Archives for February 2017

Commercial Flooring Applications: Critical Factors to Consider

Performance, life expectancy and appearance retention are critical when choosing commercial flooring applications. There are several things to consider before the project begins. Proper planning will help determine how to choose the best product while protecting your investment long after the project is complete.

Installing the incorrect product in the wrong place can create many issues. Research on product characteristics will help to mitigate future problems – from the sub floor to surface.

On average, most flooring installations have a life expectancy of 10 years. The lifespan will determine time, complexity of preparation required and the choice of materials needed. These factors will also dictate budget.

The first step requires a site review. The condition of the sub floor will determine if new finishes can be directly installed or if there is more extensive preparation required for a problem-free installation.

Requests for non-glue flooring are increasing, especially in newer buildings that demand raised access flooring. Many of the newer office buildings will not allow for fixed flooring installs. As a result, products like luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and carpet tile are in higher demand as they can easily be removed or reconfigured.

Whatever the chosen material, how it will wear will depend on location. For example, laying hardwood in a main floor office entrance would not be recommended in a climate that has several changes of season. Rain, snow and salt can damage appearance and life expectancy.

Hardwood, Stone and Ceramic – Commercial Flooring  Applications

Hard surfaces such as hardwood, stone or ceramic are appealing, however all of these choices will significantly increase budget. Installation and overall maintenance required will also be more costly. Hardwood requires more expertise and over time will become marred with dents, scratches and scuffmarks. Stone or ceramic can crack or stain, but aesthetically, these are solid choices.

commercial flooring applications - ceramic


Carpet Tiles

Another option is carpet tiles, which can offer greater acoustic benefits. Noise levels are significantly reduced with carpet tiles when compared to any other type of hard surface flooring product. According to the Milliken Flooring Blog carpet absorbs 3x more noise than hard flooring and will also absorb impact traffic. It can increase productivity by offering extra cushioning for employees who spend a lot of time standing.

Commercial Flooring applications - carpet tile

Darwin Fisher: Sheridan Residences Conference Centre

Carpet tile technology has progressed significantly. New pattern matching technology ensures that design and patterns are maintained and the appearance of the finished product resembles broadloom carpet when installed. Carpet tile is ideal for high performance office space, schools, transportation, hospitality, airports, public spaces and retail as it is extremely durable and spot areas can be easily changed without requiring additional installation expertise.


Broadloom carpet is less durable than carpet tiles. Appearance retention can be compromised over time. Stains are an issue as they can’t be spot replaced like carpet tile.

Broadloom also can pose problems with pattern seam matching. There is also more excess waste and delamination can occur. If the carpet and the secondary backing are not attached properly, over time they can separate, causing an installed carpet to wrinkle or fibres to stray and pull at the separation point. The most common cause of delamination is improper formulation or application of the adhesive.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Commercial Flooring applications _ LVT

Darwin Fisher: IMAX

LVT is extremely versatile from a design perspective. It’s a good commercial flooring application alternative as it does not require a high amount of maintenance over its lifespan. It can replicate the appearance of natural stone or wood but will not wear like natural materials. LVT offers superior thermal and acoustic properties in comparison to hard surface flooring. Equipped with a protective wear layer the floor generally needs very little attention to maintain its appearance.

Unlike carpet, which absorbs moisture, these tiles can be slippery even though the product is more slip-resistant than hard surface products. LVTs also don’t offer the comfort of carpet when standing for long periods of time unless used with a cushioning product like Instalay.

There are many decisions to make before embarking on your next project. It’s important to work with a provider who understands the intricacies involved with all types of surfaces, from carpet to hardwood and laminate, to ceramic tile.

All commercial flooring application projects bring varying challenges and understanding the associated details, especially when there can be a lot of uncertainties within a tight schedule, is the first step to protecting your long-term investment.

For a free consultation on your next flooring installation please contact