When it comes to choosing flooring material for your office space, there can be many factors to consider including price, durability and appearance. Within this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of four common office flooring surfaces for commercial premises; carpet, rubber, vinyl and ceramic tiles.
Floor safety is extremely important in office environments in order to provide legal defence in the event of a slip. Companies are expected to demonstrate a duty of care to employees and clients and should abide by high standards with an emphasis on health and safety requirements in an attempt to minimise and prevent any slip hazards. Currently, the Pendulum Test is the most recognised slip resistance testing method and is recommended by the UK Slip Resistance Group, because it’s accepted by UK courts in civil slip injury claims. Suitable wet floor signs should be used to highlight slippery surfaces. Carpet, rubber, vinyl and ceramic tiles are either already slip resistant or can be treated to become slip resistant; more details on each flooring type can be found below.
Carpet flooring offers two slightly different options; wall to wall or tiles. Both offer the same benefits, with the exception of carpet tiles providing the extra advantage of only having to replace one tile at a time if they were to become damaged or too dirty to clean. Both carpet types do however need cleaning daily, preferably by hoover. Carpet offers a soft surface which can provide more comfort for those who are working on their feet, although the soft surface isn’t recommended for heavy footfall office spaces as it can be easily worn. Although carpet is a soft surface, it is also rigid enough to be slip resistant. Carpet is extremely flexible in cost, colours and designs and can be shaped to fit any workspace, delivering a less formal but professional look. It is a very insulated material which can not only aid in noise reduction but can also contribute to lowering energy costs.
Unlike carpet, rubber flooring can be ideal for high traffic areas as it’s very durable, so there’s no need to replace it as frequently to keep a fresh appearance. Not only this, but if this flooring does become dirty, it is easy to clean and care for. This product offers versatility when it comes to design to rightly fit the atmosphere of your office. Rubber can also be appealing due to it’s heat, water and slip resistance so is perfect for kitchen and catering areas.
Vinyl is a popular choice in office buildings, offering a wide range of colours and designs including tiles, planks and sheets. Although not always as durable as other materials, it’s a cheaper option for those on a budget and can be treated instantly to prevent damage such as scratches and stains; a helpful aid to avoid regular replacement. This particular type of flooring isn’t high maintenance and is generally easy to clean, also being water resistant (especially in sheet form). However, it is unsuitable in areas where hot spills may regularly occur as this damage can not be easily rectified. For a more slip resistant surface, purchase a thicker, but soft, vinyl flooring.
Ceramic tiles offer the most attractive and elegant look. They are a durable material, so are favourable in high traffic areas such as receptions, but can be damaged if heavy objects are dropped on them. Like carpet tiles, you have the advantage of only having to replace single damaged tiles instead of the entire floor. Ceramic tiles can also stain but there are numerous professional cleaners that can restore them to their original look if this does occur. There is the option of either glazed or unglazed tiles; the latter are slightly more slip resistant as glazed tiles can become slippery when wet. As ceramic tile flooring is the least slip resistant it is recommended that a pendulum slip test is carried out frequently.
If you are in the process of replacing the flooring in your office and are wanting help and advice on the correct flooring for your premises our floor safety consultancy service is the perfect solution. We can ensure that you are fulfilling your legal obligations as well as carrying out the necessary on-site slip testing services to gauge the safety of your current floors, call today for a free quote.