2023 Top 5 Office Design Trends – From Floor to Ceiling

The 2023 top 5 office trends are based on creating dynamic hybrid environments that are designed to retain existing employees while attracting new ones.

For many employers, the start of the pandemic created changes that were based on cost-effective, short-term refurbishments to improve spaces with a ‘wait and see’ approach to the evolving pandemic. As stability improves, companies are looking to make long-terms change to appease employees, boost performance and overall productivity.

2023 office design trends

Being present in the office full time has become a thing of the past as the new hybrid model is now expected to be the norm. As the demand for workers continues, talented staff are in a position to choose a company that provides them with the flexibility demanded or they will seek another employer.

As a result, employers are trying to entice employees back into the office through these 5 top office design trends:

1. 2023 Top 5 Office Design Trends – Downsizing of Office Space

Many employers are downsizing their buildings and related space to cut real estate costs, and using these savings to invest in their employees.

Decreased operating costs have translated into employers offering new features and increased amenities, through repurposing existing spaces. Open floor plans with a reduction in cubicles allow for the provision of both dynamic workspaces that offer modular couches, chairs, benches, and recreational games tables and other perks.  These new areas consist of cafes, glass partitions and meeting rooms or lounge areas that combine the amenities of home, combined with Zoom booths, phone booths and open planned desks.

2023 Office Design trends

2. 2023 Top 5 Office Design Trends – A Collaborative Hub

While staff now complete much of their focussed work from home, there is still a need for office areas free of distractions. According to Workplace Trends – “Email alerts, social media, people walking by and colleagues on the phone… The list of distractions goes on… This constant stream of disruptions in the workplace are not only annoying, but they are also costly for your business.”

Further research from Visualistan suggests that:

  • An average of 2.1 hours is lost daily because of distractions
  • The average time spent on a task before we get distracted is 11 minutes
  • The amount of time it takes to return to a task after a disruption is 25 minutes

An area that is distraction-free, both acoustically, and visually, is essential. Many office-based workers spend much of the day working in small teams, where they need to be able to communicate but don’t need to be together the entire time. This hybrid of focussed and collaborative work is known as semi-collaborative. This agile kind of working approach has significant benefits for the productivity of employees while providing a unique setting to think, learn and grow.

2023 top office design trends

Employers are now providing these environments to:

  • Provide flexibility
  • Promote collaboration
  • Strengthen company culture
  • Boost productivity through creativity
  • Change work locations to help employees move freely around the office

 

3. 2023 Top 5 Office Design Trends – Options are Key

Open space design offers versatility and productivity which all starts with the flooring.

Whether it’s the floor layout, wall or a living wall, variety is important. This extends to colour scheme options.  No longer are we seeing dull greys and muted offerings. Inspiring colours, starting with carpets, LVT with differing shades on walls to match for keeping stress levels low, prioritizing calm and relaxation or promoting energy.

Neon signs, patterns on the floor, bold paint on the walls and more lively design motifs are becoming standard. Beyond the floors and walls, pops of patterned or bright furniture is also being used to compliment and brighten spaces.

Large format graphics communicate company culture, mission and values and bright uses of large decals  provide brand messaging, inspirational quotes or simple way finding.

Natural light has also become an important part of office redesign which is why glass partitions and doors have become popular as they offer privacy when needed.

Glass partitions glass walls

4. 2023 Top 5 Office Design Trends – Smart building technology

In 2023 and beyond, office technology is about more than laptops and cloud-based systems. Employees now need the ability to carry out high quality hybrid meetings with colleagues and clients across the globe. In the years to come, smart offices will become increasingly popular.

Smart building technology is also transforming the employee relationship with the office. Resource booking software will enable staff to book lockers, desks and hybrid meeting suites. Smart access control systems can enable staff to access areas securely and safely, all controlled by their smartphone. Not only do staff have a better workplace experience, but employers can also gain a better understanding of how people work, enabling future ways to improve the office.

2023 office design trends

5. 2023 Top 5 Office Design Trends – Smart building technology

Sustainable office design has become the new trend for 2023 as businesses source materials from close by reducing the carbon footprint. Recyclable materials have become popular, saving money in addition to using repurposed materials fashioned into stylish, and colourful designs that can brighten up the workplace.

Adding greenery and natural elements into the office have also been a trend that has been shown to improve employee morale.  The incorporation of plants, living walls, wood and stone, water features, water falls for visual impact all while making use of natural light where possible. Natural light is one of the top demands in today’s office interior design as it helps with connecting employees to the outside world.

Many of these office have adopted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) which has emerged as the leading and most recognized worldwide, green building rating and standards certification system that has provided construction and design specifications to create healthy, highly efficient, resource-conscious buildings.

LEED buildings are constructed to use resources wisely and are less costly to maintain. They are also designed to maximize employee health and productivity by using “fewer resources, reducing waste and negative environmental impacts to decrease lifecycle costs.”

flooring contractors

Design is now encompassing that all possible materials are sustainable. Using FSC certified wood, and non-plastic-based carpet and vinyl flooring are two simple ways to make a difference. Some simple things include:

  • Low VOC flooring and flooring that gets LEED points
  • Water saving features in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Energy efficient appliances for lounge and kitchen areas
  • Energy efficient printers, vending machines
  • Installation of Light-Emitting Diode (LED) light fixtures

Companies are searching for ways to make the office more energy efficient and worker friendly.

This is not achieved simply by recycling anymore; it includes initiatives like the  WELL Building Standard – that extends beyond the building to its inhabitants. focus on the holistic well-being of building occupants which incorporates sustainable design to improve the quality of water, light, and air. See our recent article here.

2023 Top 5 Office Design Trends are Here to Stay

Though there are many overall factors that contribute to office design, these five trends will continue into 2023. As a result, adapting to the new hybrid reality will continue to be the dominating design as the benefits of a hybrid design are threefold: talent attraction & retention, staff productivity, and company performance.

2023 commercial office design trends

What is key is that nearly all focussed work is now done from home, making the new office is being designed to facilitate collaboration and communication that can’t be done effectively at home. This has largely contributed to the modular construction that is designed to support many different working styles — from collaborative teamwork — to singular productivity while reducing carbon footprint from floor to ceiling.

For a free consultation on 2023 office design trends and your next sustainable flooring installation please click here.

Sustainability and Well Buildings

When it comes to sustainability your building or the building you work in may be green – but is it well?

Darwin Fisher works with architects, designers, flooring manufacturers and builders that understand and implement sustainable solutions. This industry demands staying abreast of changes in building standards and how they relate to both the environment and people. The following is a high level overview of how sustainability has progressed over the past 25 years.

sustainable porcelain

Sustainability and building design

Sustainability: A Brief History Starting with Buildings

In the past the sustainability movement began with the focus soley on building efficiencies standards. In 1993, over 25 years ago, the origins of this movement began with the founding of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC ). This is also when the development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard began.

LEED emerged as the leading and most recognized worldwide, green building rating and standards certification system that provided construction and design specifications to create healthy, highly efficient, resource-conscious buildings.

Today’s LEED buildings are constructed to use resources wisely and are less costly to maintain. They are also designed to maximize employee health and productivity by using “fewer resources, reducing waste and negative environmental impacts to decrease lifecycle costs.”

sustainability and flooring solutions

Sustainability and WELL Building certification

The Benefits of Sustainability: LEED Certification

According to the organization’s website, there are various benefits of being a LEED recognized organization, including:

  • Faster lease up rates
  • Higher resale value
  • Healthier indoor space
  • Lower use of energy, water and other resources
  • Better for building occupants, the community and the environment
  • Enhances brand
  • Establishes company as a leader in green building
sustainability and LVT

Sustainable building design

Over the past several years there has been continued emphasis on creating better designed, more healthy workplaces to increase collaboration, productivity and overall wellbeing. New research has given way to the next phase of the sustainability movement launched in October 2014. After six years of research and development, The WELL Building Standard was introduced by The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). This newer standard has primarily shifted the focus from the way a building is built to the inhabitants of the building itself.

Sustainability: The Next Phase Focuses on People

The company’s website states it is leading the global movement to transform buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive and is backed scientific research.

The WELL Building standard is divided into seven sections: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, ComfortMind and Innovation.

sustainable lvt and carpet tile

Innovation and sustainable building design

Just recently  WELL v2  certification launched which you can further read about here.

IWBI mobilizes the global wellness community through management of the WELL AP™ credential, convenes a global network of organizations through IWBI membership, pursues applicable research, develops educational resources, and advocates for policies that promote health and wellness.

In summary, a WELL certified building is designed to enhance the health, happiness and productivity of its users. Designers can now create spaces that incorporate solutions that affect the human body, directly impacting human health. By providing healthy, vibrant environments it’s a win-win situation for both companies and employees.

sustainability

How healthy is your building?

For more information on how to become LEED certified or the WELL Building Standard certification, please click the links above.

For a free consultation on your next sustainable flooring installation please click here.

3 Top Tips for Flooring Care + Winter Planning

These top tips for winter carpet care and planning will help to protect your employees, building visitors, and long-term flooring investment. They will also provide a cleaner building environment.

All carpets become soiled, especially those in entrance ways where foot traffic is at a maximum. Some facilities maintenance plans are based on a set schedule, while others are only cleaned when the carpets appear to be soiled. As the winter months are soon approaching you will want to start planning for what matting or carpet entryway system will work best for your building.

winter tips for carpet care

Tips for winter carpet care

Types of Carpet Systems – Which One Is Best for You?

There are many ways that soil and debris are brought into a building which is why it makes sense to have a walk off carpet system or matting system in place.

For example, the Steppin Out walk-off collection from Shaw Contract is engineered with a rough texture that traps up to 80% of soil and moisture brought into a facility.

The advantage of these types of systems is that they won’t move, buckle, or pucker which helps to reduce the risk of an employee or visitor falling or tripping. Matting and walk off systems also help to extend the life of a building’s installed flooring as it traps dirt and moisture on an ongoing basis. This offers good protection regardless of the flooring installed and reduces maintenance needs.

Another example is Pedimat Entry Mat Systems by Construction Specialties.

3 top carpet care tips

Pedimat Entry System

The company describes Pedimat entrance matting as “engineered for quiet performance, thanks to the combination of lightweight rails and strong aluminum hinge connectors, allowing them to be rolled up for easy cleaning and maintenance.”

Entrance matting systems are also quite beneficial. They tend to trap a lot more debris and will soil much quicker than carpets that exist on upper floors. The same applies to carpets near exits, loading docks, private staff entrances or any other high traffic areas, which need more protection from debris and moisture.

winter matting

Pedimat Entry System

3 Top Tips for Flooring Care + Winter Planning

A cleaning schedule based on when carpets appear soiled may be missing the mark. A build-up of debris can act as an abrasive, which can affect floor finishes, carpet fibres and materials and cause fading over time.

Winter tends to increase this risk as salt and sand are used around icy entrances. During these months, due to constant exposure of moisture there is also a higher risk for mold, mildew, and bacterial growth.

For winter carpet care and to protect your employees and flooring it makes sense to start planning now.

pedimat walk off systems

Pedimat Entry System

Darwin Fisher’s trusted partner program offers a comprehensive client maintenance package through Toronto-based Interior Care. Established in 1964 and operated by the Linton family, Interior Care is in its third generation, and one of the largest privately-owned specialty cleaning services in Canada.

Staff maintain over 700 corporate offices in Southern Ontario, cleaning more than 10 million square feet of carpet each month. “Our maintenance plans remove embedded dust and allergens not reachable by your daily vacuum service,” says Graham Linton, General Manager of Interior Care.

interior care cleaning Interior Care service technicians are required to maintain their certification status by attending three annual, two-day Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification ( IICRC ) instructed in-class programs. Everyone is required to maintain a passing grade of 80% as part of their ongoing training.

“For top tips for winter carpet care, regularly maintained carpet tile by an IICRC certified firm will ensure a healthier environment for your employees,” explains Linton. This is especially important through Covid. “Regular carpet care (as specified by all carpet manufacturers) can increase carpet investment two to four years past the expected eight to 10-year life expectancy. When ignored, abrasive and gritty soiling wears on fibre which shortens appearance retention and can cause premature wear over time.”

Top tips for winter carpet care:

1.     Determine Traffic Levels and Associated Requirements

This is reliant on several factors including:

  • Office traffic and number of employees
  • Colour of the carpet (lighter carpets show more dirt and spills)
  • Level of appearance required (i.e., a professional law firm vs a gym)
  • The actual location of the carpet that requires cleaning (entrance as opposed to second floor).
matting systems

Building entrance matting systems

2.     Choose the Type of Matting or Walk Off Carpet System Suitable for the Space

  • As outlined above there are many different types of systems available including walk off systems and matting systems.
  • Make a decision about what system is right for your building before winter months where ice and precipitation can increase the risk of trips, slips and falls.

3.     Decide on a Plan – Scheduled Maintenance Benefits

  • It’s wise during winter months to increase cleaning both inside and outside the building. Keeping sidewalks and driveways clear.
  • Increasing carpet vacuuming frequency is important for all entrance matting systems.
  • This may be required daily with higher traffic locations requiring several times a day to prevent soiling and debris build up.
  • Where possible, carpets should be completely lifted and cleaned under neath as well.
  • Daily spot removal where required is also beneficial.
  • Linton’s team will visit the client on location and develop a maintenance plan for monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly service. This is determined by the appropriate level of maintenance required for the specified space.
tips for winter carpet care

Carpet entry system

All facilities should have a carpet care cleaning and maintenance plan in place both during the winter months and throughout the rest of year. Taking a proactive approach keeps carpets clean and healthy and extends the life of carpets. This can also mean that funds that might be used to replace carpets can be used for other purposes—a good idea during tough financial times.

Darwin Fisher and Interior Care supply custom fit traffic matting which has two purposes:

  1. Prevent slips and falls on a wet hard floor
  2. To absorb wet soiling specifically in winter. Each step on a traffic mat removes a high percentage of wet soiling that would otherwise be absorbed into the office carpet tile – another preventative maintenance step to better protect overall investment

See our other news articles outlining how to protect your flooring investment as we profile different applications throughout the remainder of the year.

For a free consultation on your next flooring installation please contact info@darwinfisher.com

For more information regarding Interior Care, please click here.

Project Management: 6 Top Steps for Successful Installation

Project management has always been our most important service offering. For over 18 years we have executed very large, complex projects to small installations. Our proven process ensures your installation experience is seamless, while offering minimal disruption to your employees.

As we continually work with end users, general contractors, property managers, interior designers, and architects our project management process is comprehensive. Here is our 6-step process which delivers minimal disruption to our clients while providing quality installation.

6 Key Project Management Steps for Successful Flooring Installation

  1. Assessment

Our seasoned staff understands the intricacies involved with many different types of corporate flooring environments. We first assess the needs of your project via an onsite visit. This helps us mitigate the possible issues that can arise by examining the flooring surface. We then determine the preparation and materials required.

preparing commercial flooring

Preparing the area for LVT installation.

“The biggest concern our clients want us to address is the associated logistics,” says Doug McDonald, President of Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring. “We offer minimal disruption to our clients. This includes understanding the details of site preparation, installation, and post maintenance issues that make each job unique. We thoroughly investigate each challenge, pairing it with a solution customized to fit our client’s exact needs.”

  1. Scope and Materials

Once we have collected all of the requirements, we recommend products that are optimal for your site. We then provide a detailed plan with an associated budget related to project execution. We use software which creates a graphic representation of how the materials are applied to the floor plan. These colour coded plans help our clients to easily conceptualize what is being proposed.

Project management and flooring

  1. Budgeting and Planning

Our software then allows us to produce line item proposals for our clients. This is used to track the status of the project as it moves through the implementation cycle. This is especially critical when timelines are constantly moving or when the circumstances associated with a specific installation change. It’s also an important tool for closely tracking a project and costs when there are fluctuating changes due to other trades on site.

As part of this process, product performance/cost ratios are provided to clients to ensure that the budget meets all project parameters. After the product is chosen, verification samples are provided to confirm the product is representative of what the designer/client requires. This eliminates any material errors before work starts.

LVT installation toronto

Project management: Budgeting and planning

  1. On-Site Project Management

When the project is initiated, materials are ordered and delivered to the warehouse. See why this is important in our previous blog post and how it helped our client – Pusateri’s Fine Foods.

We’ve made our warehouse an integral part of our operations as it not only acts a place to store product but offers a location to prepare and ship orders. Inventory management is important as it offers a wide array of benefits. This provides extra value to our customers as it allows for the right product to be available and delivered to the right place, at that right time.

commercial flooring contractors toronto

Final LVT finishes

Darwin Fisher projects are generally turnkey but if delays are encountered, including equipment, electrical and plumbing problems, project timelines can become offset. The warehouse ensures a project will run smoothly as it provides the flexibility to have both materials and experts on site at a moment’s notice.

Once the project begins, we continually make sure our project managers are on site to offer proactive solutions should any problems arise. Pictured above is our Fuzion Flooring LVT product installation for Procon Construction. Our seasoned staff work with all on-site trades/contractors assigned. This ensures transparent co-ordination of activities, while meeting schedules and budget demands. We are always there to answer questions and to make sure the project is running according to plan. By continually being an onsite resource for our client, any issues can be dealt with quickly.

  1. Post Installation

Once the project is complete, we accompany our client on a site walk through to ensure all project specifications are met. Our goal is to have our client completely satisfied with the final result. To see examples of our client work please click here.

  1. Warranty

Our clients are then provided with the flooring maintenance requirements and warranty manuals for all products installed. Although, the project may by complete, our after-service commitment to our clients is ongoing to ensure the highest quality and customer satisfaction for partner network.

For information on your next commercial build or renovation, please contact info@darwinfisher.com

 

Walk Off Carpet Tile Systems And Matting Help Manage Risk

Walk off carpet tile systems can help to directly mitigate all sorts of issues relating to foot traffic and weather.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Labour (OMA) here are a list of slip, trip and fall hazards in your workplace:

  • slippery surfaces (oily or greasy, etc.)
  • seasonal slip, trip and fall hazards (snow and ice)
  • spills of wet or dry substances
  • changes in walkway levels and slopes
  • unsecured mats
  • unsafe use of ladders
  • poor lighting
  • falls from beds of trucks, trailers or loads
  • debris and cables in walkways
  • smoke, steam or dust obscuring view
  • lack of guardrails on mezzanines and balconies
  • unsuitable footwear
  • poorly maintained equipment (ladders, fall arrest, etc.)

Unfortunately, inclement weather isn’t far away. To help mitigate any potential risk you may want to consider a walk off carpet tile system. These systems provide an aesthetically pleasing solution which protects visitors from slips and falls, while extending your long-term flooring investment.

Slips and falls can be costly. Commercial property and casualty insurer CNA  identifies lack of slip resistance as the number one cause of slip and fall accidents.  According to CNA Claim data in a recent article published on reducing slips and falls in financial institutions, “40 percent of slip and fall claims occur mainly on entry flooring. Make sure building entrances are visible and free from obstacles. Water should quickly drain away from pedestrian areas to keep feet dry when entering the building. Snow/ice management is also important.”

carpet tile installation toronto

Walk off carpet systems and matting can mitigate risk and protect your flooring investment.

The article goes on to say that, “Mats can also help trap outside walkway dirt and water before they reach your floors and create a possible exposure. To be most effective, purchase floor mats with slip resistant backing and beveled edges. Position the mats flat on the floor and ensure they are cleaned on a regular basis. Lastly, floor mats should cover an area for people to take three to four strides, approximately six to eight feet, before coming into contact with the flooring underneath.”

Why Install A Walk Off Carpet Tile System?

Walk off carpet tile systems vary in design and materials but are generally a carpeted rubber-backed matting system which consists of carpet tiles which have coarse fibers that “scrape” dirt off shoes and carpet also can absorb soil particles and are adhered directly to the interior entrance area of a building.  They are a better alternative to unsecured mats because they are not only safe, they also protect your long-term flooring investment through providing a soil and moisture capture/barrier. Over time, heavy traffic, combined with soil or debris brought indoors can affect and remove a finish from an installed floor or damage carpet life.

 

walk off carpet tile systems darwin fisher commercial flooring

Walk off carpet tile systems can be more effective than traditional matting.

“Soil and moisture are the main causes of premature wear and eventual replacement of the installed floor,” says Doug McDonald, President of Darwin Fishing Commercial Flooring.  “These types of systems also help building operators avoid the liability of slip and fall incidents caused by slippery entryways in their facilities by providing the higher traction, moisture-absorbing technology.”

Traditional matting systems when combined with hard surface flooring can pose a slip hazard when wet or soiled with debris that is tracked into a building. Area mats and runner matting systems can bunch or ripple.

A Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association (ISSA) article states,  “Many facilities still view matting as merely a way to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. While that is one of their key benefits, effective matting systems also keep as much as 80 percent of moisture and soil from entering a facility.”

Keeping It Clean

As walk off carpet tile systems are effective in their ability to “wipe/scrape” dirt, debris and moisture from shoes, this is a key benefit to mitigating trips and falls as dirt and debris does not reattach to footwear and become tracked into the interior of the building. Click here for a recent article where we featured on a walk off carpet tile matting system called Tough Stuff from manufacturer the Mohawk Group.

According to the Continuing Education Centre, Architecture and Construction :

  • The estimated cost of finding and removing a pound of dirt from a building is $600. (ISSA)
  • One square yard of carpet can accumulate one pound of dirt in a week- twice that in inclement weather.
  • 70 to 80 percent of dust, grime, and dirt in a building are tracked in from the outside on people’s feet permanently damaging floors and carpets. (Institute of Industrial Launderers)
  • Fifteen feet of effective, high-performance matting can trap and hold as much as 75 percent of this soil at the door; 30 feet can remove as much as 100 percent. (ISSA)
walk off entry carpet reduced maintenance costs

Photo credit: Mohawk Group – Tuff Stuff Walk Off Entry Carpet System

walk off systems and matting for inclement weather

Photo credit: Mohawk Group – Tuff Stuff Walk Off Entry Carpet System

Walk Off Entry Carpet Systems Lower Maintenance Fees and Protect Your Investment

From a facilities manager perspective walk off systems will save money in maintenance fees as they are easier to clean and maintain. By reducing the amount of dirt and debris tracked into a building floors and carpets will stay cleaner for longer periods of time, needing less care contributing to reduced use of cleaning chemicals. For general maintenance, the modular systems can be easily cleaned by vacuuming. If a specific area becomes damaged, individual tiles can simply be swapped out or repaired.

For information about entry matting system installation, please contact info@darwinfisher.com

5 Reasons Why LVT Popularity Continues to Grow: Research

LVT popularity is increasing due to advancements in design and technology. New sizes, formats and patterns, combined with the fact that it is easy to install and less costly to maintain over time, makes it appealing to a variety of industry verticals.

 Verified Market Research, reports in its Global Luxury Vinyl Tile-LVT Market Size By Type, By End-Use Sector, By Geographic Scope And Forecast,  that  the LVT market was valued at USD 16.11 Billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 37.92 Billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 11.23% from 2021 to 2028.

Commercial flooring contractor Toronto

Verified Market Research – Global LVT Market

The report also states that, “Non-residential segment is anticipated to account for the highest market share. This can be attributed to the increasing demand for Luxury Vinyl Tiles from multiple end users such as hotel and hospitality segments because of the benefits they provide like sophisticated and aesthetic interiors and ease of cleaning. Hospitals also use LVT because they don’t react to chemicals and similar agents.”

Research and Markets reports The Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) Flooring market in the U.S. is estimated at US$5.3 Billion in the year 2020. China, the world`s second largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of US$8.3 Billion by the year 2027 trailing a CAGR of 13.7% over the analysis period 2020 to 2027. Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 7.1% and 8.9% respectively over the 2020-2027 period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 8.1% CAGR.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) Flooring estimated at US$19.6 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$38.9 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 10.3% over the period 2020-2027.

commercial lvt flooring contractor

Research and Markets global LVT flooring growth

Why has LVT  increased in popularity? Here are the top reasons.

LVT popularity has also increased as it has become a practical choice across many industries. According to a Floor Covering Weekly  report released on June 28 of this year the top brands and suppliers are as follows.

Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring Contractor

Floor Covering Weekly top LVT brands

5 Reasons for the rise of LVT popularity:

  1. The Way It’s Made

LVT products are generally made of moisture resistant PVC or virgin vinyl. LVT is made up of five distinct layers:

  1. Polyurethane coating (sometimes re-enforced with ceramic bead, silica bead or aluminum oxide) to improve durability
  2. Protective clear layer known as the ‘wear layer’
  3. Print film layer (with your chosen design)
  4. Vinyl core
  5. Vinyl backing

This results in a flooring solution that is easy to install, durable and easy to clean and maintain. Typically, LVT wear layers range from 20-28 mm of thickness for commercial installation projects, with thickness selected based on requirements from low through to high foot traffic areas. (i.e. low traffic office space as opposed to building entrance areas).

  1. Affordability by Design

LVT, through technological innovation, is now available in many different finishes, including those that mimic wood and stone. Designers are offered a large array of options at more affordable price points than natural materials. Designers are also drawn to the newly available patterns, colours and variety of designs offered as application pattern technology progresses.

  1. Low Maintenance

Upon initial purchase, LVT is more expensive than vinyl composite tile (VCT) products, however LVT has a lower maintenance cost over time due to its built-in protective layer, offering much more comprehensive and long-lasting protection. The protective layer doesn’t need regular waxing and polishing like VCT. However, this top layer will wear over time and may need to be reapplied for heavy traffic areas.

Each organization’s LVT cleaning and maintenance requirements will vary based on traffic. Inclement weather will also affect cleaning requirements. LVT only requires regular sweeping and mopping to remove dust and dirt which is much easier for cost-conscience maintenance budgets.

Toronto LVT Commercial Flooring

Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring LVT IMAX installation

  1. Return on Investment: Durability

LVT popularity is driven also by the fact that it is protected by a clear layer which helps to maintain its appearance over long periods of time. The wear layer varies in terms of thickness. Thickness must be chosen in conjunction with the traffic area as heavy, long-term wear will affect appearance.  It will not expand and contract in humid or dry seasons and is a fraction of the price of stone or real wood. LVT is less likely to scuff, indent or scratch with regular use and wear and tear through foot traffic and furniture movement. This makes it a solid flooring investment choice for the long-term, combined with the fact that it requires very little maintenance.

  1. Acoustically Sound

Studies have shown that elevated noise levels from hard surface flooring can negatively affect the health and well-being of employees. LVT offers better acoustic properties than hard surface flooring like ceramic tile and it won’t chip or discolor.

Armstrong Flooring reports that building materials and furnishings can affect the acoustics of a building in three ways through information gathered on acoustical data:

  • Sound Absorption: They can absorb sound, lowering background noise levels and reducing reverberation within a room.
  • Airborne Sound Transmission: They can serve as acoustical insulation and reduce transmission of airborne sounds, such as voices, between rooms.
  • Impact Sound Transmission: They can serve as impact sound insulation and reduce the transmission of impact sound, such as footsteps, from one room to another below or adjacent to it.
Commercial Flooring Examples Toronto LVT

Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring LVT installation at Entertainment One

In healthcare, we’ve seen a trend towards installation of newer finishes like LVT over traditional ceramic. Flooring decisions in healthcare depend on how it will affect patients, safety, indoor air quality and infection control. Floor surfaces also need to be slip resistant and offer smooth transitions from one area to another for staff/patients and related equipment. Part of the reason beyond new finishes and designs, is that these technologies offer sound transmission protection. Dentists and doctors stress the need for soundproofing. Walls, ceiling and flooring materials selected need to help protect patient privacy and hinder sound travel.

According to Verified Market Research “increase in disposable income, beneficial properties of Luxury Vinyl Tile and the increase in construction and remodeling activities are some of the major factors driving the market. The increase in disposable income of consumers had led to changes in their lifestyle choices and preferences as well. Moreover, this has also led to an increase in the number of construction-for residential as well as office space, and remodeling activities. The beneficial attributes of LVT-ease of installation and application, easy to maintenance, cost-effectiveness, resilient to chemical reactions and provides an aesthetic appeal to space make them much more popular for use in residential as well as non-residential construction.”

Many Finishes and Manufacturers

There are a number of different types of LVT products on the market. Many manufacturers offer different performance ratios from one product to another. This includes the surface of the product, to the type of backing used, in addition to thickness of the tiles. Ensure your flooring installer is knowledgeable of the differences, quality and applications that would best suit your environment, including projected wear from foot traffic/furniture, installation, and maintenance and acoustic considerations.

For more information about LVT flooring installation solutions please fill out this form on our website or email us directly at info@darwinfisher.com.

Covid-19 Flooring Disinfection and How It Impacts Your Installation Choices

As Covid-19 continues into 2021, many flooring manufacturers are introducing new solutions, materials and finishes to increase social distancing. However, selecting the right application for your installation goes well beyond the product chosen. Covid-19 flooring disinfection will impact your flooring considerations to include long-term functionality, daily employee traffic flow and maintenance.

As there is now more demand for cleaning and sterilization, understanding how this impacts flooring in terms of life expectancy, appearance retention and ongoing maintenance also needs to be considered as installing the wrong product could lead to future issues.

Covid-19 Flooring Disinfection and Impact

‘As we continue to live with COVID-19, there’s an increased emphasis on maintaining flooring, with services on offer that are designed to keep floors clean—and virus-free. From protocols, to equipment and disinfectants, there’s plenty to consider when deciding on the proper cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting of commercial flooring,” states Floor Trends Magazine in a recent article.

The article goes onto say that more data about how chemicals will affect interior finishes is required as there aren’t enough long-term studies regarding how these disinfectants will affect specific materials over time.  For this reason, there is a greater need for flooring manufacturers to provide more information about what chemicals can be safely used on floor surfaces as disinfection becomes a regular part of the care process. This relates specifically to how this could impact warranty.

Covid-19 flooring disinfection

How disinfection can impact your flooring choices

Covid-19 and Social Distancing Flooring Solutions

Leading applications provide different levels of wear and tear and also vary in design and aesthetic impact. For example, carpet tile technology has progressed to absorb sound and offers cushioning for employees who frequently stand. Carpet tile provides greater flexibility for installation and refitting for a variety of applications across many industries including healthcare, hospitality, retail, education and the entertainment industry.

Mohawk Group Nutopia 2.0 and Milliken  Social Factor  and other manufacturers now providing navigational flooring solutions using carpet tile. Carpet tile has extra cushion and vinyl backing so that it doesn’t easily unravel. Carpet tile is also  extremely durable and spot areas can be quickly changed without requiring additional installation expertise. Many manufacturers are now offering social distancing carpet tile solutions to help mitigate employee anxiety and direct traffic flow. In general, the cleaning and maintenance costs of carpet are relatively low, requiring regular vacuuming and an occasional deep cleaning. How Covid-19 will impact the cleaning and maintenance of carpet tile will depend on the location, amount of traffic and demands of the space where installation occurs.

Covid-19 Flooring Disinfection

How Covid-19 will impact carpet installation

VCT offers both style and functionality. It is budget conscious and easy to install, repair and offers simple daily maintenance such as quick damp mop. It has a long lifespan and is a cheaper solution than ceramic or hardwood. It is also ideal for spaces which are prone to high moisture levels. If you require the qualities found in a rubber surface, mixed in with the appeal of laminate or linoleum flooring, vinyl is a great choice. This type of flooring is scratch-resistant. Vinyl floors are very common in dental offices and healthcare verticals because they offer style with functionality and ease of daily maintenance. Products made from 100% vinyl are classified as green solutions and eligible for LEED points. Although VCT is easy to maintain the impact of harsher chemicals for disinfection over long periods of time will eventually affect top layer finishes.

Covid-19 Flooring Disinfection

Photo credit: Mohawk Group – Large + Local LVT creates directionality

LVT has become a popular choice as it is available in a large array of designs that mimic wood and stone but is much more durable. It offers better acoustic properties than hard surface flooring like ceramic tile and it won’t chip or discolor. LVT is long-wearing, requires very little maintenance and is protected by a clear layer which helps to maintain its appearance over long periods of time. It will not expand and contract in humid or dry seasons and is a fraction of the price of stone or real wood.  There are several manufacturers that offer wayfinding LVT products to help with social distancing solutions and traffic flow in the workplace. LVT is another material that is easy to clean and maintain however, if it is installed in high traffic area which requires constant disinfection the chemicals used would have to be examined to determine how that would affect long-term care.

Covid-19 and Emerging Healthcare Flooring Applications

The flooring choice for hospitals is still dominated by resilient applications. Here we are seeing new and innovative solutions which are also environmentally friendly, like Legato Liquid Linoleum from Mannington Commercial.  According to Mannington, “Legato Liquid Linoleum can be installed across many segments that require the benefits of infection control, slip resistance, and sound dampening – traits that go above and beyond that of a traditional linoleum thanks to its seamless installation and Quantum Guard Elite® technology. These segments include healthcare, government, education, retail and assisted living applications.”

Liquid linoleum flooring solutions

Photo credit: Mannington Commercial  – Legato Liquid Linoleum

As there are a broad range of flooring solutions available it’s wise to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable flooring contractor that understands the opportunities and challenges associated with your new build or retrofit. As Covid-19 flooring disinfection becomes more complex, true flooring specialists need to have in-depth knowledge of the products that they install. They will make recommendations for your specific project and advise what type of products will offer the best performance. Installing the best solution for your particular space will ensure your flooring needs and return on investment are met for years to come.

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For your free Covid-19 flooring installation assessment, please contact us here.

Logo Matting and Your Building’s Brand

Custom logo matting is a great alternative to strengthen your building’s brand while creating a professional image. The wrong matting can send a negative message by spoiling first impressions. Logo matting provides various functions. From a design perspective it offers a professional touch to your building entrance and a non-slip surface to protect visitors and your floor.

Logo Matting Creates a Positive Image For Your Brand

Your logo will keep your brand image top of mind for anyone entering the building. It also provides a professional clean look while protecting the surrounding floor from dirt and debris, to extend your flooring investment. Reasons to consider logo matting include:

  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Soil and moisture capture/barrier
  • Safety
  • Manage Risk
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Long-term flooring investment protection

 

logo matting toronto

Logo matting protects visitors while keeping your brand top of mind.

“These custom mats capture debris and the entire system looks aesthetically pleasing,” says Doug McDonald, President of Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring. “Logo matting offers many associated benefits. From a facilities manager perspective it will save money in maintenance fees because it’s easy to clean and maintain, while it also protects floors and builds your brand.”

Logo Matting Can Help To Mitigate Trips and Falls

Matting can also protect visitors from slips, trips or falls.  In Ontario alone, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) reports  how slips trips or falls can affect your business:

  • Each year there are about 17,000 lost-time injuries due to falls in the workplace*
  • 65% of all fall-related injuries are from “same level”*
  • One in five lost-time injuries result from falls*
  • Every year about 20 people die in Ontario because of workplace falls*
  • 80 workers sustain injuries every day due to falls (1 every 20 minutes)*
  • An average WSIB claim is $11,771; factor in other costs like lost productivity and staff replacement, and the cost can be as much as four times more – approximately $59,000 per injury*
  • with a profit margin of 5%, sales/services required to cover the total cost of one injury equals about $1.2 million*

Source: *WSIB “Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls in the Workplace”

Logo matting

Building Hazards – Photo by Oliver Hale on Unsplash

This information is further supported by commercial property and casualty insurer CNA  which identifies lack of slip resistance as the number one cause of slip and fall accidents.  According to CNA Claim data in a recent article published on reducing slips and falls in financial institutions, “Mats can also help trap outside walkway dirt and water before they reach your floors and create a possible exposure. To be most effective, purchase floor mats with slip resistant backing and beveled edges ….  floor mats should cover an area for people to take three to four strides, approximately six to eight feet, before coming into contact with the flooring underneath.”

Logo Matting Keeps Visitors Healthy and Safe While Protecting Your Floors

Logos can be used with walk off entry matting systems or regular matting. If you are adding  logo detail in matting beyond the entry area of the main building lobby, it will  keep your building clean and tidy while keeping your brand top of mind, no matter where your visitor travels.

Logo matting

Benefits of logo matting – Photo by Akshay Chauhan on Unsplash

Dirt, debris and moisture can have a considerable impact on your flooring investment.  Depending on the time of year, salt and sand can be corrosive. In the spring pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals can be tracked in on footwear. The combination of all of these factors will erode the surface finish of your floor increasing damage from wear and tear. Certain types of debris and pollutants can also affect indoor air quality by introducing chemicals and allergens into the building.

By strengthening your brand through logo matting, you are ensured that all employees and visitors enjoy their stay in a building that helps protect their health and safety, while keeping your corporate image top of mind.

For information about logo matting systems, please contact info@darwinfisher.com

Residential Meets Commercial Office Flooring Design

Flooring design represents the first step as many organizations continue to adopt a more residential style of workspace. The intent behind this trend? Boost employee morale and productivity through comfortable, open spaces that foster connection.

As a follow up to our previous blog in this series, we have seen a continued trend of organizations providing flexible hours and workspaces. The result has been more residential style flooring designs and office layouts which provide welcoming environments, while providing all of the amenities of home.

Toronto flooring examples Darwin Fisher

Photo credit: Mohawk Group

As a result, a large array of new materials and their application are giving way to the blurring boundaries between commercial and residential, beginning with flooring design.

Flooring Designs: More Choices Through Technological Advances

Advances in application technology have yielded cost savings for clients by imitating expensive design. This includes thin format porcelain panels that look like marble slabs, LVT with graining and texture to look and feel like real wood and rectangular porcelain tile with 3D design to look like a chevron pattern. All of these options are much more economical to purchase and install.

Toronto flooring contractor

Photo credit: Mohawk Group

New materials also offer bright, vibrant colours and more detail has become standard. Dull neutrals and unassuming colours are now replaced by energetic, creative selections to match the more informal furniture now being found in collective work areas and office entrances.

“We are definitely seeing a more home-like experience in the office,” says Susan Quinn, Account Executive of Toronto-based, Mohawk Group. “In order to retain and ensure employees are happy at work there is an influx of residential finishes and concepts being brought into the corporate environment. Modern offices are being built with collaboration, communication and modularity in mind to enhance productivity and employee satisfaction.”

Corporate designs are becoming multifunctional in nature and include smaller furniture footprints that can be easily rearranged. Plush, comfortable couches are more the norm and traditional cubicles are being replaced by open concept configurations and modular, movable furniture.

Commercial flooring examples Toronto

Photo credit: Mohawk Group

Quinn explains there is now a stronger focus on amenity areas, including increased opportunities for touchdowns as well as areas that are plug and play. Kitchens are becoming more residential with comfortable seating and gathering areas. There is also more attention focused on interfacing with outdoor areas.

Increased Employee Productivity

Blair Setford who is Director, Product Management, at a wealth management company in Mississauga, ON agrees. He enjoys his work environment because he is able to walk down the hall from his office, through the modular kitchen, and out onto the patio. Here the company often hosts corporate/department BBQs and events and provides outdoor tables, including high top seating for its employees and guests. When weather permits, internal meetings are held on the patio, depending on the time of year, and Setford feels these options make employees more productive.

Commercial flooring examples Toronto - Darwin Fisher

Photo credit: Blair Setford

“We like to get outside and enjoy some sunshine, “ says Setford. “Because we are in a suburban location we have to look for amenities to attract talented people to our location and that’s one way we can do it – our own patio.”

The office at Setford’s workplace is a mixture of carpet tile and laminate flooring design. The kitchen offers a foosball table plus a variety of different types of seating for employees. Often employees will congregate in the kitchen an enjoy a game of foosball, or two, at lunch or while having a meeting.

Darwin Fisher commercial flooring Toronto

Photo credit: Blair Setford

The blending of home and office flooring design has also been seen at Darwin Fisher. Elizabeth Zhou, Darwin Fisher’s Project Co-ordinator sees a continuing pattern of more design resources being spent on accents and textures. There are a lot of accent colours, borders and feature within walls/floors in commercial projects, even in non-public spaces.

Flooring Design: A Variety of Finishes And Patterns

“We see more herringbone and chevron installation patterns of carpet, LVT and porcelain tiles that has been made possible with new product design technology. Floor and wall finishes are also now available in all shapes (hexagon, triangle, plank and tile) and sizes,” says Zhou.

This trend has showed no sign of slowing down as there is increased demand for softer, more tactile surfaces with varied patterns and textures. It has become more the norm for today’s more residentially-infused office designs take into account the entire experience. Customers, guests, employees and their comfort is now the focus on every aspect of the designed space.

For information on how to incorporate residential design into your next commercial build or renovation, please contact info@darwinfisher.com