Lock Tile Blog

Inexpensive Commercial Flooring Options

ByAllen Czermak


Investing in flooring for your commercial facility can either  be easy or sometimes a little more challenging. Some warehouses will invest in the type of flooring which has the concrete smoothed out and polished while others might simply leave the floor bare. Depending on what the facility is being used for will determine what type of flooring or finish will be chosen for the final touch. It’s positively surprising when you enter a simple warehouse and you look down and see a nice clean finish on the floor. It does make a great impression even though it is an added expense.

Shipping stations will often forgo any flooring as these venues take quite a beating from forklifts and wood pallets resting on the floor. Still, there are many industrial facilities that look to invest in  flooring for a variety of reasons. Just like in your own home, a warehouse needs to be swept and kept clean daily. Every day there is a build up of dust and shipping paper all over the place that needs to be removed. Not clearing the rubbage will lead to a buildup of dust and create a very unpleasant work environment. In addition, the tremendous amounts of dust can get onto products that will be shipped out to customers. That’s why it’s imperative to keep the floor clean in any warehouse. Applying some type of finish to the warehouse floor can definitely make it easier to keep it clean. Sweeping on raw concrete can be quite difficult as the coarseness gets in the way and leaves behind dirt. Often only a hosing down with water will do the job and that is not practical for a place that needs to be used right away. Smooth surfaces are a lot easier to handle to keep your commercial facility clean.

Yet, flooring requires so much square footage and can be quite an expense. Some warehouses can be blocks long, while others are much smaller and are built from pre-made steel that are simply plotted down in a parking lot. In such a case, the owner might not want to spend so much money but still needs the durability of the finished floor. Very often expensive tools are dropped and replacing them can be quite an expense. We will discuss some commercial flooring options that are both inexpensive and very durable.

Polished Concrete Flooring

Polished concrete is an excellent option for flooring large warehouses with lots of square footage. The base of the floor is already there when the foundation is poured and all that needs to be done is the treating process. The first step is to treat the concrete substrate with a chemical that increases the hardness. Though we may tend to think that concrete is solid rock in reality it is not. Something heavy and sharp can easily damage the concrete and lead to uneven flooring. Once the hardening process is complete, the floor is then polished with a grinder that removes any elements making it smooth. At the same time a sealant is added that comes in multiple colors if color coding is necessary. Concrete flooring options are very durable and require basic floor maintenance such as sweeping and washing. Costs for such type of flooring varies on square footage and the condition of concrete.

Carpet Tile

When looking to lay down flooring for a commercial office space, carpet tile can be a pretty good option. Installation is not that difficult and it’s easy to clean and maintain. This type of tile comes with a peel and stick feature that allows for less skilled installers to successfully install the floor. Since the tiles come as individual squares they give off a very commercial appearance. This means that individual tiles may give off a boxy layout. For offices with a typical work station layout this might be fine, but if you’re talking about a big law firm, carpet tile might not be the right look. Carpet tile is inexpensive and relatively easy to handle. The only downside is its presentation since it may come across a bit too commercial. There are multicolor options that can take care of the appearance issue but the look has to suit the office space.  

Epoxy Flooring Options

Similar to polished concrete, epoxy flooring is a thermosetting resin solution added to a concrete compound. The epoxy solution is then poured over the concrete and formulates to a smooth, shiny, and durable surface. Prior to pouring the epoxy the concrete should be thoroughly cleaned to remove any dirt or dust from the surface. This could be done by taking a leaf blower to blow out the dust and a floor sander to remove anything stuck to the floor surface. Once the floor is completely clean, the bare floor is sprayed with a water/muriatic acid solution. This is then worked into the concrete by letting it dry and then washed again. After that a concrete sealant is spread on top that will protect the floor from any unwanted elements getting into the base of the concrete floor. The last step is when the epoxy resin is spread over the floor with a short bristle brush. 

The advantage of epoxy flooring is that it is relatively cheap and can be highly customizable. Just like one can paint their walls with whatever pattern they wish so could someone paint their floor whatever color they want. Some epoxy floor installers have gotten so creative and designed marbleized color concrete flooring. The epoxy resin fumes pose a health risk to the installers but are totally safe once set in place for foot traffic.  

Interlocking Floor Tiles

One of the more trending commercial flooring options are interlocking floor tiles. These require little to no preparation and can be laid down across any floor surface. These tiles interlock and will format to any surface with no need to sand down the surfaces prior to installation. The tile is very durable and easy to clean. There is an option to add a coat to bring out the color and to provide added wear protection. Another benefit is that the PVC flooring tiles will absorb anything that comes in contact with it such as expensive equipment and more importantly people. Many facilities that host lots of foot traffic will choose to use rubber tile for flooring to prevent injuries and the lawsuits that come along with them.

These interlocking PVC tiles come in a variety of styles and colors that can coordinate with any setting from a commercial office setting to a daycare center. The look comes across as very professional and offers two types of interlocking systems. One tile has the locks at the edge of the tile and the other hides the interlocking mechanism under the tile. Either one is highly durable and requires basic floor maintenance. Shops and stores can have their logo screen printed or laser cut into the tile for a really neat look. The cost of the tile varies on the amount of boxes of tile being ordered. 

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury vinyl tile or better known as LVT can be used both in homes and commercial offices. It’s highly durable and easy to clean. Similar to laminate flooring, LVT is installed by placing one tile into the next. Luxury vinyl tile comes in a wide range of styles and shapes and can be a good flooring solution for both residential and commercial space. What is nice about the LVT flooring options is that it really looks good. Some of the tiles give off a real wood or stone appearance. The price ranges around $3 per a square foot and can be a good option for small to midsize office space. At the same time it’s a lot more durable than real wood, stone or ceramic tile. With LVT one can have the amazing look without spending the money that real wood and stone tile would cost.

Final Words

Commercial flooring is usually overlooked but there are many economical solutions that can work. The ultimate deciding factor of whether or not to use a tile or chemical solution is the size and space of the facility. Larger facilities will usually lean to treating the concrete floor with a solution while smaller facilities want a more custom look that could be attained through floor tile installation. If you choose to go ahead with a tile floor you want to make sure that it is durable and easy to maintain. One does not want to find themselves replacing the floor more than once every 7-12 years. PVC interlocking flooring provides more than just a nice look. There is dual protection for humans and expensive equipment, keeping them safe when falling. This is very important for public facilities who are liable to those who might sustain an injury at their complex. Each floor type has their own benefits and commercial owners need to choose the option that suits their floor best. Whatever the choice it is important that the flooring be able to last you a while without having to worry about it.

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