One might be surprised to know this but the office floors are often the first thing a new walkin might notice. Floors add to the sheen of the office. They are the elements which really makes one’s office stand out. We are in to the business of floor cleaning for commercial and residential spaces. We have seen it all, and with authority we can say that the kind of flooring you have in your office will make all the difference.
According to Verity Hunter the marketing manager at Flowcrete SA a specialist flooring company in South Africa, the African market especially in East Africa tend to use a lot of tiles in offices due to them being fairly cheap. Same is the case in the Indian markets. Cost is one of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to choosing the flooring for office. With China providing really cheap good looking tiles, more and more people are opting for it.
There has been a recent shift towards resin flooring too.Polished concrete finish and stained concrete finish is really catching up globally and in India due to its ease of application and cost effectiveness. The increased demand for stained concrete with an epoxy thin film coating on top is due to companies looking for a more decorative and hard wearing floor finish.
Carpets are time tested office flooring option. The one which is liked by almost everyone. Every office requires sound insulation and carpets are the best noise dampeners when coupled with heavy curtains. However, carpets do need specialized cleaning. They are more prone to staining and let’s be frank here they do attract dirt like magnets. However if the company has a contract with professional cleaners then there is nothing to worry about.
Carpet tiles provide more flexibility because each tile can be replaced individually without any mess and noise. Carpet tiles also come in different styles and patterns, giving the managers a range of choices that reflect the brand and aesthetic of an office. They are relatively easier to clean and manage also. Nothing which a professional cleaning company cannot handle. Carpet tiles also meet the standards of green buildings and use recyclable materials. Hence its a pretty much future proof flooring option.
Carpet tiles possess five fundamental characteristics which makes them the preferred flooring choice:
- Dimensional stability
- Balance between flexibility and rigidity
- Sufficient weight and mass
- Strength of construction
- Colour fastness
Perhaps one of the most popular and cheap form of flooring. Vinyl flooring is just not bad at all. It offers a lot at the price point it comes. It is long lasting, durable, very easy to clean and provides one with lots of design options. A perfect flooring option for commercial spaces which have a very heavy footfall. Places like hospitals, government offices and retail setups can utilize this option. This flooring option also requires minimal maintenance.
Rubber flooring is ideal for high-traffic commercial interior spaces such as airports, healthcare facilities and restaurants. Rubber flooring is durable and is resistant to water and heat and is easy to maintain. Besides being comfortable to walk on, it is slip-resistant and sound absorbent. It comes in a variety of textures and colours.
Well if it’s the class that you want, hardwood flooring is perhaps one of the best options out there. It’s a timeless classic flooring option which speaks about elegance and finesse. They are expensive to install though and do require special cleaning and maintenance procedures to be followed. It elevates the look and feel of the interior design of an office besides being durable and easy to clean. It is a great office flooring office option for areas that have a lot of activity. Even though it faces damage from moisture, choosing a pre-finished floor can help maintain its appearance.
In India Granite and Marble floors are some thing of a status symbol. They are expensive to install and require special cleaning. However they do look great and add richness to the building. The problem with natural stone is that it reacts with the elements hence taking proper care of them is a must.
How to choose office flooring?
We have seen many great office flooring options, however now comes the hard part. How one decides which floor would serve the purpose. Well following points should be considered before making a choice.
- Traffic levels into the office
High-traffic offices require flooring that can withstand the heavy traffic into the offices. University buildings, airports and areas of public congregation often feature flooring types like terrazzo, marble or even granite flooring. These are hard surfaces that can withstand wearing and the heavy traffic into the buildings for years. Traffic levels also depends on the function of the office thus affects the cleanliness and maintenance of the office.
- Repair flexibility
When choosing a type of flooring, the ease of its repair when it starts to wear out should be at the center of focus. An observation into the hallways of most offices reveal that most walking take place in this area and is therefore likely to be the first to wear out. The flooring plan chosen should be easy to repair or replace without inconveniencing the employees, clients and the business as a whole.
- Ease of maintenance
Most of the common types of flooring need significant and a close attention. Spills on carpets for example, need to be removed as soon as possible and vinyl composite tile (VCT) often have to be stripped of old floor finish and replaced with a new one. Terrazzo might also require regular buffing, and marble might require polishing. Therefore, the cost of labour to maintain flooring acceptably over time will be many times the installation cost.
- Rated service life
The life expectancy of any floor surface often depends on issues that the manufacturers cannot predict, such as the level of maintenance for that finish. A well maintained floor type may last longer than the rated life expectancy period.
- Recycling or reusing the flooring
Some flooring types have higher levels of volatile organic compounds than others. The contents of flooring not only have a direct impact on indoor air quality but also on the ability to recycle the end product and the industry’s ability to reuse the end product.
- Money factor
The old saying about penny-wise and pound-foolish is not appropriate when considering the most suitable flooring type for an office. One should consider the life-cycle costs of the flooring types; products with lower initial costs might not remain cheaper over time than products with higher initial costs. Choosing inexpensive flooring plan during the design stage is false savings.
We hope the information furnished provides you with insights on the flooring options and how to choose them wisely.
Source: CLR, Hindustan Facilities & Construction Review