Selecting the Best Flooring for Your Office or Retail Space
When selecting floor coverings for your commercial space, of course you are thinking about style, color and overall impression, but you must also consider the use and functionality of the space. Is your office highly trafficked? Are there areas where people will regularly enter with dirty feet? Is there a need to keep the space particularly quiet, eliminating the sound of footsteps or echoes? Are you looking for a sustainable or environmentally friendly floor?
There are a lot of factors to consider, and each office or retail space is different. Once you've defined the style and color scheme of your space, identify any special needs or unique details, such as those listed above, that impact the flooring decision. Now, keep an open mind on flooring options, as there may be several that will work well in the space.
As a next step, we advise our clients to consider the overall durability of the floor covering, including longevity, colorfastness and ease of stain-removal to name a few. Flooring is an investment, and you want your floor to work for you for as long as possible. In addition, you want to make sure you select the best floor available within your budget.
Event spaces often use dark patterned carpets. There is a reason for this – they hide stains, footprints, food spills, etc. When selecting a carpet for your office or retail space, consider purchasing something with a stain guard already in place. Review, with your flooring consultant, the way in which the carpet fibers were colored. The most colorfast (fade-resistant) carpet dye method is called solution or yarn dyeing. With this method, fabric fibers are colored in a vat of dye prior to being turned into yarn. Then, once the fibers are made into yarn, the yarn is made into carpet. This method insures the most uniform color across the entire surface, and is often selected for commercial spaces.
Other carpet dye methods include:
Jet-Beck - The entire carpet is dyed in a vat under pressure. This method is common and very fast), Kuster Dyeing - The entire carpet is run along a conveyer with the die being applied. If not done carefully, there is a danger of sidematch shading, which means there is a color variation on the edges, making invisible seams during installation nearly impossible.
Beck Dyeing – The entire carpet is placed in a vat of dye and heated for several hours. This method ensures and even distribution of color. Beck dyed carpets are bleach resistant, but the colors may not be as vibrant, and they are also a bit more expensive than other options.
Other things to consider when selecting the best carpet for the space include durability in high-trafficked areas, cleaning methods, height of pile for ease of moving throughout the space – low is likely best, sound absorption and the carpet's effect on the lighting, colors or displays within the space.
Many like the clean appearance of hardwood or other alternatives to carpet. These floors are clean and modern in appearance, and if chosen correctly, clean up easily. Selecting a harder wood will help in the longevity of the floor. Choosing a tile that is not porous will help in reducing stains from things like coffee, ink or food spills. Using a bamboo floor will provide a beautiful floor that is also environmentally friendly. Be careful to select a floor that will not be dangerously slick when wet and one that will not show extensive shoe scuff marks, or is easily cleaned when it does. While none of these floors will be as quiet at carpet, some are far quieter than others. For example, hardwood is going to create less noise in the space than stone tiles. The options for carpet alternatives are vast. Consult with your flooring expert to discover what might be right for your space.
These days, solid wood and ceramic tile isn't the only alternative to carpet for commercial space. Check back for our tips and hints blog for more information on the array of hard surfaces available, or contact a flooring specialist today.
How Much Carpet Padding do you really Need?
Homeowners often have the misconception that a luxurious carpet pad is required in order for their carpet to provide comfort and hold up over the years. Up-selling thicker padding is also a common tactic with some carpet and flooring retailers. As you set out to make your next carpet purchase, keep these things in mind:
Most carpets, like tires and PSI, come with a manufacturer recommendation on the padding thickness and pounds per cubic foot. This recommendation is the padding the manufacturer believes will bring the best results to your flooring project using the selected carpet.
- For residential carpeting, padding as thin as ¼ inch is often sufficient, and is often recommended not to exceed 7/16 of an inch.
- Carpets with a lower pile or a loop construction require padding with less give – less flexibility.
- Using padding that is too thick or too thin for the carpet may result in the carpet becoming loose, rippled or even coming apart.
- Padding not suitable for the carpet can also cause the carpet to wear faster than it would when applied over the correct padding option.
When selecting the best padding to accompany a new carpet project, it's important to keep these things in mind. There are many carpets on the market that offer a sense of luxury, even without a luxurious pad. You want your home to have all the comforts you desire, so discuss your needs with a carpet professional in order to determine which products are best suited for you. As you shop and consider the options, keep in mind that increased padding often means and increased spend on the project. You only want to spend that money if it is truly necessary to maximize the wear on the carpet and comfort within your home.