When renovating an office, your choice of flooring can have a surprisingly big impact on the overall indoor environment, as it's one of the few materials that covers the entire space. To help you make the best choice for your office environment, as well as your budget, we're sharing three of the most common mistakes made when selecting new office flooring - and how to avoid making the same mistakes yourself.
3 Common Office Flooring Mistakes
1) Wrong Flooring Type
One of the most common mistakes organizations make when selecting office flooring is to choose the wrong flooring type - something that simply doesn't work in their office space. This can be a result of spending too much time considering the aesthetics of the space, and not enough thinking about the day-to-day, practical requirements.
For example, the wood flooring aesthetic is extremely popular, but hard surface flooring can be a poor choice for open office environments, which are naturally louder spaces than closed offices, as more people are sharing the same space. In this case, carpet may be a better fit for the environment, as it absorbs up to 3x more noise than hard surface flooring.
Hard flooring also offers very little by way of underfoot support, so it's a poor fit for organizations that have a large number of standing workers, or companies trying to introduce sit-to-stand working as a health and wellness initiative. For organizations where standing working is common, carpet with open cell cushion backing is a smart option: Milliken's open cell cushion backing uses the same technology found in high-performance sports shoes, to reduce muscle strain when standing by as much as 24%.
2) Not Durable Enough
Another common flooring mistake is selecting floor coverings that aren't durable enough for the environment they will be installed in. Again, this is often made when companies focus on how their space will look immediately, rather than thinking about long-term use.
To ensure you select flooring that's suitable for your office space, it's important to assess the levels of foot traffic throughout the space - and to remember this will likely vary in different areas. For example, your lobby will experience higher traffic levels than an executive office or meeting room. So while one type of carpet or hard flooring may be durable enough for your meeting room, it may not stand up to the higher levels of foot traffic in the lobby and main communal areas.
Learn more about the eight most important factors that affect carpet durability.
3) Under-Investing in Maintenance
To keep office flooring looking like new for as long as possible, proper cleaning and maintenance is essential, but it's often overlooked when selecting new flooring.
Some types of commercial flooring require extensive time-consuming and labor-intensive cleaning and maintenance - which can drive up the total cost of ownership.
If your chosen flooring requires more maintenance than anticipated, it can be tempting to have your maintenance team cut corners, or clean less frequently than is needed to save costs. Unfortunately that can seriously impact how quickly your flooring's appearance deteriorates - meaning you'll need to replace it sooner than anticipated.
How to Avoid the Most Common Office Flooring Mistakes
To avoid the most common office flooring mistakes, it's essential that you understand the practical requirements for your flooring, and consider these practicalities in the same way you would aesthetic choices.
As part of this, it's important to consider the entire lifetime of your chosen flooring. While a newly-installed floor will look fantastic, you should consider the cleaning and maintenance requirements, and costs needed to maintain that as-new appearance. If you're considering multiple flooring options, be sure you are taking into account purchase, installation, cleaning and maintenance when calculating the total cost of ownership. This will help you avoid costly mistakes that will affect your organization for many years.