When building a new business or revamping an existing one, choosing the right flooring is crucial to the success of your company and the satisfaction of your customers. Whether you’re designing a public-facing section of your store or a workshop area that only you will ever see, flooring choices abound.
Here’s a look at the most popular options, as well as some innovative new materials.
Opulence You Can Bank On
As anyone who’s ever been inside of a bank knows, financial institutions love to exude wealth. Stone pillars often flank the entrance, and leather chairs line the solid wood desks inside. A well-designed bank screams “money.”
If you want your customers to feel similarly assured that yours is truly a premium, luxury brand, natural stone tile will convey prosperity in no uncertain terms. Marble is perhaps the most lavish option, the lighter and creamier in color the better. Marble creates a light, ethereal feel that compliments jewelry stores, bridal shops, massage and nail parlors, and other high-end businesses.
Granite is also a great choice, especially if you want your business to radiate class and distinction. Like a red carpet extending from the open door of a black limousine, if you want your store to have a “black-tie affair” look and feel, the darker, more reflective surfaces of polished granite will work wonders. Men’s formal shops, event planning offices, luxury auto dealers and other such businesses can benefit from the sharp impression granite can make on customers.
One of the great advantages of natural stone flooring is that in addition to its luxury and beauty, it’s the strongest, most resilient type of flooring you can install. If, however, your business doesn’t get a ton of foot traffic (if you focused on outside sales, for example), less expensive (but also less durable) tile options are available.
Ceramic, and it’s more well-constructed (but also pricier) cousin porcelain can create similarly regal interiors at sometimes significantly reduced costs. Since they are manmade materials, ceramic and porcelain can be made into practically any size, shape, color or pattern imaginable.
Some products are designed to mimic the appearance of natural stone, but others take wonderful and creative liberties, including imitating wood plank and fiber (i.e. carpet tile) flooring. The advantage of ceramic and porcelain is that they can disguise themselves as practically any material on Earth.
This disadvantage, however, is that they can be prone to breakage. If you’re building or renovating a space that will endure heavy usage, such as a metalwork shop, bicycle repair center, equipment rental store or self-storage facility, it would be more economical in the long run to choose a material more resistant to maltreatment.
Another Karma Chameleon
Another chameleon among flooring, which has the advantage of being both economical and tough, is luxury vinyl plank (although karmic results may vary). Make no mistake, this is not your grandmother’s linoleum.
LVP flooring comes is a wide range of styles, from hardwood-like to imitation stone and carpet. Your feet won’t be deceived when you walk on it, but by all appearances you can have whatever style floor you’d like at a reasonable cost.
Luxury vinyl plank fits best in extremely high-traffic areas that still strive to create the illusion of affluence. Some designers call it the “Apple Store Effect,” when mass-market businesses design a more personable customer experience. One of the ways they do this is by steering clear of more “industrial” design choices (think of the “big-box-store” look) to create a more intimate environment for customer interaction.
If your business caters to a wide spectrum of customers while still maintaining a “lifestyle brand” image, LVP may be the perfect Goldilocks choice for you. Electronics stores, fitness retailers, shoe stores and furniture outlets would all benefit from LVP flooring.
Hardwood: Authentic Charm
If yours is a low- to medium-volume retailer and the authentic charm of hardwood floors would perfectly suit your brand, it may be worth the investment of both money and time to go with the real deal. Nothing can truly imitate the look and under-the-feet feel of real hardwood, and your customers will appreciate the difference.
Of course hardwood comes in a variety of hardnesses, from the very light, such as poplar, to the very dense, such as oak. The more mistreatment you expect your floors to contend with, the harder the wood you should choose. Retailers specializing in clothing, hobbies, books and high-end furniture might be good places to invest in hardwood.
The cost of hardwood isn’t just monetary, however, as it will eventually need to be spruced up, possibly even refinished, depending on how badly it gets worn down. That may mean closing your business for a day or two every few years, or spending extra to have your contractor work overnight to sand and reseal it.
Why You Should Avoid Carpet Like the Plague
Because the plague is just one of the many thousands of types of bacteria that are lurking in just about every carpet you’ll ever see. And that’s not even considering all the viruses and bugs that live there too.
The all too frightening reality is that carpets are sponges for all sorts of nasty things, and even regular vacuuming and shampooing can’t eliminate the health threat completely. The safest, cleanest, most sanitary floors will always be those that can be cleaned directly, such as tile and plank flooring.
Still can’t decide what kind of flooring will make your business stand out? Call or email Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers today for a free consultation. We know you only want the best in flooring. That’s why it’s important to hire the best in the business, and at Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, we can guarantee you that’s us.
Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers have been flooring and remodeling Kentuckiana for over 30 years. Our certified installers have the ingenuity and know-how to assist you in choosing the perfect floors for your home. Don’t take matters into your own hands—let us guide your next project.