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How to Buy Office Flooring for the First Time

Posted on Jun 20, 2016, by Mike Brown

Buying flooring for your workplace can be a daunting task, especially if it’s the first time you’ve been responsible for this type of project. Office flooring is a significant investment, and the choices you make will impact the day-to-day running of your organization for years to come.

To de-mystify the flooring purchase process, I’m outlining 3 simple steps that will help you make the best flooring choices for your organization.

Feature photo: Matter, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Designed by Gensler. Photography by Garrett Rowland.

1) Understand Your Organization’s Requirements

To help you make appropriate choices when purchasing flooring, it’s vital that you have a solid understanding of your organization’s key requirements:

Practical Requirements

There are three primary factors you’ll need to consider when choosing new flooring for your office space: the size of your office space, the level of foot traffic in that space, and the length of time you want the carpet to last. For example, a lobby will have more foot traffic than an executive office, and so will need more durable flooring: something which you can identify by its TARR rating.

Additionally, you may have special concerns to address. For example, if your building has a problem with moisture then you’ll need flooring with antimicrobial properties to help prevent mold and mildew. Or if you’ve got a large, open-plan space then you will need flooring that will improve the acoustics of your space.

Aesthetics

Creating the “right” look can be one of your organization’s biggest concerns during an office renovation.

Your carpet can be a great way to brand your office and inject some personality into the space in a more subtle way than repainting the walls in bright colors. Whether you want flooring in a specific color or you want your logo on your flooring, innovative carpet dye technology can help you create the aesthetic you want for your office.

Once you have a clear idea of your aesthetic requirements, you can talk to your designer about the best way to achieve the look you want.

Budget

Purchase price will be the biggest limitation on your flooring purchase. Rather than simply focusing on the purchase price of your flooring, you will find it helpful to consider the total cost of ownership, including installation and ongoing maintenance costs over the expected lifetime of the flooring.

Taking a holistic approach to your flooring price can help you avoid buying flooring with a low purchase price, and then having to manage unexpectedly high maintenance and/or installation costs that will hit your organization’s budget for years to come.

Learn more: How Much Should Carpet Tiles Cost?

2) Engage A Designer

Once you’ve got a solid understanding of your organization’s business requirements for your flooring purchase, it’s time to engage a designer to work on the project with you.

It’s important that you don’t do so before you understand your organization’s requirements for your project, because until then you won’t be able to properly specify the project with them, and you may miss out crucial practical or aesthetic details that are key to the success of your project.

3) Assess Your Options

Your designer will probably give you a few different options for flooring, based on your primary requirements. While it may be tempting to go straight for the cheapest option, you should consider the following secondary requirements, which will help you select the best option for your organization based on your priorities, rather than being guided just by the price.

  • Durability – how long can your flooring options be expected to last before they become visibly worn?
  • Health and wellness – your choice of flooring can have a surprising impact on the health and wellness of your team. For example, different flooring types will have different acoustic profiles, impacting noise levels and productivity; and choosing comfortable, supportive flooring can make or break beneficial working habits like sit-to-stand working.
  • Delivery and install time and cost – you want your project to be finished on-time, so it’s worth checking the lead times on each of your options. If you’ve opted for a custom design, this is particularly important. Additionally, delivery and installation costs can add up, and can eat into your project budget.
  • Maintenance requirements – some types of flooring require more time-consuming, complex and costly maintenance schedules than others. For example, carpet tiles are much easier and cheaper to maintain than Vinyl Composite Tiles (VCT). This is particularly important to consider as it will affect your company’s budgets every year for the lifetime of your flooring.
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Topics: Total Cost of Ownership

Mike Brown

Written by Mike Brown