Commercial Flooring Trends – Out With the Old In With the ?
Flooring in commercial sector has a much different purpose than flooring in residential settings. Home flooring is generally chosen for luxury and aesthetics. Commercial flooring, on the other hand, is chosen for its performance and maintenance requirements. Simply put, commercial flooring is installed based solely on its ability to withstand rugged wear and tear, high foot traffic, and daily spills.
At least that was the case yesterday. Modern advancements in commercial flooring are making design more accessible, with interesting textures, patterns, shapes and color options. The best part is that these improvements come without sacrificing performance.
The Old (Safe) Guard
For decades, the go-to flooring in the commercial industry has been monotone 12” X 12” tiles – not exactly awe-inspiring. There were three main reasons for using these tiles: 1) they were virtually indestructible; 2) they were very easy to maintain; and 3) commercial flooring only had to be practical, not pretty.
The first two reasons will always be current. Durability and maintenance are primary concerns for commercial properties. But the third reason has gone by the wayside. Today, modern design matters.
New Design Trends
The main problem with 12” X 12” cream speckled tiles is that they’re a constant reminder to customers and employees that they’re in a commercial setting. The old argument was that commercial buildings weren’t designed for comfort. Don’t businesses want customers and employees to feel invited? It turns out they do.
Many businesses have found great success implementing these simple new design trends into their commercial buildings:
Reinvent Traditional Patterns
We’re not about being anti-12″ tile. Their functionality is superior. By simply replacing some of the monotone tiles with different colored tiles, commercial spaces can be entirely transformed. Consider selecting an accent color, perhaps one that is used in artwork or on the walls. It helps to get creative and place the color tiles strategically, so that they look like intentional design elements. When done this way, 12″ tiles can be one of the most striking flooring options available.
Rectilinear Hexagonal Shapes
One of the simplest ways to improve the look of square tiles is to change their shape. Rectilinear hexagonal shaped tiles are 6-sided hexagon shapes that are formed in a straight line. The hexagon patterns provides a subtle yet significant update. Since the shapes can align with each other in a number of different ways, color-blocking patterns can be created to add contrast and drama.
Striated Tiles and Striped Carpet
Linear patterns are popular in commercial design for a number of reasons. They make spaces appear to be larger, for one. Linear patterns also act as a subliminal guide for visitors, leading them through your space.
Striated tiles feature linear grains with markings on them. These tiles set a luxurious tone in a commercial bathroom or meeting room.
When tile isn’t an option, striped carpets provide a unique and durable alternative. Hotel owners might apply striped carpets to stairways to make the environment look more grand.
One thing commercial property owners and managers have a hard time justifying is investing large sums of overhead into flooring, which has no measurable ROI. Laminate flooring imprinted with the looks of wood, granite, or stone can be installed for a fraction of the cost of other options. Modern technologies have made the photographic prints more realistic than ever, with laminate coating is stain-proof.
The “Hot 4” Materials
If you’re looking for additional flooring options, the four materials listed below are unique and stylish with great performance and durability.
The ultimate combination of durability and beauty has to be terrazzo flooring. This is a flooring that’s here to stay. Terrazzo is a composite material poured into the surface on-site. With terrazzo, surfaces, textures and finishes can be customized by incorporating quartz, marble, granite, or glass into the material. Terrazzo can be also used for retrofitting a commercial building, with hints of marble and quartz sprinkled through the terrazzo tile that will replicate the same elegance as actual marble and quartz, at a much more affordable price.
There are certain commercial settings where carpet is much more desirable than other flooring materials. Some of these applications include hotel rooms, offices, and other businesses where sound absorption and foot comfort is a priority.
Laying carpet rolls is risky because if one section becomes damaged the whole piece must be replaced or patched. Carpet tiles provide a much better option, with interlocking grips that make them easier to install the carpet rolls. Because they are tiles, the same color blocking methods discussed above can applied for endless design variations.
Resilient, or vinyl, flooring is well known for its durability, affordability, and maintenance. Modern resilient vinyl floors have the same performance attributes that made the material so popular 30 years ago. What’s new today is the high end design. Today’s resilient flooring has been reinvented with modern images that can replicate hardwood, stone, and granite. Textures can be even added in for additional authenticity.
For heavily traveled commercial areas with extremely high foot traffic, polished concrete flooring may be the best solution. Polished concrete is one of the most affordable surfaces on a per-year performance basis because it will last for the entire life of the building.
Polished concrete has an unmistakeable shine and can take on a variety of colors for limitless design options. Often times, polished concrete is an affordable alternative to marble flooring. It reflects light and so can used to soften and brighten commercial areas.