Most workers wouldn’t give a second thought to what covers the floor of their office or workplace. But for the efficient day-to-day running of any business, choosing the “right” flooring for your workplace could be a surprisingly important decision.
Choose the “right” flooring and you will have a visually attractive workplace which is safe, comfortable, creates a good first impression to visitors; and in its own small way, actually helps employees to get on with their work. Make an ill-judged choice however, and you could end up with a floor that doesn’t stand up to the everyday activity in your workplace, is difficult to clean and maintain, and may actually hinder or endanger employees as they work
This quick guide briefly sums up the pros and cons of the flooring options open to you.
The solid wood floor has been an incredibly popular choice for the home over the last decade or so. Although relatively expensive, it is thought to add more to the value of a home than any other option. But what about in a workplace?
A real wood floor can of course look stunning, especially in a home office or financial / legal working environment. Wood floors are environmentally friendly, easy to clean, durable (especially “engineered wood”), are relatively low-maintenance and keep their good looks for some time. That said, it is always worth taking a little extra care with moving furniture and office chairs on a hardwood floor.
Wood is not such a great choice if there is any danger of liquid spillages or high humidity; which can create expensive damage to your precious floor. Also consider if your workplace needs high levels of hygiene – wood floors do not react well to harsh / wet cleaning agents. Finally, consider if the constant clatter of shoes on a wooden floor may be a noisy distraction in your workplace.
Carpet on the other hand is great at absorbing footfall noise – ideal where employees need peace and quiet to work. A carpeted office has a nice warm welcoming feel and can certainly look impressive. However, do not confuse the plush carpet you may have at home with the far more durable carpets especially designed for use in the workplace. Hard-wearing commercial carpets are designed to cope with the heavy footfall and the wear-and-tear of a working day, and usually come with stain-resistant properties.
That said, carpets generally need more care and attention than hard floors. And also bear in mind how even a small area of staining or damage may require the whole carpeted area to be replaced – with considerable expense and disruption.
Like the more traditional wall to wall carpet, carpet tiles can create a quiet, warm and welcoming work environment. Often a far more practical and budget-friendly alternative to traditional carpet, carpet tiles are well equipped to deal with the demands of workplace life.
As well as being tough and hard wearing, individual carpet tiles can be easily replaced if damaged, with little expense or inconvenience.
Although many modern offices choose to adopt plain grey or dark blue tiles throughout the workplace, the imaginative office manager can use carpet tiles to a more stylish and inspired effect. With a wide variety of colours and designs, carpet tiles can match or complement your corporate colours. Alternatively, a mix of different colours can be used to make pleasing patterns or arranged to make an office look longer or bigger.
Vinyl Floor Tiles
Vinyl floor tiles are now a very popular option for commercial workplaces and offices. Modern high-quality vinyl flooring in particular has the advantage of giving an office the desirable contemporary looks of an authentic wood, stone or marble floor, but at a much more budget-friendly price point.
These days, high-quality vinyl flooring can match or better the durability or real wood or stone. Working well in high-traffic areas, it is easy to keep clean, resistant to spillage and is good at absorbing noise.
In previous times, companies might have had concerns over the environmental credentials of vinyl floor tiles. But modern advances in vinyl flooring should create no obstacles for meeting environmental standards – with tiles now boasting A/A+ BRE Greenguide ratings.
Although it might not have the kudos of a genuine hardwood or stone floor, for many practical reasons, quality vinyl flooring might be the more sensible compromise.
Rubber flooring can be a good choice in busy commercial workspaces. Hard-wearing and resistant to liquids, heat and slipping; rubber flooring is easy to maintain and is excellent at keeping noise levels low. The eco-friendly benefits of rubber can help companies meet their environmental objectives too. And rubber flooring is now available in a wide range of colours for a bright attractive effect.
Of course a rubberised floor may seem a bit out of place for a more sedate “white collar” workplace.
Whatever flooring you are considering to put in a workplace, it is probably advisable to talk to a professional commercial flooring contractor before making your final decision.