Choosing flooring for your new office complex is a significant investment. The choices you make will impact the day-to-day running of your organization for years to come, and affect everything from your maintenance budgets to employee well-being.
To help you make the best decisions for your organization, today I'm looking at the five most important things you need to consider when buying flooring.
1) Total Cost of Ownership
When choosing your office flooring, you need to look beyond the initial purchase price. A holistic approach to your flooring purchase will help you understand the total cost of ownership. You need to consider:
- Purchase price – how much will you need to pay for this flooring compared with alternative options?
- Installation cost – how much will it cost to get this flooring installed? Some types of flooring, like natural wood or stone, have particularly high installation costs as they require special expertise, and even similar flooring types (such as carpet tiles and broadloom) can have widely differing installation costs.
- Maintenance costs – how much will you spend per year on cleaning and maintenance?
- Expected lifetime – how long will it be before you need to replace this flooring? A more expensive carpet tile that lasts ten years may be a better investment than a cheaper option that only lasts seven years.
- Warranty options – how comprehensive is the warranty protection offered? In some cases, you’ll need to follow specific installation instructions to ensure you don’t accidentally void your warranty.
2) Maintenance Requirements
A good cleaning and maintenance program is essential for keeping your flooring looking good for years to come. However, maintenance incurs a cost, in terms of materials, labor and time – which is an ongoing expense for the lifetime of your flooring.
- Vinyl Composite Tiles (VCT) requires daily sweeping and mopping to remove dirt, but also regular waxing and polishing to protect the tile from damage
- Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) also needs daily sweeping and mopping, but has a thick transparent coating to protect the tile. This means it doesn’t have the same maintenance requirements as VCT – though it may need re-polishing several times a year.
- Carpet tiles need daily vacuuming, which is much less labor-intensive than mopping and sweeping. Carpet also requires periodic deep cleaning.
You want to be sure that the flooring you’ve chosen will last for years, and still look good. There are many factors that affect the durability of your flooring, including:
- Tile backing / underlayment
- Design and color
- Yarn construction and density
- Soil and stain protection
Understanding the different factors that affect the durability of your flooring will help you make informed purchasing decisions, and looking at the total cost of ownership will help you make a sound investment, rather than being tempted by a low ticket price.
Learn more: 8 Factors that Affect Carpet Durability
Different spaces in your office complex will have different flooring requirements, both from an aesthetic and a practical perspective. When assessing the suitability of your flooring choice for specific areas of your office complex, your two main considerations should be the levels of foot traffic, and the maintenance requirements of that area.
For example, spills are more likely to take place in the kitchen area rather than the executive office, so you may be better off choosing a hard flooring product such as a luxury vinyl tile (LVT) which can be easily wiped clean. And your lobby will have more foot traffic than your executive office, so will need flooring with a higher TARR rating.
Choosing the flooring for your new office complex is an important part of creating the look for your new space. It’s important to consider your aesthetic priorities: do you want to incorporate company branding? Do you want to create a bold design statement that may look out-of-date in five years, or a more classic option that will last ten years or more?
Advances in carpet design technologies mean that there are an increasing number of options available to you. For example, the Digital Dye Infusion (DDI) process makes it possible to create extremely accurate, high-definition patterns and color gradations. Designs can be made to match perfectly from tile to tile, and vary hugely in size – from high-resolution half-inch patterns, to patterns as large as your floor plan.
Discover all the information you need to make the right first choice, and get your free flooring whitepaper below.