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What Types of Industrial Flooring Should I Choose?

If you’re running a commercial or industrial business, your choice of flooring is of vital importance – it’s not simply about what looks good, but about what’s going to be safe and durable for your operations and employees, too. Whether you’re running a factory, an office, or a restaurant, common flooring options include epoxy, polished concrete, carpet, vinyl and rubber.

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Photo: lisbokt

Epoxy Flooring
A very common flooring choice for industrial spaces, epoxy flooring is comprised of liquid resin and liquid hardener that, when combined together, solidify into an extremely durable and hard-wearing floor. Epoxy flooring is often chosen because of its ability to sustain high traffic, as well as ‘heavy’ elements such as machinery and vehicles. Epoxy flooring is also ideal because it is slip resistant, chemical resistant and bacteria resistant; its lack of grout lines makes it very hygienic and ideal for restaurants, clinics or factories where chemicals, gases and dust are common. Epoxy flooring is easy to clean and maintain and it has a highly glossy appearance. Bear in mind that epoxy flooring is different to epoxy coating, which is simply a coating of less than 2mm of epoxy applied to a subfloor.

Polished Concrete
Polished concrete is another popular choice for commercial and industrial spaces. Like epoxy flooring, polished concrete is ideal for creating a finish in the colour and pattern of your choice – you could even incorporate your company logo into your floor. It’s also very environmentally friendly, easy to maintain and highly durable. Polished concrete is resistant to moisture, spills, stains, bacteria and dust mites. Polished concrete is also said to have a longer lifespan than epoxy or epoxy coating, which can require reapplications every few years. If your employees are on their feet for long periods of time, however, concrete flooring can be hard and fatiguing. Consider using rugs or mats to soften the floors or installing a softer subfloor if feasible.

Carpet is a great choice for offices and for providing comfort for employees. Carpets can be selected and customised according to your needs and they provide an inexpensive flooring solution, with a range of fibres, colours and finishes on offer. Carpet tiles are also a good option for commercial premises, since they are very easy to install and damaged sections can be quickly replaced. When choosing your carpet, select a cut and style that will support high usage and that is resistant to spills and stains. Carpeted areas are also generally warmer than concrete or tiled areas, providing your employees with a more pleasant working space. However, you may find that carpet need to be replaced every few years.

Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is ideal if you are after a cheap flooring solution that is resistant to moisture and water. Vinyl is also customisable, can be found in a range of patterns and colours, and can be simply and quickly installed. However, depending on your traffic and usage, vinyl may not be as durable as other materials and requires regular cleaning and maintenance. It is an easy and inexpensive choice for your office kitchen or staff room, but is susceptible to marks and damage.

Rubber Flooring
Rubber flooring is ideal for areas where high traffic is common, such as in schools, offices, hospitals, gyms, sporting venues, retail stores, and other industrial spaces and where a comfortable, anti-slip surface is desired. Rubber is resilient, resistant to water and soft to walk on. It is also highly stable and shock and sound absorbent. Rubber is also a great natural insulator, making it warmer in winter and cooler in summer. However, despite being very durable and easy to install, rubber tends to be less versatile than other flooring options and it is easily dirtied or scratched. Ensure when you choose rubber flooring to select something that is fire resistant and hypoallergenic.

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