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

Dental Offices 2020: LVT Continues To Be Top Installation Choice

Dental office flooring installation in 2020 continues to move from linoleum and ceramic tile to luxury vinyl tile (LVT). Low maintenance products such as LVT, which we have profiled in the past, have been gaining influence as a viable solution based on design aesthetics, ease of installation, cleaning and maintenance. This type of floor surface is also slip resistant and offers smooth transitions from one area to another.

LVT is extremely versatile from a design perspective. It can replicate the appearance of natural stone or wood but will not wear like natural materials. It won’t chip or discolour and will not expand and contract as wood does in humid or dry seasons. It can also replicate real wood or stone at a fraction of the price. Products made from 100% vinyl are classified as green solutions and eligible for LEED points. LVT is also more economical  from an initial cost perspective (supply + install) over ceramic.

lvt and dental offices

LVT installation continues to be popular for dental offices

“From a flooring contractor’s perspective the biggest change to date that we’ve seen is  dental office flooring moving away from linoleum or ceramic tile to LVT”, explains Doug McDonald, President of Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring. “LVT offers superior thermal and acoustic properties in comparison to hard surface flooring. Plus, it’s easy to maintain and repair.”

Also in the past the design community drove 75% of the chosen flooring. This has also changed as Darwin Fisher is driving the flooring selection for almost all of its dental office projects. The migration was made possible over a short time as new and more optimal flooring technologies like LVT were made available that were better suited to the healthcare environment.

“There are still some ceramic tile requests but less than before. For new offices I am actually seeing it more in the entrance vestibule and washrooms rather than sterilization/lab area,” says McDonald.

LVT dental office installation Toronto

Photo credit: Canadian Dental Construction

Dental Office Trends: The Move Away from Ceramic

“Dentists are now doing everything they can to make the waiting area as comfortable as possible,” 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.”

For dental office flooring, there has been a move away from using only ceramic tile. Many of the newer flooring finishes like LVT are being used as they offer 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.

Dentist offices are no longer cold and clinical. There have been many changes as compared to 20 years ago. “For example, we now design the operatories to be less intimidating so we take as much focus as we can off of the patient chair and plan the room around audio visual….The look is much neater, cleaner and less intimidating for the patient. Even softer lighting in the ceilings is taken into account,” explains Burns.

There are a few benefits associated with the newer loose lay technology:

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

Dental Office Trends: LVT Becoming a Long-Term Solution

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

lvt installation toronto

Photo credit: Canadian Dental Construction

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

Currently, over 80% of dental office flooring installations are LVT for Darwin Fisher clients. The odd time Darwin Fisher gets request for carpet tile; however this is generally if the existing office has carpet and an economical flooring replacement is needed. However, in most instances the dentist will opt to upgrade to new LVT to replace the old flooring.

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

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

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

3 Proven Strategies for Maximizing Your Carpet Investment

Maintenance is an important consideration if you are looking to get the most out of your carpet tile investment. In our last blog post we examined 5 tips for a successful carpet installation, while choosing the right product for your new build or retrofit.

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

Commercial flooring contractor examples Toronto

Darwin Fisher carpet tile installation: Toronto offices

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.

Commercial flooring cleaning and maintenance

Photo credit: Interior Care

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. “Also, 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. 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.

Stay tuned for future articles on 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.