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How Modular Carpet Tiles Can Transform A Hospitality Environment

Posted on Jun 14, 2017, by Michael Smith

Hospitality environments endure high levels of foot traffic for long hours every day. As such, it's essential to select flooring that can withstand the rigors of a demanding hospitality environment, without compromising on design or ambiance. Today we're sharing five factors that make modular carpet the ideal flooring option for hospitality interiors.

Featured image: Muscogee Casino, Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA. Design firm: I-5 Design. Photo by Peter Malinowski, InSite Architectural Photography.

1) Acoustics

Whether you're designing for a busy restaurant or a casino with thousands of visitors each day, it's essential to design with indoor acoustics in mind.

Noise levels can make or break the ambiance of an environment. Diners want to be able to hear one another above the sound of other diners, wait staff, and kitchen staff. Casino visitors want to be able to hear the dealer, their friends, and the casino staff - even with all the background noise from machines and other visitors.

Fortunately, modular carpet tiles can be the best option for reducing ambient noise levels - if you know what to look for. Different types of carpet tile backing have a significant impact on sound absorption: cushion-backed carpet tiles absorb 50% more noise than hardback carpet, which in turn absorbs 3x more noise than hard flooring.

Free Tip Sheet: 7 Little-Known Hospitality Flooring Specification Tips

2) Design Freedom

You can achieve patterns with modular carpet that can't be recreated with other flooring types. Milliken's Digital Dye Infusion (DDI) technology adds color directly onto finished carpet tiles, creating patterns that match precisely from tile to tile and can be as large as your entire floor plan, or as small as a few inches.

DDI technology allows you to achieve a wide variety of pattern styles: geometric, organic and abstract so that you can create a distinctive look through your choice of flooring.

Modular carpet tiles also mean you can add in design elements for practical reasons. For example, you could use different colored versions of a design to create zones within your restaurant, or use accent carpet tiles to assist with wayfinding, directing visitors to bathrooms, information desks or the bar.

3) Easy to Clean

Carpeted floors are easier to clean than hard flooring: vacuuming is more efficient than mopping or sweeping. Cleaning hard surfaces is generally more labor-intensive than carpet. Over an 8-hour shift, it's possible to clean a 21% larger carpeted area than a comparable hard surface – translating into a 21% saving on labor costs.

Carpet tiles often have built-in stain and soiling protection too, making them easier to clean. This is essential in a large hospitality space where spills are likely to occur frequently. We recommend cleaning up spills as soon as possible: Milliken's Stain Smart technology helps spills to bead up for easy cleaning, rather than allowing spills to soak into the carpet. This means you'll need less downtime to deep clean stubborn stains, or replacing carpets that are stained beyond repair.

4) Easy to Maintain

Spills occur more frequently in hospitality spaces compared with other commercial settings, and it's not always possible for your custodial team to clear up spills right away. Stained, damaged or discolored flooring can negatively impact visitors' impressions of your space, making it look less welcoming and appealing.

Fortunately, modular carpet tiles are easy to repair and maintain. It's possible to remove damaged carpet tiles and replace them with spares from your attic stock, allowing you to spot-replace damaged tiles out-of-hours, rather than needing to close for a complete refit.

This ease of maintenance can't be matched with broadloom carpet: damaged sections need to be cut out and removed, and then patched up with offcuts, which creates a patchwork effect that is often more noticeable than the original stain.

5) Durability

With high levels of foot traffic and rolling traffic, hospitality flooring needs to be able to withstand a lot of use.

Different types of flooring provide varying levels of durability. For carpeted floors, modular carpet performs best regarding durability and longevity, but only with the right type of tile backing.

In hard-backed tiles, the carpet’s fibers directly absorb the impact of foot traffic. This damages the carpet fibers, causing appearance deterioration. Cushion backing helps to protect carpet fibers by absorbing some of the impact of foot or rolling traffic.

The most common type of cushion backing is closed cell cushion backing. This works well in the short term, but over time the cushioning becomes compressed, after which it performs the same as hard-backed tiles. The most durable carpet tiles use open cell cushion backing; unlike closed cell cushioning, this backing 're-inflates' after compression, meaning it can protect carpet fibers for longer.

In real terms, open cell cushion backing can extend the life of your carpet tiles by 40-50% over hardback tiles, making it the perfect fit for demanding hospitality environments.

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Michael Smith

Written by Michael Smith