When you are building or renovating your commercial space, don’t overlook the flooring. Choosing a functional material is key for an office but don’t forget maintenance and cleaning. We’ll start with a listing of different types of businesses and possible flooring choices. From each of these choices, we’ll discuss the advantages and drawbacks of the particular selection.
Quiet Spaces: Examples include hotels and offices. For example, if you visit a psychiatrist’s office, it needs to be quiet.
Carpet or carpet tiles are the best choice because they provide comfort for guests and patients but also insulate from loud noises.
Advantages: It’s comfortable, there are lots of options, it provides insulation, and people are less prone to slip and fall.
Disadvantages: If you don’t meticulously clean it, it will look dingy in a hurry and it absorbs odours and dirt along with sound.
Loud/Active Spaces: Examples include any kind of manufacturing business, retail, and hospitals. Think of places where privacy and quiet are afterthoughts.
Vinyl floors, rather than concrete floors, work best here.
Advantages: Vinyl flooring is resilient and resistant to damage, including dents and scratches. It’s inexpensive, can be installed over an existing floor, and it’s easy to clean.
Disadvantages: It’s made with some amounts of PVC that emits VOC, Volatile Organic Compounds. If you intend to sell the space or rent it to another business, it needs to suit their needs and vinyl can be a pain to remove.
Somewhere in the middle – One example that comes to mind are restaurants. If it is a high end, fine dining kind of place, it needs to be quiet. But if it is fast casual, it could be quiet but doesn’t have to be. Many fine dining restaurants use window coverings and tablecloths to absorb sound whereas fast casual places keep the food in front of diners and preparation noise is front and centre (Chipotle, for example)
Some fine dining restaurants opt for carpet, but they could also use hardwood or composite flooring and look for other ways to decrease sound such as acoustical tile on the ceilings. Fast casual restaurants use a lot of concrete flooring.
Advantages of hardwood flooring: Easy to clean, looks sleek, relatively durable, most buyers like hardwood over carpet, and it will never go out of style.
Cons of hardwood flooring: It can be scratched if you have to move tables or if your guests wear certain footwear (think hardwood and dark coloured sneakers or high heels)
Advantages of concrete flooring: Easy to maintain, environmentally friendly since most sub-flooring is already concrete so you’re not bringing in another material, and it’s long lasting.
Cons of concrete flooring: This is not a DIY job. You’ll need to hire a professional to install and seal. Concrete does not retain heat very well, so your heating bill may rise. Concrete and comfort both start with ‘Co’ but they are strangers to each other.