Levitate Furniture Lift Provides Carpet Installation Savings For Offices Requiring Reconfiguration

Levitate is a solution that is helping to assist companies that are faced with the need to change their office environments due to the ongoing pandemic. To date, this has involved a combination of short and long-term fixes aimed at reconfiguring areas to protect employees, including design changes to ensure safe collaboration when required. These factors combined are also driving changes in flooring installation requirements.

In response to Covid-19 and the ongoing variants, new types of office spaces are emerging in terms of design and functional requirements. As the pandemic continues, the office will continue change as we know it.

Levitate Furniture Lift Carpet Flooring Examples Toronto

Levitate Furniture Lift For Carpet Installation

In many of these cases new flooring is required as offices are reconfigured. This may seem like a daunting and time consuming task but there are solutions, especially when it comes to office carpet installation.

“Darwin Fisher has continually found ways to help facilitate projects to save our clients time and money, especially now,” said Doug McDonald, President of Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring. “When it comes to new carpet installation our clients’ concerns automatically relate to employee downtime as time is money.”

To bypass all of the disruption and expedite a carpet installation project in a quick, efficient time frame, Levitate Furniture Lift System is the solution.

Darwin Fisher has the expertise and skill to take care of all carpet installation needs while minimizing office disruption. In the past, we have worked with companies such as Toronto-based Pusateri’s Fine Foods, the National Football League (Canadian office in Toronto), Mississauga, ON-based IMAX Corporation, various large call centres and many other clients, ranging from small to large organizations.

Levitate gives us the ability to replace carpet without dismantling office workstations, desks and other furniture, in addition to eliminating time-consuming disconnection and reconnection of telephone lines and computer cables.

Commercial Flooring Examples Toronto

Corporate Offices Carpet Installation

Levitate is an office lifting system which enables Darwin Fisher to re-carpet occupied office areas without the need to remove any furniture when reconfiguring an office area. This solution offers significant savings in time, cost and eliminates lags in office productivity.

Levitate: Cost Savings in Excess of 50%

The associated manpower and skill needed for set up and take down is substantial. Re-carpeting an office area typically entails complex organization and a long list of cost considerations:

  • specialist furniture dismantling
  • removal teams
  • telephone engineers
  • computer technicians
  • storage
  • staff relocation
  • downtime

All of these costs are eliminated with Levitate. The reason? Levitate is a series of custom designed mechanical tools which are placed underneath any type of office furniture to lift it smoothly and safely. The furniture goes up effortlessly and the carpet gets installed properly.

“This is made possible by Levitate’s ‘no jolt’ screw system which raises furniture off of the ground in one smooth, controlled and safe motion,” explains McDonald. “A traditional refit often requires the services of numerous teams of different contractors. We ensure the entire job is handled by one professional Darwin Fisher team that provides a reliable and coordinated and safe approach.”

Levitate: Raise Your Image Without Raising Your Budget

Levitate results in the following savings for Darwin Fisher clients:

No downtime

Downtime for many companies means lost business. With Levitate we can replace large areas of carpet overnight rather than waiting to the weekend, helping to keep downtime to an absolute minimum. Your office is left completely intact. When the job is complete, each workstation is in its proper place, computers boot up, personal effects are untouched. The experience is seamless.

No damage

Unlike other office lifting systems Levitate’s unique jack mechanism lifts furniture in one smooth and controlled motion. This “no-jolt” system means that your office will be completely protected throughout the refit.

No disruption

Staff experience a smooth transition with installation. With Levitate there is no need for staff to spend time emptying and refilling desks and filing areas, as their workstations are kept completely intact and simply lifted, while carpet is installed underneath.

No extras

A traditional refit often requires the services of numerous teams of different contractors. With the Levitate system, the whole job is handled by a single professional team, providing a simple, one team approach.

If your office requires new installation Darwin Fisher can alleviate the weight of your furniture problem with Levitate.

For more information about your next carpet installation please contact info@darwinfisher.com

For more information about Levitate Furniture Lift System, please click here.

 

 

5 Expert Tips for Maintaining Your Porcelain Tile

Porcelain Tile Care + Maintenance Before, During and After Installation

Porcelain tile is a very durable flooring material that is water resistant, non-porous and requires little maintenance day to day. There are three main types of porcelain tile products: unpolished, polished, and patterned/ textured. To maintain appearance and protect your long-term investment, consider the following before, during and after installation.

  • Ensure all construction is completed before final installation as any heavy objects or traffic can damage the surface
  • Ensure you are using materials to cover the tile surface (kraft paper, plywood) during installation of grout to avoid grout residue and related product on the tile
  • Ensure the grout is sealed at all joints
porcelain tile care

Porcelain tile Photo credit: Ciot

Porcelain Tile Care After Installation

Depending on location and daily foot traffic, a simple vacuum or sweeping can be executed. For any stubborn areas a damp mop will also work to remove debris that vacuuming or sweeping missed.

If there are any stains that are not easily removed, spot cleaning is recommended rather than taking any type of detergent or chemicals to the entire surface area.

It is also critical not to use any cleaners with harsh ingredients such as ammonia or bleach to clean these problem areas. Over time it may erode the surface finish of the tile by opening the seal, allowing water to cause erosion to both the tile and the grout used to keep the tiles in place.

“The key characteristic with porcelain tile is the grout lines when cleaning, that’s why we recommend industry approved porcelain tile and grout solutions,” says Graham Linton, General Manager of Interior Care.  “This is important as these cleaners already have the proper PH levels and won’t lead to damage as is the case with corrosive and acidic cleaners.”

porcelain tile installation

Photo Credit: Ciot – Polished porcelain tile

Interior Care is a member of Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring’s partner program. Established in 1964, Interior Care offers a comprehensive client maintenance package. Owned and operated by the Linton family, Interior Care services all types of flooring finishes, including porcelain tile, hardwood, carpet tile and more. Interior Care is one of the largest privately-owned specialty flooring maintenance service businesses in Canada. Staff maintain over 700 corporate offices across Southern Ontario.

porcelain tile care

Photo Credit: Ciot

Porcelain Tile Care: Glazed and Unglazed

Porcelain tile care and maintenance for glazed and unglazed tile is similar for moderate to high foot traffic areas:

  • Loose debris and dirt can simply be swept or vacuumed daily.
  • If water is needed to remove dust/dirt, simply damp mop and dry.
  • If a cleaning solution is required for more stubborn stains – test the area, do not use any abrasive materials to remove the stain and allow to air dry.
  • Before the wipe down and air dry it is important to make sure that the detergent used is completely rinsed away with a second wet mop with clean water.
  • Do not let any industrial cleaning solutions dry on their own without removing and cleaning with fresh water immediately after staining is removed. By following this process, water spots and any streaking or residue that is left by cleaners will be eliminated.

Textured or Patterned Porcelain Tile Care

There are a variety of options with textured or patterned porcelain tile. Many of today’s styles mimic the appearance of wood or stone and have textured surfaces which may hold dirt. This can require extra cleaning time and more chemical solutions. This porcelain tile will also need to be cleaned more frequently as a simple damp mop will not easily remove dirt from crevices.

porcelain tile care

Photo Credit: Ciot – Textured porcelain tile.

“The cleaning protocol doesn’t really change much between textured, glazed or unpolished surfaces,” says Linton. “Porcelain is a very durable product. It takes a lot to damage the finish. The area that will require the most attention with textured porcelain tile is the grout.”

According to Linton, the same steps apply as above for polished and unpolished porcelain, however when cleaning the grout, if the wrong chemicals are used it can change the colour. The main difference with textured porcelain tile is that a damp mop will not work when there is soiling in and around this surface. Instead, agitation through a rotary scrubbing floor machine with a soft brush attachment will work best.

“Our challenge is the grout lines that are really porous,” says Linton. “These must be addressed with the greatest of care. There is a grout brush we use that is tapered to a point. We agitate all the grout lines then we mop off. We usually spend more time on the grout than on the tile itself.”

How to care for textured finishes

Photo credit: Ciot

5 Expert Tips for Porcelain Tile Care + Maintenance After Installation: Summary

  1. It is wise to use walk off matting systems or entrance throw mats to prevent dirt and debris brought in by foot traffic, especially in inclement weather.
  2. Do not use oil-based detergents, wax sealants or cleaners that will create a coating or build up on tiles or grout. This will damage both surfaces over time.
  3. Do not use any harsh or abrasive cleaners or materials such as steel wool pads, scouring pads, or any item containing that contains metal. These small particles can rust and stain the grout.
  4. Do not use abrasive cleaners such as ammonia, bleach or acid-based solutions as these harsh chemicals can damage the tile finish and may alter the colour of the grout.
  5. Any cleaning solutions should be free of any type of dyes or colour, specifically for unglazed ceramic tile. It is important to note that these agents may also alter grout colour.

By following these 5 expert tips for porcelain tile care and maintenance, your porcelain floor will be maintained in the best condition possible, increasing longevity, while protecting your investment.

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

For other articles on our maintenance after installation series, please click here. 

For more information regarding Interior Care, please click here.

 

3 Proven Strategies for Maximizing Your Carpet Investment

Maintenance is an important consideration if you want to maximize your carpet tile investment, once the right product for your new build or retrofit has been installed.

In this article, we will examine how to care for and maintain your carpet tile over its projected lifespan.

office carpet tile Toronto

Carpet tile maintenance extends your long-term investment.

A good rule of thumb is to budget an extra 10-15% stock at time of purchase so that if a specific area becomes damaged or worn, individual tiles can simply be swapped out. This is especially apparent in heavy traffic zones like reception and under desk swivel chairs. Beyond regular wear and tear a maintenance program will also preserve appearance.

The Importance of Maintenance and Cleaning Programs

On an annual basis, there are three long-term maintenance strategies to protect your carpet, image and guarantee your overall investment:

1. If you maintain your carpets as per manufacturer guidelines, your 10-year appearance warranty will be met if any issues arise to the wear/appearance

2. The actual quality of the carpet appearance will last longer extending the life of your investment

3. A maintenance plan protects the image of your company on a monthly basis, rather than a once a year cleaning. Visible soiling and staining are reflected for the remaining 11 months and can cause damage

For general maintenance, modular systems can be easily cleaned by vacuuming. The backing commonly found on carpet tile allows for ease in spill and soiling removal. Staining is confined to the fibre rather than absorbent backing common in broadloom carpet. However, these simple steps may not be enough.

office carpet

Regularly maintained carpet tile by an IICRC certified firm will ensure a healthier environment for your employees.

Darwin Fisher’s trusted partner program, offers a comprehensive client maintenance package through Toronto-based Interior Care. Interior Care, established in 1964, is owned and operated by the Linton family. Now in its  third generation, it is one of the largest privately-owned specialty cleaning services in Canada. Staff maintain over 700 corporate offices in Southern Ontario, cleaning in excess of 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.

All employees at Interior Care are certified. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) is an established certification body for the textile cleaning industry. Its standards are endorsed and a requirement of carpet manufacturers worldwide.

Toronto Carpet tile installation

Darwin Fisher carpet tile installation: IMAX Headquarters

Interior Care service technicians are required to maintain their certification status by attending three annual, two-day IICRC instructed in-class programs . Each individual is required to maintain a passing grade of 80% as part of their ongoing training.

“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.”

Scheduled Maintenance Benefits

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 office.

Commercial Flooring Cleaning and Maintenance Toronto

Darwin Fisher carpet installation: Entertainment One

This is reliant on a number of 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 or a training centre)
  • The actual location of the carpet that requires cleaning (entrance as opposed to second floor)

In addition to regular carpet care, seasonal weather patterns can require front entrance matting systems.

commercial carpet care and maintenance Toronto

Entrances, lobbies and heavy foot traffic areas require the most care.

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.

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.

5 Critical Tips for Your Next Carpet Tile Installation

There are five critical tips for successful carpet tile installation. If you are planning a new office space or redesigning an existing one, your organization’s requirements will involve several considerations. Here’s how to make a more informed decision about your investment, ranging from moisture issues to employee health.

1.Carpet Tile and Moisture

The first factor to consider is whether the site in question is newly constructed or a renovation. This will determine the type of carpet tile required and what solutions make the most sense for that area.

For example, under ideal conditions a newly-poured four-inch concrete slab takes four to five months to be fully ready to accept flooring.

Commercial Carpet Tile Flooring Examples Toronto

Darwin Fisher Entertainment One carpet tile installation

As construction schedules don’t allow for the time required for concrete to cure, the carpet tile installed is one that must be able to handle rising water vapour. It’s a good idea to install modular carpet tile products have been designed to manage subfloor moisture vapor through an open-cell cushion backing.

Unlike hard backed tiles, these types of systems allow for water vapour to travel through the open-cell cushion and up the seam. It is then able to naturally evapourate through the edges of the carpet tile as it surfaces. If the water vapour isn’t allowed to evaporate condensation occurs which can lead to various problems including, lifting carpet, mould and mildew and potentially poor office air quality.

If the project is a renovation, properly preparing the floor and removing the existing flooring to lay the new carpet tile is the first step. The job may require grinding the floor and removing existing adhesives.

Products available for various manufacturers can easily be installed over existing adhesives to  completely obscures any surface irregularities, whereas these types of surface issues may show through hardback carpet after installation.

2. Carpet Tile and Reduced Downtime

Carpet tiles can be easily installed and do not require the dismantling of office systems or employee workstations. When installing carpet tile there is no need to lift furniture in contrast to broadloom, ceramic or hardwood flooring.

carpet tile installation

Darwin Fisher corporate office carpet installation

Darwin Fisher’s secret weapon is Levitate, an Office Lifting System that eliminates downtime and disruption while saving money. Levitate is a technology that allows carpet to be replaced with little or no downtime.

Levitate is a series of custom designed mechanical tools which are placed underneath any type of office furniture to lift it smoothly and safely. Once the furniture and workstations are lifted the carpet is easily installed.

Levitate office lifting system enables users to re-carpet occupied office areas providing significant savings in time, cost and eliminates employee disruption and relocation. There is no need for disconnection and reconnection of computers, cables, phone lines or other equipment.

The cost savings that Darwin Fisher provides its clients using this system is in excess of 50% as Levitate eliminates the need for computer technicians, staff relocation, furniture specialists and other budget intensive resources required with other types of flooring.

3. Carpet Tile and Durability

Carpet tile systems provide greater flexibility for installation and refitting for a variety of applications across many industries including healthcare, hospitality, retail, education and the entertainment industry. If broadloom is chosen and an area is damaged, fixing the spot in question is a much larger and more complicated process in terms of seam and pattern matching. It also makes it difficult to fix if there is no attic stock available.

carpet tile maintenance Toronto

Carpet tile spot removal and cleaning

Once your carpet tile is installed it is easy to change out any specific areas wear and tear areas or to spot clean for spills. This will help promote the longevity of your investment.

4. Carpet Tile and Investment

Yes, you can take it with you when you go. After installation you can protect your investment long term. If there is a future requirement to move locations, carpet tile can be easily lifted, removed and re-installed at a new site. At Darwin Fisher, we’ve had clients move their tile and number the tile so that it can be re-installed the same way it came up it was lifted.

Carpet tile has a long lifespan and if it is well maintained well you can realize a return on your investment for many years to come. Colour matching technology also have gotten much more accurate with time so that if a certain colour of tile is purchased years before and a new space needs to be carpeted there is the opportunity to match the older installation to the newer area.

5. Carpet Tile and Employee Health

Independent research reveals  cushion backing in carpet tile decreases muscle fatigue for the people who stand for long periods.  This helps to ensure employees reap the benefits of  improved comfort and the cumulative benefit may have an impact on overall health.

Commercial carpet tile Toronto

Darwin Fisher IMAX carpet tile installation

More good news for your employees. Acoustically, cushioned carpet tiles are also quieter than hard floors or hardback carpet. As a result, sound is contained and a quieter office space can be realized making for a more relaxing workspace.

For more information about carpet tile installation and how to protect your investment, please contact 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

Healthcare Flooring Trends: Emerging Products and the Patient Experience

Healthcare flooring trends, from dental offices to hospitals,  are shifting to newer technology due to advancements in materials, manufacturing, application and maintenance.

Low maintenance sheet and tile products are becoming popular choices in this sector —including rubber, linoleum, sheet vinyl, and vinyl (including luxury vinyl tile – LVT), as this vertical requires a multitude of elements, including sanitization for pathogen control and containment.

Healthcare and flooring

Flooring decisions in healthcare depend on how it will affect patients, safety, indoor air quality and infection control.

This is especially important in operating rooms, as well as pre-op exams and post-op recovery spaces where ease of cleaning, sterilization and maintenance are required. Floor surfaces also need to be slip resistant and offer smooth transitions from one area to another for both hospital staff/patients and related equipment.

Healthcare Flooring Trends: Design Moving To A More Residential Feel

In the dental care field, there have been many changes as compared to 20 years ago. In a previous blog post we looked this sector in detail. Dentist offices are no longer cold and clinical. “Dentists are now doing everything they can to make the waiting area as comfortable as possible with a more residential feel,” said Dan Burns, President of Canadian Dental Construction, who has 30 years of experience in dental office builds and renovations. “One of the first concepts to consider before all else is the flooring. It will dictate the tone for the rest of the office as it will set the style and comfort a dentist wants for its patients.”

“From a flooring contractor’s perspective, the biggest change to date that we’ve seen is the dental office flooring moving away from linoleum or ceramic tile to LVT”, says Elizabeth Zhou, project co-ordinator at Darwin Fisher. “This includes the sterilization and lab areas that have typically been ceramic tile in the past. LVT is a better solution acoustically over tile. Plus, it’s easy to maintain and repair.”

Dental office flooring

Dental office design moves from clinical to a more residential feel.

LVT is being installed as it offers a variety of finishes while providing protection from water damage. These materials also offer more padding for longer wear, are damage resistant, easier to clean and require very little maintenance.

“I do think there has been a move toward LVT especially as the product further develops its qualities into becoming more sound absorbent, chemical resistant and water resistant,” Rita Valente of Toronto-based Rita Valente Designs.” LVT gives you options for look along with its own benefits and characteristics. Tile of course does remain popular as well, but it is a much harder surface to work on all day.”

Healthcare Flooring Trends and Flooring Research

Grand View Research, Inc., reports the global commercial flooring market size for was valued at USD 27.06 billion in 2016.  The research house maintains that healthcare is projected to foresee volume growth at a CAGR of 6.4% from 2017 to 2025. Flooring materials are required in various floor spaces in the healthcare industry that includes corridors, medical hallways, operation theaters, clinics, and diagnostic centers. Resilient and seamless floorings are usually required in this industry to bear heavy foot traffic and rolling loads.

Healthcare commercial flooring market

Grand View Research, Inc.

The same types of trends seen in dental offices have also been emerging in the hospital environments. Here we see much more residential feel to help with patient comfort and healing, while flooring options contribute to overall design.

According to Floor Trends Magazine, “with flooring being an integrated part of a healing environment, manufacturers are developing systems of innovative solutions that can be used to encourage optimum health and wellness. And in a market that demands proven, documented performance, healthcare flooring manufacturers are learning the importance of defining their products in terms of human-centered properties and the ability to relate them to outcomes.”

The article goes on to say that Smart flooring choices not only have the potential to maximize efficiencies through faster installation and ease of maintenance, they also can improve patient satisfaction through noise reduction, cleanliness and colors and patterns that support a healing environment.

Dental Flooring Toronto

Healthcare flooring technology is changing in terms of technology, application and the patient experience.

Healthcare Flooring Trends Driven By Patient Experience

From homogeneous sheet in the operating rooms, outpatient surgery centers and ER’s to LVT, laminate or real wood in the gift shop, c-suite offices and chapels; LVT in the corridors, waiting rooms, lobby, and sometimes in the patient rooms and nurses stations, and linoleum, heterogeneous sheet and VCT still present as well, designers today are specifying non-institutional products that resemble the home experience during functional renovations and new builds, according to Floor Trends. Safety prevention of slips and falls is also important in terms of protecting patients and workers. See our previous article on the cost of trips and falls.

Healthcare Facilities Today states that while there is a general trend in commercial building toward sustainability and green options, the decision to choose one product over another generally still comes down to cost, durability and aesthetics. In a healthcare setting, that decision is then compounded by additional concerns, such as how it affects patient care, safety, indoor air quality and infection control.