2021 Dental Office Trends: Porcelain Tile Installation Increases

Dental office porcelain tile installation has been increasing as dentists move away from linoleum and ceramic tile applications.

A recent research report from  Research and Markets states that the the North American ceramic tile market size is expected to reach USD 30.67 billion by 2028. It is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.3% from 2020 to 2028. The availability of ceramic tiles in a wide range of products including porcelain, glazed, and scratch-free ceramic tiles, coupled with their superior properties including durability, rigidity, and abrasion resistance, is expected to propel the product demand over the forecast period.

A report highlight states that porcelain tiles dominated the market with a revenue share of 50.7% in 2020 due to superior durability and chemical, stain, mold, and bacteria resistance.

While porcelain tile is becoming popular, low maintenance products like luxury vinyl tile, or  LVT, have also gained influence as a viable solution in this sector based on design aesthetics, ease of installation, cleaning and maintenance.

LVT is a floor surface that is slip resistant and offers smooth transitions from one area to another. These benefits are also inherent to porcelain tile, which is very durable and considered a higher end product.

“Specialized dental clinics are now installing porcelain tile,” says Doug McDonald, President of Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring. “We are seeing porcelain tile installations in orthodontist offices and dental surgeon offices. However, the popularity of LVT in dental clinics is still quite high.”

Dental Office Porcelain Tile Trends

Why is this happening? Aesthetics play a large role as porcelain tile is very easy to maintain and can mimic many different surfaces such as wood or stone. These combined factors have also helped to edge out ceramic. Many of the newer flooring finishes like LVT and porcelain tile are trending because they offer a variety of finishes that are highly scratch resistant, while also providing protection from water damage. They are also easier to clean and require very little maintenance.

dental office flooring trends

Porcelain tile is being installed in dental offices.

Dental Office Porcelain Tile: Six Benefits

Porcelain tile has become more popular because it offers many benefits when it comes to high traffic and long-term maintenance.

1. Porcelain tile is harder and denser than ceramic products and are also highly resistant to damage such as stains, scratches, and chips.

2.  This tile is also frost and moisture proof.

3. As porcelain absorbs very little water, it is much easier to clean and disinfect. If stronger chemicals are required, it can withstand harsher solvents.

4. The finish is protected and requires no polishing, sealing, or waxing and can been cleaned with a damp cloth.

5. Due to the hard finish of this product, porcelain is also a great investment for heavy foot traffic areas, as it is very resistant to wear and tear.

6. Porcelain is digitally printed making the design options virtually endless. Many different types of natural surfaces can be mimicked including wood, stone, and marble.

dental office flooring installation Toronto

Porcelain is Popular but LVT is Still Very Versatile from a Design Perspective

Despite new demand for porcelain tile, LVT is still a highly sought-after material as it can replicate the appearance of natural stone or wood but will not wear like natural materials. It won’t chip or discolour and will not expand and contract as wood does in humid or dry seasons. It can also replicate wood and stone at a fraction of the price. Products made from 100% vinyl and porcelain tile are now classified as green solutions and eligible for LEED points. LVT is also more economical from an initial cost perspective (supply + install) over porcelain tile and ceramic.

Carpet Tile Becoming Less Popular

Darwin Fisher installations used to include carpet tile. That has also changed. McDonald explains that LVT and porcelain tile are now the main installation products of choice. “The odd time a consultation portion of a dental office will have a carpet tile installation, but the majority are simply focused on LVT and porcelain tile.”

LVT is still quite popular as it offers superior thermal and acoustic properties in comparison to hard surface flooring. Plus, it’s easy to maintain and repair. Since the pandemic these flooring options are also more sought after as they are much easier to sanitize and clean making them better suited to the healthcare environment.

dental office flooring trends

LVT Still Remains Popular Due to Application Features

LVT is in demand as there are thicker products on the market. Specifically, 5 MM LVT Free Lay, also called Loose Lay.

There are a few benefits associated with the newer technology:

  • It’s 5 mm thick and offers a cushioned surface which is ideal for hygienists and dentists who are on their feet all day.
  • Like traditional LVT it wears well and is durable while offering ease of maintenance.
  • After installation, if an accident occurs, the modularity of LVT loose lay flooring systems offer an easy way to isolate a damaged area and provide the flexibility of spot repair rather than having to replace the entire floor.
  • It is aesthetically pleasing as there are many different designs and colours available to meet a variety of project installation needs from a design perspective.

Dental Office Trends: LVT Has Benefits in Terms of Standing

Loose lay LVT has many of the same performance attributes of traditional LVT but goes above and beyond with other benefits that make it a better option. Loose lay is also fast becoming an ideal product for raised access flooring that are typical to new office builds. It can be easily removed and replaced when needed to areas that require constant or frequent access. Its flexibility allows it to be adapted to be installed over other existing flooring materials for retrofits. It is also now thick enough that it can be laid to be flush with other products in the area such as carpet, hardwood or tile if required for transition areas in dental office flooring.

Due the fact that it requires minimal adhesive when compared to traditional LVT, Loose lay has also become the preferred flooring choice as it is easier to install, remove and replace in terms of maintenance and spot fixing if required. Loose lay also offers better acoustic properties than traditional LVT. The thickness and textured surface help to absorb sounds which is also ideal for optimizing privacy between patient examination areas.

dental office trends

Dental Offices Continue to Have a Residential Feel

One of the first concepts to consider before all else is the flooring for a new build or retrofit. It will dictate the tone as it will set the style and comfort a dentist wants for his/her patients.

As you can see from the pictures that accompany this article, dental offices are no longer cold and clinical. There have been many changes over the past several years and it all starts with the flooring.

For more information about dental offices and flooring installation solutions please contact info@darwinfisher.com

To see a related article regarding commercial flooring trends, click here.