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How to Get the Most From Your Facility Flooring Budget

Posted on Nov 20, 2015, by Michael Eckert

Before you commit to your next big flooring decision, it’s important to understand how to spend each and every dollar in the best possible way. Today, I’m showing you how to get the most from your facility flooring budget.

1) Take a Holistic Approach to Your Flooring Budget

There’s more to the cost of flooring than purchase price alone. Though it’s often beneficial to spend every dollar of your capital budget, it’s important to think to the long-term, and consider how your flooring choice will impact each year’s operating budget.

There’s no guarantee that that the purchase price of flooring will bear any correlation to its total cost of ownership. For example, vinyl composite tiles (VCT) tend to have the lowest purchase price, but require regular waxing and maintenance. Even within the same types of flooring, the quality of different products (as judged by the appearance retention) can vary hugely; creating massive variations in maintenance spend from product to product.  

As a result, it’s important to be your own advocate for installation and maintenance. Though design partners and architects play an invaluable role in creating the right aesthetic and feel for your environment, after purchase, their role effectively stops. Future costs need to be borne by your organization, so it’s essential to choose flooring that minimizes the hidden costs of installation and maintenance.

2) Identify Your Flooring Priority

There are trade-offs with every flooring decision, and before you spend a dollar of your facility flooring budget, it’s important to work out exactly what you want from your flooring.

For example, many organizations want flooring that excels in both recyclability and durability. However, highly-recyclable flooring has to break-down easily, which in turn reduces durability; and trying to satisfy both of these contradictory criteria can result in a flooring choice that excels at neither.

The same principle applies to design. Bright, colorful and modern designs can work wonders for transforming the look and feel of a space. However, lighter colors can increase the visibility of stains, and the more contemporary a design, the greater the risk it will become unfashionable and outdated a few years down the line.

It’s important to identify your priority - whether it’s longevity, recyclability or design – and understand the potential trade-offs involved with each possible flooring choice.

Thankfully, it’s still possible to be sustainable without highly recyclable content, by instead choosing durable flooring that can be re-used throughout its life-time; and if longevity is a greater concern than design, a more timeless aesthetic may be preferable.

3) Get the Look You Want with the Budget You Have

Innovations in flooring are providing organizations with a growing amount of design freedom, making it possible to get the look you want, with the budget you have.

For example, a high-impact area like an executive office may benefit from a high-end wool carpet, but issues with durability and cost make it impractical to use throughout. However, modular flooring offers a high degree of flexibility, and it’s often possible to combine different types of flooring together.

Hard-wearing carpet tiles can be used in high-traffic areas, and luxury flooring in low-traffic space, and thanks to a growing range of dye technologies, design congruence can be maintained throughout.

4) Understand How Flooring Impacts Your Organization

Your choice of flooring will have a far-reaching impact, and in some situations, flooring expenditure can actually reduce costs in other parts of the organization.

For example, excessive workplace noise can be detrimental to health, wellness and productivity, and many organizations will invest in dedicated acoustic treatments to help reduce noise levels. Though effective, these treatments are expensive.

In some situations, cushioned carpet tiles can reduce the need to purchase expensive acoustic treatments, reducing both ambient noise levels, and in particular, structure-borne sound. The same principle applies to organizations with a low interior décor budget, and colorful, highly-patterned flooring can offer a cost-effective way to create an attractive, welcoming space.

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Topics: Total Cost of Ownership

Michael Eckert

Written by Michael Eckert