Commercial flooring has a lot of delivery points it needs to meet. First, there’s the traffic factor. Any commercial flooring that will see a lot of footwork is going to take a beating. The materials used have to be up to the task and don’t start wearing down after a few months of application. Second, it needs to be easy to clean, which goes hand in hand with the first criteria. Third, it needs to be resilient to occasional pressure application, such as heavy weight movement. It doesn’t hurt that the flooring actually looks attractive as well. While the above might be easy to write down as a criteria list, it’s a tall order to deliver on. No surprise, a number of flooring choices fall out of the mix, unable to meet these demands.
Choosing the wrong flooring type can be costly. Not only is there a sunk expense with the original installation and product, but then it has to be significantly repaired too early or outright replaced again. By the time the mistake is corrected, a facility owner may have ended up paying for the floor twice over. So, it’s not worth cutting corners for what might seem like immediate discounted savings. They are illusory. To avoid this kind of pitfall, knowing the type of commercial flooring available and how it can be used is critical before making a commitment and purchase through a professional carpeting installer, such as S & R Carpets and Floors.
Commercial SPC Vinyl Flooring
The technical name is a bit of a long one: stone plastic composite vinyl flooring. It hits the big three criteria right from the start by providing incredibly high-performing durability, a resistance designed for high traffic, and a 100 percent resistance to water and moisture, i.e., waterproof. The production of SPC vinyl flooring is done via layering with a core layer, then a vinyl layer, and finally the resistance wear layer at the top surface. The options available for SPC commercial are robust and varied. One can get SPC vinyl resembling tile, wood, stone, and a variety of other appearances as well. Most important, the appearance doesn’t wear down or dull in the high traffic zones where the flooring is laid out. It’s an ideal commercial choice for restaurants and hotels as well as kitchens, bathrooms, and medical offices.
The flooring comes in planks or tiles and utilizes an interlocking connection feature which contributes to its water resistance. In addition to all the above, SPC commercial vinyl also comes with positive sound muffling benefits, which makes the flooring a great choice for multi-floor projects and the need to absorb sound from one level to the next.
Commercial Laminate Flooring
Laminate leads the charge right behind vinyl when it comes to durable, water-resistant flooring, and commercial laminate offers a competitive option with a very attractive price point. While not 100 percent waterproof, commercial laminate does very well in high traffic zones, and it provides a wider array of flooring appearance choices and applications. Many of the selections replicate hardwood flooring, a high demand appearance factor even businesses like to have to appeal to customers visiting locations. Laminate has a high resilience and fends off scratches and stains extremely well. And where there is a lot of sun exposure, laminate performs better without fading from UV light than vinyl does over time.
Commercial Vinyl Sheet
Reminiscent of the early vinyl flooring folks over 40 remember growing up with at home, commercial vinyl sheet flooring provides the benefit of vinyl applied over larger surfaces. When a facility needs a new flooring choice that has to cover a larger area with a budget-conscious price point as well as performance and hold up, vinyl sheet flooring comes into play.
The best approach is to focus on the thickness of the commercial vinyl flooring chosen. At a minimum for high traffic applications, the flooring should be rated at 15MIL and even better closer to 20MIL thickness. The flooring is applied by adhesion, glued down to a base floor such as a cement foundation. It is seamless and consistent across the flooring area, which is ideal for cleaning and sanitized environments such as hospitals and schools.
While the maintenance of commercial vinyl flooring is fairly easy because of its durability, repair or replacement can be a challenge. Generally, an entire floor area has to be stripped of the old layer and a new one applied. This could be a significant project, and the older flooring style may not be available any longer, requiring a full changeout.
Commercial Floor Tile
Another choice hitting critical criteria right up front, commercial floor tile scores top marks in being 100 percent waterproof, great appearance, and high durability. Made from porcelain or ceramic, tile has long been a standard commercial flooring choice, particularly for high moisture-risk environments. Tiles handle a significant amount of wear without problems, and their modular approach makes it easy to repair and replace without having to do a wholesale flooring project after the fact. Commercial tile also offers the ability to mix and match versus sticking with just one choice, and that can create some very interesting and unique flooring designs that are also high performance for traffic and usage. Tile flooring finds its best commercial application in spas, kitchens, bathrooms, restaurants, lobbies and similar.
The installation of tile can be a bit labor intensive. Each unit has to be set in mortar and placed. That includes floor leveling and preparation before the flooring itself is applied. For upper levels, underlayers can be required as well for a good adhesion surface. Cost-wise, however, tile tends to be far more affordable than other commercial flooring and lasts incredibly long.
At first blush, carpet wouldn’t be what people think of for a high traffic application. However, carpeting can be both durable as well as attractive. Many ultra-durable options exist on the market today, and they have an extended life capability over the normal carpeting people think of in a home application. Most times, commercial carpeting comes in a tighter loop format known as Berber. The weave is tight and thick, providing a viable layer that can be both attractive and high performing at the same time. With a rubber underlayer, commercial carpeting can provide sufficient cushion as well as sound dampening as well. Most times, the flooring choice is applied in tile format, which also makes it very easy for maintenance and repair without having to replace the entire area.
Commercial carpeting has found regular application in meeting rooms, office and hallway areas, gyms, schools, apartments, and rental homes. The installation can be a bit of work, but it’s worth the trouble. In most cases, the tiles are glued down with a strong adhesive to insure placement. While the flooring is not ideal for easy sliding of heavy equipment and furniture, simple precautions like moving discs make such activities easy and doable without damage over commercial carpeting.