Choosing the Right Type of Flooring for Your Office
Flooring plays a major role in the design of any office. It’s one of the most visible features of an office’s design and can help influence the overall atmosphere of a space. But as you plan an office redesign, it’s important to remember not to put the aesthetics of a certain type of flooring material above all else.
There are a lot of different commercial flooring options out there and every option comes with its own set of pros and cons. Before you choose the flooring for your new office, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Open-plan offices have been one of the biggest workplace design trends in recent years and it’s a trend that can have a huge impact on every area of your office. When walls and partitions are taken out of the picture, it’s very easy for sound to carry and its important to find other ways to keep noise levels under control. Flooring is just one of those ways. While hard floors give sound something to bounce off of, carpeting helps absorb noise, making it a great option for open offices.
Carpet isn’t the only option for open offices, though. Cork flooring is also great for absorbing noise and some types of hard flooring, such as laminate or luxury vinyl, can be installed with a noise-reducing layer underneath to help control sound.
If you have an open office, flooring can also be used to help provide space definition for different areas around the office. For example, you could use different colors or styles of flooring to designate spaces for things like lounges and collaborative spaces.
The last thing you want is to have new flooring installed in your office, only to have it get worn out very quickly because it wasn’t well suited for the amount of foot traffic a space gets. Flooring options such as concrete, stone, and laminate are all durable options for high-traffic areas.
If you like a type of flooring that’s prone to getting scuffed, scratched, or worn, it may be best to limit it to areas that don’t see as much foot traffic or find other ways to make it work for your space. Real hardwood floors are not recommended in commercial applications as it doesn’t handle impact well, especially from high heeled shoes. If you plan to specify carpet, you may want to consider carpet tile. Accidents happen and it’s easy to just pop a tile out and replace it with attic stock when a stain just won’t come out. If you decide to use broadloom, be sure to check what a manufacturer recommends it be used for. Inexpensive carpets may look nice at first, but will wear much quicker than one manufactured to handle high traffic.
Before you choose your flooring, ask yourself how much time, effort, and money you’re willing to put into properly caring for it. For example, a lot of people absolutely love the look of natural stone flooring, but not the work that goes into properly maintaining it. If this is the case for you, the good news is that there are excellent faux stone flooring materials on the market now. To get the look of a stone floor without the upkeep, you could consider an engineered ceramic tile that looks like stone but doesn’t require the sealing that real stone does.
Another thing worth considering is whether or not a higher upfront cost would be a worthwhile tradeoff for reduced maintenance in the long run. Let’s say you’re trying to choose between vinyl composite tile (VCT) and luxury vinyl tile (LVT). Of those two options, LVT has a slightly higher upfront cost, but doesn’t require any extra care beyond ordinary cleaning while VCT needs to be waxed occasionally.
Purpose of a Space
The way a space is used will have a big influence on which type of flooring is ideal for the area. Do many of your workers use standing-height or adjustable-height desks? If so, carpet may be more comfortable to stand on, or you could provide anti-fatigue mats for people to stand on while working on a hard floor. Ceramic or vinyl tiles are popular choices for cafeterias since they won’t easily be damaged or stained by spilled food or drinks. Entry areas not only need durable flooring, they also need walk-off carpet to help reduce snow, dirt, and water from being tracked throughout the space.
Need more help planning a redesign for a commercial space? Contact Premier Construction & Design, a design-build firm located in Metro Detroit. We’ve been transforming commercial properties since 1987 and would love to hear more about your project. Take a look through our portfolio and case studies to see some examples of projects we’ve worked on.