Pros and Cons of Commercial Flooring – Top 6 Types

Technological advances in commercial flooring have created a variety of applications that have made installation and maintenance more manageable, while delivering long-term return on investment. Some of the most popular choices include carpet tile, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), porcelain tile, vinyl composite tile (VCT), engineered hardwood and laminate wood. In this article we will be examining the pros and cons of these six commercial flooring types.

Pros and Cons of Commercial Flooring by Type:

1. Pros and Cons: Carpet Tile

 Pros

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.

Toronto Carpet Tile contractor

Darwin Fisher carpet tile installation at IMAX headquarters

When it comes to carpet tile some of the pros include varieties available with extra cushion and vinyl backing so that they don’t easily unravel. Carpet tile is also  extremely durable and spot areas can be quickly changed without requiring additional installation expertise. New pattern matching technology ensures that design and patterns are maintained, and the appearance of the finished product resembles broadloom carpet when installed.

Carpet Tile Commercial Toronto

Darwin Fisher carpet tile installation at IMAX headquarters

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 broadloom attic stock available. Carpet tile can be easily spot fixed while broadloom is a larger endeavor. Carpet tile is more economical than broadloom and generates less waste. Broadloom carpet comes in rolls. Carpet tiles have a smaller footprint and are more modular. The cleaning and maintenance costs of carpet are relatively low, requiring regular vacuuming and an occasional deep cleaning.

Toronto carpet contractors

Photo credit Mohawk Group

 Cons

Carpet tiles need to be professionally cleaned so there will be maintenance. If the carpet and the secondary backing are not attached properly, over time they can separate, causing the installation to wrinkle or fibres to stray and pull at the separation point. The most common cause of delamination is improper formulation or application of the adhesive. Carpet tile can also perceived as “cheap” when compared to broadloom in terms of aesthetics, however that is changing as designs, patterns and materials have technologically progressed.

2. Pros and Cons: Porcelain Tile 

This past year, we’ve seen a big increase in porcelain tile installation in dental offices. Porcelain tile has slightly better water resistance and is easy to clean and maintain by damp-mopping with a mild water-soap solution. Porcelain is made of clays that are less porous than ceramic clays. The hard surface is more impervious to moisture than ceramic tile and increases durability heavy traffic and use areas. Chip a porcelain tile, and the color continues all the way through; as a result, the damage is nearly invisible. Porcelain maintenance only requires a daily damp mop and periodic sealing of the grout lines. As it offers solid color throughout, porcelain tiles are stronger and more durable, and chips are less likely to be visible.

dental office porcelain tile

Darwin Fisher dental office porcelain tile installation

 Cons

Porcelain tile is more expensive and is harder surface which may not be the most comfortable for offices that require employees to stand for long periods of time. Also, according to the PTCA,  porcelain tile is defined as an impervious tile with a water absorption of 0.5% or less as measured by the ASTM C373 test method. There is tile being sold in the market which does not meet this standard despite it being advertised and sold as porcelain tile. This has led to marketplace confusion, installation problems and liability concerns due to misrepresentation.

3. Pros and Cons: Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

Pros

LVT has become a popular choice amongst dental offices and commercial offices that offer a residential feel. It’s 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 be 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.

pros and cons of commercial flooring types

Darwin Fisher LVT installation at Entertainment One

 Cons

For offices where employees are standing all day it may not be the best flooring in terms of underfoot comfort. The wear layer varies in terms of thickness. This is why it is important that the thickness be chosen in conjunction with the application requirements or problems can surface in terms of floor traffic and long-term wear.

 

4. Pros and Cons: Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT)

Pros

The pros and cons of commercial flooring also extend to VCT which 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 qualities 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 health care 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.

Vinyl Composite Tile

Photo credit Armstrong Flooring vinyl composite tile

Cons

If not installed properly or in the wrong area, glue on the tiles can come loose and cause the tiles to lift at the corners. Maintenance requires regular waxing and polishing to maintain the protective coating on the surface of the tile. Over time color or pattern deterioration of the tile can be affected. Cleaning issues may also arise that are related to surface wear and tear. VCT offers good value, but it can lack the benefits carpet tiles are able to provide – including reduced ambient noise, improved underfoot comfort, lower risk of slips and falls.

5. Pros and Cons: Engineered Hardwood

The pros and cons of commercial flooring when it comes to engineered hardwood, as seen in the picture below, include the following:

Pros

Engineered hardwood can be a great option for lower traffic areas. It doesn’t expand or contract as much as laminate flooring and is very pleasing from an aesthetic perspective. As it mimics solid wood flooring, it’s a great option that is less expensive to purchase. It is more environmentally friendly than solid hardwood.

Below is picture of how most engineered hardwood looks today. You can see the actual thickness of the hardwood and how it is laminated with plywood underneath to give stability and backing to secure to the subfloor. Most hardwood is produced this way as there are many layers of pressed wood to give stability, plus a thick wood veneer on the surface for several sandings, to be followed by a choice of a variety of sealants.

Pros and cons of commercial flooring

Engineered hardwood sample

The next consideration is the actual finish. There are 3 types of hardwood finishes. lacquer, water-based urethane and oil or hard wax oil finished. “The majority of the market is lacquer or varathane hardwood,” says says Graham Linton, General Manager of Interior Care.

“The water-based urethane finishes have no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) so are low in odour. They also have a hardener component that cures. This means less downtime as it can be walked on after four hours,” says Linton.  “This allows average sized jobs to be complete and ready for use in one day.”

Varathane hardwood can be maintained with specialty cleaning products or with a damp mopping – never over wet. Hardwood installs that have an oil finished product make scratches less visible and can be oiled out. With urethane or lacquer, it’s difficult to impossible to fix scratches without a refinish.

Cons

When considering the pros and cons of commercial flooring when it comes to engineered hardwood, remember that while aesthetically pleasing, it would not be recommended in the main entrance of an office building. Seasonal precipitation and chemicals could damage the appearance and life expectancy. It further requires more maintenance over time in terms of dents, cracks, scratches and scuffs due to high volume of traffic.

It is one of the most expensive materials to install and also is not a good choice for spaces that are prone to moisture as it will warp and can buckle and crack.

Maintenance is also an issue as it requires the same type of maintenance in the long term as real hardwood.  If the scratches are deeper than the actual finish, isolating the repair is difficult. A very simple maintenance solution is to ensure the glides on the bottom of the legs of the furniture are replaced or covered with felt – this prevents surface scratching. Felt glides should be changed frequently as they will wear with use.

Pros and cons of commercial flooring

Hardwood flooring pros and cons

A refresh of the hardwood finish may be required every 8-10 years depending on the wear and tear of the floor. This is a process called ‘buff and coat’ whereby a contractor surface screens (light sanding) the top layers of the hardwood and applies a new coat of finish which can be varathane or longer wearing urethane.

Oil or hard wax oil finishes can be oiled and touched up for isolated scratches. The long-term issue is this type of hardwood finish, over and up to two years tends to dry out in our four-season climate, and requires nourishing through periodic re-oiling.

6. Pros and Cons: Laminate Wood

Pros

This man-made wood is favored as it resembles a variety of styles and finishes that mimic solid wood flooring. It is available at a much more affordable price point than real wood and is easy to maintain. It is often found in buildings that qualify for LEED certification points as it is more environmentally friendly option.

pros and cons of commercial flooring

Pros and cons of laminate wood

Cons

Laminate will not wear as well as some of the other new innovations. It is particularly susceptible to moisture due to that it is made from composite wood and can warp or buckle. It is not recommended for any areas prone to moisture.  It is also very difficult to repair.

Pros and Cons of Commercial Flooring Summary

As there are many products and applications to choose from, it’s critical to consult with a trusted contractor who understands the requirements of a particular space and how it will impact your flooring investment over time. Choosing the right application for your area goes well beyond just price, but should take into consideration the long-term functionality needs, the amount of daily traffic and employee needs.

We have outlined this pros and cons of some of the leading applications to give you a better idea of what to expect when it comes to factors affecting performance, life expectancy and appearance retention. Depending on the installation project, each of the above types of flooring provide different levels of wear and tear and also vary in design and aesthetic impact.

For a free consultation on your next flooring installation please contact info@darwinfisher.com. For other articles on commercial flooring and industry related news, please click here. 

 

 

 

Global Flooring Market Size: Share, Product, Application and Trends Analysis 2022 – 2030

A global flooring market report 2022-2030 projects the overall the market will continue to expand due technological advancements in materials and application, coupled with increased spending.

Grand View Research Inc.  based in San Francisco, CA has released its Flooring Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Ceramic Tiles, Porcelain Tiles, Carpet, Vinyl, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT), Linoleum & Rubber), By Application, By Type, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2022 – 2030 report.

The report states that the global flooring market size was estimated at USD 257.92 billion in 2021 and is expected to register a growth of 5.6% during the forecast period. The market is expected to be driven by increased global spending on infrastructure coupled with the growing world population.

 

global flooring market 2022-2030

U.S. Flooring Market Projections

Global Flooring Market 2022-2030 – Report Insights

The rising population in developing countries has contributed to the growth of the flooring industry in conjunction with fast-paced infrastructural development. Growing disposable income has resulted in increased investments in residential buildings and is also propelling the growth of the flooring industry.

The advancement in application and installation techniques, innovative construction solutions which are continually hitting the market, and rising demand for sustainable products is expected to further drive industry growth. Regulations on  production, usage, implementation, and recycling requirements is also expected to boost market growth.

Moreover, consumer preferences for aesthetically improved designs, textures, & colors and low-maintenance & easy-to-install floorings are anticipated to ascend the market growth. For more information on some of the leading types of commercial products click here.

The rising need for privacy and acoustics has spurred the demand for insulation across the flooring market. For more information on our recent article regarding flooring and acoustics click here. This has resulted in the growing demand for insulation, thereby supporting market growth.

Global Flooring Market 2022-2030 – Product Insights

Porcelain tiles led the market and accounted for 27.6% of revenue share in 2021. Porcelain tiles are stronger and more durable as compared to general ceramic tiles as they are fired at extreme temperatures and are made from denser clays which makes them more durable.

Features such as mold and bacteria resistance offered by impervious porcelain tiles lead to long-term value in floor covering. Porcleain tile is not only strong but easy to maintain.

The ceramic tiles segment accounted for 22.4% of the total revenue share in 2021. Ceramic tiles primarily consist of three types – glazed tiles, unglazed tiles, and scratch-resistant tiles.

The wood & laminate segment was estimated at USD 50,213.2 Million in 2021 and is further estimated to grow with a substantial CAGR in the coming years. This growth is attributed to rising significance of wood in luxury construction in residential as well as commercial areas. The advantages of wood include durability, ease of maintenance, a range of finish options, acoustical values and improved air quality.

While natural stone is more expensive as compared to other flooring products it is widely used for durability, aesthetics, and long-term value for investment.

Global Flooring Market 2022-2030 – Application Insights

The commercial application segment accounted for 43.1% of the revenue share in 2021. Commercial applications are subject to high traffic areas, and therefore require durable flooring such as resilient and wood. Flooring products are used in numerous commercial building applications from corporate offices to large and small retail stores.

Increasing construction of commercial buildings, such as drugstores, grocery, and big-box stores, over the past few years, is expected to benefit the segment growth over the coming years. Moreover, robust demand for office spaces, especially in urban areas of emerging economies, is also propelling demand for high-quality flooring products.

Global Flooring Market 2022-2030

Global Flooring Market By Application

Global Flooring Market 2022-2030 – Regional Insights

The Asia Pacific region dominated the market and accounted for 44.96% of the total share in 2021. The regional market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period. Factors such as increasing investment in affordable housing, smart city construction, upgradation and construction of infrastructure, and investment in the tourism sector are expected to boost the demand for flooring products in the forecast period.

Construction industry in Asia Pacific is expected to grow on account of the rising per capita income, rapid urbanization, and expanding population. The expansion of residential, commercial, and industrial sector sustainable economic growth is expected to boost construction activities, thereby, driving the market for flooring in the forecast period in this sector.

Flooring Market Trends by Region

To learn more about this report, request a free sample copy

The Central & South American flooring market is anticipated to witness sluggish growth compared to other regions worldwide over the coming years. The construction spending in the region witnessed a steep decline in 2020 owing to the pandemic. Although the spending surged in 2021, its pace is anticipated to decelerate in 2022.

The flooring industry in Middle East and Africa was accounted for 11.43% in 2021. Improved funding by the Middle East and African governments, owing to the availability of financing options such as public-private partnerships, domestic capital markets, and private investment funds, is expected to boost the growth of the construction industry, thereby, driving the flooring industry in the region.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

Technological advancements, R+D, coupled with new trends in floor designs and construction solutions have driven the overall market. There are a variety of market players and each of these companies offer a variety of products for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Several manufacturers are engaged in research & development activities to introduce sustainable flooring materials.

Some of the prominent players cited in the global flooring market include:

For  more information regarding Grand View Research’s methodology please click here.

To see related articles regarding commercial flooring trends please click here.

For more information about flooring installation solutions please contact us here.