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Commercial Flooring: Office Premises

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 19 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Office Flooring Colour Carpet Laminate

Research shows that an office environment can have a drastic impact on workers' productivity and creativity, so whether considering flooring for a home office or professional premises, it is important to give the selection some thought and choose carefully.

An Office Framework

The first thing to think of is the office framework, as this will help you organise your office and maximise your efficiency. The framework will consider your office layout and the choice of large-scale components, such as overall Colour Scheme, furniture, plants, equipment and others. Flooring is naturally one of the most important components as it is one of the largest surface areas in the room (or entire office) and will strongly influence the overall look and feel of the premises. Much of the image that the business is trying to project can be conveyed by the right flooring, for example, luxurious carpet or classic Hardwood Floors for executive prestige, industrial rubber and concrete for high-tech edginess and funky vinyl or Laminate for a relaxed, contemporary feel. Furthermore, flooring can be one way of expressing your company's environmental stance by choosing eco-friendly materials.

Flooring Options

Carpet

For quiet, comfort and executive luxury, it is hard to beat Carpet. Of course, to achieve the right look, it must be good quality, high grade carpet made of the best fibres. To help increase durability, particularly in high traffic areas, choose a carpet which has short, tight piles and level loops.

A good alternative to broadloom carpet which is more affordable and possibly practical is carpet tiles. These give you the look and feel of carpet; luxury without the expense and you can even get very creative by intermixing tiles of different colours and textures to create unique patterns. Most of all, carpet tiles are incredibly easy to install and repair, requiring only the replacement of the few tiles that have been worn, stained or damaged, with minimal disruption to other parts of the office and to staff.

If you're choosing carpet for your office space and you want to maintain your 'green' stance, then think about sustainability, for example, whether the raw materials are artificial, recycled or natural and whether the carpet can be disposed of safely and easily with minimal toxic emissions.

Hardwood Flooring

Again, this is a type of flooring that's hard to beat for timeless beauty and the impression of top quality and class. However, from a business point of view, they are probably one of the worst choices with high initial cost for materials and installation and then high on-going cost in terms of maintenance in order for these floors to look their best over a long period. Strategic placement of rugs can enhance the look of hardwood floors, provide some softness and comfort for feet and also introduce some warmth and texture into the room. They can also protect the flooring from heavy traffic.

Laminate & Vinyl Flooring

A good alternative to hardwood, if you like that kind of look but can't afford the price or want better value for money, is laminate flooring. These floors are designed to cope with continual traffic and heavy wear and tear so are ideal for many commercial premises. Another durable flooring option is vinyl and these can come in a variety of colours and designs that can lend great impact to your office. Naturally, vinyl does not convey the same 'expensive' look, but this image may not always be necessary for every business. Certainly vinyl is one of the most economical flooring options.

Concrete Flooring

A popular choice with many interior designers to achieve that edgy, industrial look desired by some businesses, concrete flooring offers an empty palette to the creative, allowing them to stain and etch it to create very attractive designs. Note, however, that it is very hard underfoot and may not be the best choice if many workers in the office will be on their feet for long periods. Again, like hardwood floors, the addition of soft rugs and mats can help, both increasing comfort and injecting some warmth and texture into an otherwise harsh design scheme.

Environmentally-Friendly Flooring

These include Bamboo and Cork which both come from highly renewable resources and are attractive with many advantageous natural attributes. Cork, for example, is naturally microbial as well as cushioning and insulating to both heat and sound. Bamboo, meanwhile, is stain resistant and actually harder than many of the hardwoods used in traditional timber flooring.

Don't forget to think about installation and repair when choosing your office flooring. Ideally, you want something which can be easily installed, repaired or replaced with minimal disruption to work and so in this case, tiles of materials instead of wall-to-wall sheets can be a better choice. You also need to think long term and decide how frequently you are prepared to invest in office refurbishment and make sure your flooring is durable enough to last according to your plan.

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