Beautiful hardwood, stone, VCT and laminate floors have become more prevalent in all sorts of settings, including schools, hospitals, office buildings and restaurants.
Understanding how to maintain them is the key to minimizing costs and avoiding the need for frequent refinishing or premature replacement.
One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to protect your floors is to install floor protectors on furniture legs.
Today, floor protectors come in many shapes, types and sizes to accommodate different kinds of furniture legs.
They are easy to install with peel and stick backs, or there are other versions that simply slip over chair, desk or table legs.
They provide a protective barrier between the leg and the floor, decreasing the chance of damage and reducing noise.
Noise And Stress On Furniture Joints
Floor protectors enable furniture to slide or roll quietly across hard surfaces.
You can move furniture quickly and effortlessly, so there is less stress on the furniture joints, thus extending the life of the furniture and reducing its maintenance.
The floor protectors also assure that the noise level is kept to a minimum.
Changing the furniture arrangement for impromptu meetings at schools and offices or reorganizing tables and chairs at restaurants and hotels is easier and keeps the rooms quiet when floor protectors are installed.
Two schools in Wisconsin recently experienced the benefits of installing floor protectors in their classrooms.
Union Grove Union Free High School in Union Grove recently remodeled a science and technology classroom.
They soon realized that the hard caster wheels on the rolling chairs were a very noisy distraction for students.
Using a soft tire that covered the hard plastic wheels caused the classroom noise to decrease dramatically.
“The teachers are as happy as could be about it,” says Kurt Jorgensen, director of operations for the school. “By cushioning the rollers, the rooms are much quieter.”
Indian Trails High School in Kenosha recently started using floor savers to decrease noise from chairs and music stands in their band room.
“The difference was like night and day,” says Ken Weile, the school’s band instructor. “It made teaching my classes much better, because I do not have to talk over the noise of chairs and stands, and helped the kids focus on their material. The chairs and music stands were just so noisy.”
Protect Floors, Extend Maintenance
A constant threat to hard surface floors is scratching, most commonly from furniture legs.
Once the floor is damaged, most of the time it can be refinished or repaired, but it’s ideal to avoid this sort of maintenance as long as possible.
Floor protectors applied to furniture legs are extremely helpful in extending the time required between major maintenance activities.
The investment required to purchase floor protectors is recouped by reducing the frequency of significant maintenance as well as scrubbing and recoating.
Even with eight coats of wax applied to a newly remodeled classroom at Union Grove Union Free High School, the floor was still being damaged.
“It took just two months for the students to go through the wax and begin scratching the floors,” Jorgensen says. “Without the floor protectors, we would have had to rewax the floor two to three maybe four times during the school year. Now, when you roll the chairs, there is no grinding”
All told, Union Grove Union Free High School estimates that they are saving approximately $6 per square foot annually by adding soft covers to the hard caster wheels.
Indian Trails High School also benefited from decreased maintenance in its band room when they started using floor savers.
“Our janitorial staff noticed the first day they were installed, because moving the chairs around to clean can be a very noisy job,” Weile explains. “After installing the floor protectors with felt, they couldn’t be happier. The products will significantly increase the time between floor finishing, too. They have already reduced the frequency for polishing the floors.”
Felt pads are now available in all sorts of shapes and sizes, for all types of legs.
Standard peel back felt pads can be purchased for most applications and durable slip-on styles that don’t require adhesive are available for the harshest environments.
There are wrap-around felt pads to use with chairs that have sleigh rails and soft vinyl covers that can be applied to rollers on chairs.
All of them put a barrier between the potentially damaging leg or wheel and the floor.
Furniture protectors are a solution anywhere that it’s necessary to move furniture often.
Restaurants and bars have constant movement with chairs and table, as do classrooms, offices and hospitals.
Look for pads with a strong felt and durable construction, and you’ll have an affordable solution to protect floors in any environment.
Bret Bushey is vice president of sales for Expanded Technologies. The company was founded in 1987 by his father, Richard Bushey, who invented the first peel and stick heavy-duty felt pad to place under furniture legs for floor protection. Today, the company offers a variety of patented products designed to reduce wear and damage caused by furniture for homes, offices, hospitals, restaurants, hotels and schools. For more information, call (888) 654-7720 or visit www.ExpandedTechnologies.com.