, helped by antibacterial safety flooring.
- Heavy Duty
Safety flooring is one of the most robust options on the market, designed to stand up to the toughest environments.
Commonly used in environments with particularly high foot traffic, vinyl tiles are attractive and affordable. They have a special chemical composition which makes them exceptionally strong, wearing almost 7 x slower than other options out there. This makes them a cost-effective choice and one befitting the needs of government buildings, offices and museums alike.
Some of the key benefits of vinyl tiles include:
In comparison to other options like stone and wood, vinyl tiles are more comfortable underfoot.
Due to their construction, vinyl tiles are able to withstand high levels of foot traffic on a regular basis. This reduces the need for excessive repairs or full replacements.
- Easy to install
In a similar way to carpet tiles, they are easy and quick to install. This minimises labour costs and makes it easier to replace single tiles, should they become damaged.
- Variety of colours and patterns
No matter the needs of your business, vinyl floor tiles can be manufactured to suit.
When businesses need the most hardwearing option, resilient flooring offers a suitable commercial solution. It is manufactured from a variety of resilient materials including vinyl, linoleum, Marmoleum or rubber, depending on each individual requirement. Particularly in environments with customer footfall such as restaurants, bars and coffee shops, it provides a host of benefits that help to reduce costs for a business. These include:
Resilient flooring is specifically manufactured to offer exceptional durability in order to minimise repair and replacement costs.
With an impermeable surface, spills can be wiped up easily without the water penetrating through and causing serious damage.
- Easy to maintain
The surface of resilient flooring can be vacuumed, mopped and cleaned with everyday chemicals. It is exceptionally stain-resistant and promises to look like new for many years to come.
When it comes to choosing the right contract flooring for your business, it’s important to do the research and trust in the flooring company you choose. Here at Virtuoso Flooring, we have over 20 years of experience and work with some of the UK’s biggest suppliers to bring you the very best. If you would like to discuss your needs or have any questions about the options available, get in contact with the team here today.