What Is the Best Industrial Flooring Option for My Business?
It’s important that your business sets the right tone and creates the right impression. From the moment a client or customer walks through the door, they should instantly get a sense of who you are and what type of atmosphere you want to present. If you’re looking to project a casual and fun atmosphere, there should be no question of this. If you want to seem professional and sophisticated, your workplace needs to communicate this as well.
There are many ways to achieve this. The furniture you place inside your space, the color of the walls, the look of the ceiling and more all work together to create your desired atmosphere. One critical piece of this puzzle is the floor itself. Flooring comes in all different styles, colors, textures and materials. Because there are so many options, there is something for every type of business.
Not only does the right flooring help you achieve the mood and feeling that you’re hoping for, but it also plays a significant role in the functionality of your space. Considering both aesthetic and practicality, then, it’s crucial that you choose the right flooring for your space.
This guide will help you select the perfect flooring for your space.
What Are Your Industrial Flooring Needs and Goals?
When choosing the flooring for your company, you’ll want to start by asking yourself the crucial question — what do you want to achieve with this flooring? To help you answer these questions, consider them in light of these categories:
Some flooring offers a more severe and professional tone. Another flooring option lends itself to an open and airy atmosphere. Still other types of flooring are industrial-looking and lend themselves well to highly function-based settings.
To decide which type of flooring is best, you’ll want to ask yourself what you’d like your space to look like. Additionally, you’ll want to think about how important looks are to you. For example, if yours is a client-facing space, you’ll likely want to put a great deal of thought into aesthetic. If, on the other hand, your space is a back warehouse, aesthetic might not be extremely high on your list of priorities.
At this stage, there is no right answer and no wrong answer. Simply think about what you’d like to achieve and move forward from there.
How will you be using your floors? Will they be expected to hold up under heavy carts or vehicles? Or will they merely be walked on, like in a typical office building?
While this question might not seem initially important, it’s a good idea to think about it. Certain types of flooring are more durable than others, and it’s critical to consider this right from the start of your search.
3. Traffic Levels
Is your floor going to experience substantial use? If it needs to hold up against years of wear-and-tear, you’ll want to invest in a heavy-duty flooring. If your floor is only going to experience light use, you won’t necessarily need such a durable material.
If you aren’t entirely sure what your traffic levels are likely to be, it’s always better to overestimate. Opt for a slightly more heavy-duty flooring. If you don’t end up needing it, then no harm has been done. This is a better alternative to installing a light flooring and discovering too late that it’s being destroyed by heavy usage.
This is purely a question of how dirty your floors will be getting. While all floors will inevitably accumulate some dirt and grime, some are far likelier to grow dirtier than others. For example, an office building will not become dirty as quickly as a factory floor.
This question is important because some floors are easier to clean than others, and some floorings naturally resist contaminants better than others. When you know what to expect from your building, you’ll be better able to choose a more appropriate flooring.
What Is Most Important to You?
In a perfect world, everyone would be able to find precisely the right flooring that meets every single one of their needs perfectly. It’s entirely possible that you will find this. All too often, however, compromises need to be made.
Because of this, it’s important to begin thinking about which elements of your flooring are the most important, and where you might be willing to compromise. When it comes time to make a decision, you’ll be better able to determine which elements are necessary and which are less crucial.
A few of the different elements to consider include:
- Longevity: How long do you need your floor to last? Are you only expecting to get a few years out of it, or are you looking for something that will last as long as the building itself?
- Safety: Are there any particular safety concerns on your mind? If so, this might be a top priority. Otherwise, this might fall reasonably low on the list.
- Material needs: Depending on your building, you might require flooring constructed of specific materials. Alternatively, you might immediately know that certain materials are off limits for your purposes.
What Kind of Flooring Is Available?
Now that we know a bit more about some of the different concerns and factors that will likely affect your choice of flooring, it’s time to look at which types of flooring specifically are available. Here, we’ll look at different types, as well as their various pros and cons and attributes.
As you browse this list, weigh these different attributes in your mind against your own list of requirements and concerns.
1. Epoxy Flooring
One of the primary and popular floor options you’re likely to encounter is the epoxy floor coating. We refer to this as a floor coating because the epoxy is not the floor itself. Your floor will likely still be made of concrete. Epoxy gets put over this concrete to finish it. Whether you’re looking for industrial flooring options or commercial floors for business, epoxy is an excellent choice that will serve you reliably for years to come.
Not all epoxy flooring is the same, however. This isn’t a blanket solution that will look identical every time. Instead, there are a variety of different finishes and styles available, allowing you to select the one that’s truly best for you and your business.
If you choose an epoxy floor solution, here are just a few of the benefits you’ll experience:
- Seamless Finish: An epoxy coating over top of a concrete floor results in a smooth finish with no large bumps or seams. This makes it ideal for heavy traffic from dollies, forklifts and other pieces of heavy equipment, and a perfect choice for manufacturing floors.
- Elegant Finish: The aesthetic appeal of this smooth finish is undeniable, as it provides a sleek and streamlined appearance free from lumps or defects. Epoxy coatings are also available in a wide range of colors and finishes, meaning you can tailor it to match the rest of your aesthetic.
- Minimal Maintenance: Few things are more tedious or time-consuming than scrubbing a floor. With epoxy flooring, this isn’t necessary. This finish requires little to no maintenance. They’re extremely easy to clean and maintain their durability even in highly-trafficked areas.
- Anti-Slip Traction: Worried that your floors might be too slick and cause slipping problems? With epoxy, this isn’t a problem. Epoxy flooring helps increase friction and traction, minimizing slipping incidents. If this is a particular concern for you, you might even choose an epoxy designed for maximum anti-slip protection.
- Chemical Resistance: If there will be chemicals present in your working environment, you’ll want a floor coating that can withstand this exposure without suffering damage. This is where an epoxy coating comes in, as it won’t just resist corrosion, but it also acts as a barrier that prevents the chemicals from harming the concrete underneath.
2. Urethane Concrete
Similarly to epoxy coatings, urethane concrete acts as a sealing layer over top of a concrete floor. This seal applies urethane resin, from which the name is derived, to the cement powder and creates a durable, finished concrete surface.
As with epoxy coatings, urethane concrete comes in a variety of different forms, finishes and styles, and there is no singular “best” option. Instead, it’s more about finding what’s best for your needs and your setting.
A few of the significant benefits you can expect to reap when you choose this type of commercial flooring for your business include:
- Chemical Resistance: Worried about chemical spills, abrasions or corrosion? Urethane concrete offers superb protection from these types of incidents, allowing you to operate without stressing over this additional worry.
- Impact Defense: If you’re going to be driving heavy vehicles over your flooring, or even if you frequently transport heavy items that might get dropped, you’ll want flooring that won’t crumble beneath these potential impacts. Urethane concrete can provide this stability.
- Thermal-Shock Resistance: Unfortunately, bare concrete tends to split in the cold and the ice, creating a significant problem for those using it as flooring in places that will potentially get extremely cold or hot. Urethane concrete does an excellent job of correcting this problem by creating a thermal-shock resistant barrier that protects the concrete underneath. This makes it an excellent choice for places like plane hangars and fire stations that may be partially outdoors.
- Abrasion Protection: Urethane concrete effectively guards your concrete against the cosmetic bumps, bruises and scars that would otherwise mar the surface, creating damage that both looks unpleasant and creates hazards in the forms of divots and potholes.
3. Methyl Methacrylate
Methyl Methacrylate, often known as MMA, is a dual system polymer and is one of the popular choices for coating industrial and commercial floors. In this way, it acts much the same as other floorings we have looked at — as a protective sealing layer over the concrete floor itself.
Like both the epoxy and the urethane, MMA flooring comes with its own set of advantages and reasons why people choose this type of flooring. A few of these major benefits include:
- Low Curing Temperature: Because these MMA floors have a low curing temperature, they’re less complicated and picky when it comes to installing them. This means less hassle on your part and potentially, less time spent during the installation.
- Scratch Resistance: One of the major advantages that MMA flooring supplies in abundance is a high level of scratch resistance. For environments where objects will frequently be colliding with the floor, or heavy amounts of traffic will take place, this makes MMA one of the better choices.
- Matte Finish: Looking for a floor that has a low-gloss shine and a neutral matte setting? MMA flooring might be the way to go. Unlike other floors that develop a high level of shine when they cure, MMA flooring is a little more neutral, with a traditional flat appearance. This relatively neutral appearance might make it appropriate for settings like healthcare facilities or nursing homes.
4. Acid Brick/Dairy Tile
Acid brick is unlike the other floorings we’ve mentioned, which are coatings installed on top of a pre-existing floor and are not the floor itself, per se. Also known as dairy tile, this type of flooring is a specifically designed brick that forms the floor itself.
The major advantages offered by this flooring solution include:
- Thermal Stability: Worried that your location is going to be getting extremely hot? Extremely cold? With acid brick, this won’t be a problem.
- Impact Resistance: Acid brick is designed to be able to take a beating. It’s capable of handling heavy impacts and lots of traffic all without denting, cracking or breaking.
- Chemical Resistance: Some floors might become damaged in the face of chemical contact, becoming discolored, corroded or stained. Acid brick is designed to handle these types of contact, however, and stand up to them without sustaining any damage.
- Durability: In addition to its natural resistance to many potentially damaging impacts, acid brick is also built to last. Its natural durability and longevity will be major assets no matter where you install this flooring. Because of this, it’s a perfect candidate for places like food and dairy product manufacturing floors.
How Long Will It Last?
This is nearly an impossible question to answer, as the lifespan of your floor will vary wildly based on how well you maintain it and how much traffic it experiences. In some cases, if it is not heavily trafficked, it can last for decades. In other cases, however, when extreme traffic conditions are at play, your floor may last less than ten years.
You can do your part to improve the longevity of your flooring by cleaning it regularly and promptly attending to any damage, instead of letting the damage sit without care.
How Long Does It Take to Install?
This depends slightly — on the type of floor you’re having installed, on what state your floor is in before this installation, as well as on other extenuating circumstances such as additional complications. In general, however, you can expect a floor installation to take anywhere from a few hours to potentially a few days. This time window can vary widely, but these numbers provide a rough estimate. Keep in mind that not all of this time is actual installation work. You will spend most of this time just waiting for the new flooring to cure.
What Is the Best Commercial Flooring Option for Your Industry?
As you look at your business and your setting, it can be helpful to know what others in your same industry choose for their flooring, and what their typical concerns are. While it would be impossible to mention every industry, here are a few examples, and what they might install on their floors.
Because you are the only one who can truly know the needs your location has, we will not attempt to dictate which type of flooring you need. Instead, we’ll look at a few of the concerns you should be aware of moving forward, that will help guide your choice.
- Healthcare: In healthcare settings, be they hospitals, nursing homes or clinics, you likely won’t worry about heavy forklifts or major temperature fluctuations. You probably won’t need something heavy-duty, but you will need to worry about how easy it is to clean and how it holds up under heavy traffic.
- Manufacturing: If you run a manufacturing plant, you’ll likely have heavy machinery. You may want to invest in something a little more durable and resistant to things like chemicals, thermal variations and blunt impacts.
- Retirement communities: Similarly to healthcare facilities, retirement communities will need to be easy to clean and able to stand up to heavy traffic. Also, make sure the floor’s finish is smooth and without the kind of blemishes that could cause tripping hazards.
- Plane hangars: For this type of setting, you will want to think about blunt impacts and heavy amounts of traffic. Select flooring that can withstand the weight of airplanes and their equipment.
- Fire stations: At a fire station, your floor will need to hold up to many different hazards. Think of heavy fire truck traffic, potential chemical damage, potential thermal damage and more. Choose a flooring option that will be able to resist these hazards.
Shop Commercial and Industrial Flooring at Houck
Whether you’re building an entirely new space, re-inventing an old one or simply replacing an old floor, you can find the flooring to fit your needs at Houck. We work with flooring materials such as:
- Methyl methacrylate (MMA)
- Polyurethane concrete
- Acid brick/dairy tile
Not only do we install these materials, but we also specialize in repairs, meaning that if your floor still has some life left in it and just needs a repair job, we’re ready and willing to help with that, as well.