Choosing the Best Commercial Flooring System

Choosing the Best Commercial Flooring System | Duraamen Engineered Products Inc

When it comes to commercial flooring, every business has unique needs. But with so many flooring options on the market, it’s hard to know which type is the perfect fit for your project.   

Here we look at five popular types of commercial flooring and what to consider when choosing between them. 

What is commercial flooring?

A commercial building is one used by a business to make money. That sounds like a broad definition, and it is: commercial premises include offices, stores, malls, restaurants, bars, hotels, stadiums, and the list goes on. 

Commercial flooring is any flooring fitted in premises like those above. Given the massive range of potential uses, commercial flooring can vary greatly in terms of material, style, and cost.

Commercial flooring types 

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is a commercial flooring system that has become more popular in recent years. The vinyl flooring is comprised of several layers, the uppermost being a UV-cured urethane topcoat. The use of strengthening layers makes LVT more resistant to physical and chemical damage than other types of vinyl flooring. 

LVT is generally made to mimic traditional flooring styles like floorboards (in which case the material is bought in long strips) or ceramic tiles. 

This commercial flooring system is more durable than other vinyl solutions but will still need replacing after about 20 years. 

Vinyl Composition Tile 

Vinyl composition tile (VCT) is a low-cost alternative to LVT and is mainly composed of PVC chips but without the protective top layer used in LVT. As it is softer than other flooring materials, it can be used to minimize the noise of foot traffic. 

VCT is far less durable than concrete flooring and may be preferred for short-term business enterprises where the lifespan of the tile (around 10 years) is acceptable and where the priority is to minimize up-front costs.

Polished Concrete 

Polished concrete is a resilient commercial flooring system widely used in spaces like offices, stores, restaurants, museums, and warehouses. Polished concrete flooring typically consists of several layers, such as underlayment, overlay, and sealer or topcoat. Before the topcoat is applied, the concrete overlay is polished with a buffer to achieve a smooth finish. 

In commercial settings, polished concrete is highly durable, making it resistant to foot traffic, tires, heavy objects, and chemicals. It also has a very long lifespan, lasting between 20 and 100 years. Another significant advantage of commercial polished concrete flooring solutions like Terrazzi is their low maintenance requirements. Unlike comparable solutions, polished concrete does not require waxing or intensive cleaning, only wet mopping.

Stained Concrete 

Stained concrete is another concrete flooring solution often requested by commercial clients. Concrete stains provide long-lasting, fade-resistant color, allowing businesses to precisely control the aesthetic of their environment. 

An advantage of stained concrete is that colors can be applied to new or existing concrete. Applying a stain to an existing concrete floor can therefore be highly affordable. 

Concrete stains typically fall into one of two categories: 

  • Dyes: Concrete dyes absorb deeply into concrete, providing a transparent color to its surface.  
  • Water-based stains: Mixable and available in a wider range of colors than dyes, water-based stains do not contain harmful chemicals.

Epoxy Flooring 

Epoxy flooring is a commercial flooring system available in a range of styles and colors. Typically applied over concrete, the epoxy mixture — made up of polymer resins and hardeners — also works over other substrates like plywood or ceramic tile. 

The Perdure High-build Epoxy Coating Kit and the Perdure Self-leveling Epoxy Floor Coating Kit protect commercial floors for impact, wear and abrasion while also providing a variety of colors to choose from.

Commercial Flooring Considerations

Choosing the Best Commercial Flooring System | Duraamen Engineered Products Inc

Commercial flooring requires a different set of considerations than residential flooring. Before aesthetic considerations come into play, floors in commercial spaces need to be functional and durable, as they tend to experience heavy foot traffic and often receive more spills and scrapes than a family home. 

Utility

In commercial spaces utility is paramount. While a vintage tile system might look great in photographs, the business will suffer if its flooring is susceptible to damage and regular maintenance costs. First and foremost, commercial flooring needs to have material characteristics suitable for the space. A commercial kitchen floor should have excellent chemical resistance as it will need regular cleaning with high-strength cleaning products. A hair salon floor should have a smooth surface — as opposed to a textured or carpeted one — as it will need to be swept. Meanwhile, warehouse floors should prioritize durability, as workers may use heavy machinery to move inventory. 

There are various ways to assess the utility of flooring. For example, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has a standard for testing how floor coverings perform under the movement of a castor chair

Budget

Budget is a key consideration for commercial flooring systems. However, businesses need to consider long-term expenses, not just the cost per square foot of the flooring material. 

Other budgetary considerations for the client include: 

  • What is the estimated lifespan of the flooring and how soon will it need replacing? 
  • Will the flooring require intermittent sanding, varnishing, or other maintenance? 
  • Is the floor easy to clean? Will it require one hour of paid labor to clean or three hours?

Aesthetics

Although less important than function and price, aesthetics are a high priority in commercial spaces like stores, hotel lobbies, and restaurant dining areas. Choosing the right style of flooring is arguably more important than other elements like walls or lighting, as these are easier to replace or revamp. When considering aesthetics, it’s important to evaluate which type of flooring will be visually appealing to clients as well as how the style will hold up over time. If your client’s company is light-heartened and creative, consider a bold floor design using metallic epoxy. If your client wants to have a traditional clean aesthetic look into simple polished concrete. 

Striking a Balance

The best commercial flooring system is one that meets the needs of the client. It should achieve the right balance of function, affordability, and aesthetics, and should be customized to fulfill any color, finish, and hardness requirements. 

Use Duraamen’s high-performance commercial flooring solutions for your next commercial flooring project.


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