Office Flooring Pros and Cons
Choosing commercial flooring can be a difficult task with such a wide range of flooring types available. Each type of commercial flooring creates a unique aesthetic and has a huge impact on the indoor environment.
Today we’re comparing the pros and cons of three commercial flooring types to help you select the option that’s the best fit for you.
LUXURY VINYL TILE (LVT)
- Aesthetics – LVT is available in a range of designs, including natural wood and stone. This means you can create a similar aesthetic to solid wood flooring, but without the inherent weaknesses of real wood.
- Durability – The surface of LVT is protected by a clear wear layer. This protects the designed layer against wear and tear, meaning it maintains its as-new appearance for a long time, without the need for extensive, labor-intensive maintenance.
- Comfort – Like other types of hard surface flooring, LVT leaves much to be desired in terms of underfoot comfort. For organizations with lots of standing workers, carpet may be the smarter flooring choice.
- Consistency – Not all LVT is created equal. One of the biggest inconsistencies is around wear layer thickness. The wear layer protects the design layer against wear and tear, so selecting LVT with the right thickness wear layer is crucial. Thinner wear layers are suitable for residential use, so shouldn’t be used in commercial environments. However, you can also encounter problems with very thick wear layers, as the thickest ones impact design clarity.
- Acoustics – Carpet offers better noise absorption than hard surface flooring, making it the best choice for open office environments.
- Luxury – Broadloom carpet is perceived as a more luxurious carpet option than modular tiles, thanks to its prevalence in residential installations. It’s perceived as being softer and plusher than carpet tiles – though this will vary depending on the carpet construction.
- Can be Wasteful – Broadloom carpet comes in rolls which are cut to fit the rooms being carpeted. This can generate a surprising amount of waste compared with carpet tiles, which come in smaller sizes and so are more easily fitted to the space.
- Design Limitations – Broadloom carpet excels at creating a cohesive, elegant space. However, if you want to use flooring for patterning, wayfinding or dividing spaces in an open working environment, broadloom may not be your best option.
MODULAR CARPET TILES
- Design Flexibility – Modular carpet tiles are available in an extensive range of colors, patterns and designs, and offer the ultimate in design flexibility. You can change tile orientations to create subtle patterning, add accent tiles, or use a different design altogether for space definition or wayfinding.
- Indoor Environment – Modular carpet tiles offer a range of benefits to the indoor environment. They offer the best acoustic profile of all flooring types, thanks to their multi-layered construction. Additionally, some carpet tiles have cushion backing, meaning they’re extremely comfortable underfoot – and have superior appearance retention compared to carpet types.
- Not All Carpet Tiles are Created Equal – There are several different types of carpet tile, all of which have different properties, including durability, expected lifetime and underfoot comfort. It can be difficult to identify top-quality carpet tiles in amongst tiles that won’t perform as well.
- Seam Visibility – Some organizations who are particularly design-conscious may not like the fact that seams can be visible on carpet tiles. However, as carpet tiles offer extensive design flexibility, it’s possible to turn tile seams into a design feature and choose a pattern that embraces, rather than shuns, visible seams.
CHOOSING COMMERCIAL FLOORING
With so many types of commercial flooring to choose from, it’s essential that you understand the top priorities for your organization. If you want to embrace open office working, then acoustics should be a priority. Similarly, if you have lots of standing workers, you should consider underfoot comfort.
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