CHICAGO — Selecting the right type of flooring to be installed in a commercial facility is critical to the performance, use, and costs of maintaining that facility.
There are now many options available to developers and building managers, from traditional VCT (vinyl composition tile) to wood, stone, vinyl, and, of course, carpet.
However, selecting the right floor for specific areas can be difficult to determine. Because of this, Sean Martschinke, product manager with Tornado Industries, manufacturer of a full range of professional floor care equipment, offers the following considerations and suggestions:
How the space is used. For instance, VCT flooring is invariably installed in cafeterias, especially in schools. However, some locations are now installing carpet tiles because they help quiet a cafeteria and if excessively stained, individual tiles can simply be removed.
Walkways. For heavily trafficked walkways, terrazzo is often the best choice. Other hard surface floors may not be as durable and carpet can quickly develop pathways and pathway soiling.
Ease of maintenance. There is an industry debate as to which type of floor, hard surface or carpeted, is easier to maintain. Carpets need restorative maintenance and spills must be attended to quickly before they become stains; hard surface floors are more resilient to spills, but may need to be stripped and refinished on a semi-annual basis depending on the floor type. However, for easy and quick cleanup, hard surface floors take the prize.
Service life. Stone and terrazzo floors can last for 25 years or more. VCT typically has a life expectancy of 10-15 years. Carpets, depending on the type and where they are used, should last three to seven years in a commercial facility.
"Whichever floor type is selected, builders and managers are advised to select the floor type that meets both current and future facility needs of their space, and optimizes maintenance requirements," says Martschinke.
"For instance, Alan Bigger, formerly with the University of Notre Dame, says the process of selecting must consider the entire life cycle cost, including ongoing maintenance."*
* Alan Bigger, a frequent writer for the professional cleaning and building industries, is the former building services director at the University of Notre Dame.
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About Tornado a Tacony Company
Tornado Industries has been engineering quality cleaning equipment for more than 85 years. The company has a long history of developing innovative products and applying the latest technology to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve safety. Tornado prides itself on always being on the cutting edge of cleaning solutions. Many of the company's products are assembled in America with globally sourced parts.