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Best Flooring for High Traffic Areas: Hardwood, Concrete, Vinyl, Carpet

carousel1-1High traffic flooring has a huge set of demands to live up to, with the most important demand being durability. Whatever surface is chosen, it must be able to withstand the never ending foot traffic with minimal wear and tear. Commercial flooring is a big investment and hopefully that investment will have a long life while maintaining its appeal, functionality and wear-resistance. 

1)      Hardwood     

Hardwood flooring is always a perennial favorite and one of the smartest choices for any high traffic area. Hardwood flooring has been around for centuries because of the inherent strength it possesses, the abundance of hardwood trees in North America and its natural “give” making it easy to walk upon without fatigue. Hardwood flooring is the surface of choice in many museums, hospitals and other high-traffic areas that log millions of visitors each year. 

Technological advancements have further improved on the perfection of Mother Nature creating an even stronger surface with increased durability. With proper maintenance and with proper conditions such as proper humidity levels, hardwood can outlast most other available flooring options. Considering cost factors beyond initial purchase price and installation, the lifetime cost of hardwood is more cost-effective than other options.    

2)      Concrete

Commercial concrete makes the list of smart choices for high traffic flooring because of its ability to withstand abuse. Often seen in restaurants, retail spaces and in salons, concrete is also customizable; providing unlimited decorative options to transform any space into a work of art.  Offering performance and durability, concrete does require high-performance finishes and coatings to ensure its stain resistance and ease of maintenance. These high-performance finishes also allow the surface to repel spills, resist staining and creates a non-slip surface.      

Concrete also offers the ability to act as a blank canvas, enhancing the atmosphere, attracting attention and directing the eye to improve traffic flow. Graphics can be added to enhance or reflect the theme of the business. Highly polished concrete has great reflective qualities, increasing the brightness of the space and making the environment more inviting. Other benefits of polished concrete include durability, abrasion resistance and low maintenance.

3)      Vinyl

Vinyl has come a long way since its creation back in the 19th by a French physician. Celebrated for its durability and strength since its birth, vinyl has become stylish as well as durable now available in many textures, colors and design options. Vinyl can be designed to look like hardwood flooring, stone or ceramic tile all while providing durability and low maintenance. 

The price is directly related to the quality and durability with this commercial flooring. In other words, you get what you pay for. Less expensive options will have a shorter lifespan showing wear and will need to be replaced before a higher quality surface. Since vinyl is subject to abrasions caused by dirt, sand and debris, it is important that regular sweeping and or vacuuming takes place to remove the threat of scratching and dulling of the surface.

4)      Carpet

Many overlook carpet as a great contender for high traffic areas, but when installed correctly, this can be a very effective choice of flooring. If properly constructed, carpet can be extremely durable and even keep the noise down in a crowded place. Commercial flooring experts are well versed in these types of carpet options, such as nylon.

What to Avoid for High Traffic Spaces

Cork is quickly becoming a widely used flooring surface with many great qualities such as comfort, sound resistance and thermal insulation, but does not provide the hard core durability for commercial spaces that have high traffic demands. Cork flooring is not recommended for high traffic commercial areas such as counter halls and multi-purpose rooms because it is very impressionable and susceptible to marking and indentations. Cork is a natural substance that will fade over time in direct sunlight changing the appearance of the surface. 

Considerations When Choosing Flooring                   

When making the choice about which flooring is best for your high traffic area, consideration must be given to durability, duration and cost. Aesthetics no longer has to be compromised in the battle between brawn and beauty; hardwood, concrete, vinyl and carpet all provide lasting looks while being able to withstand the punishment of being in a high traffic area.

A commercial flooring specialist can help you decide what type of flooring is best for your high traffic space. Commercial Flooring & Interior Concepts has worked with many clients who have needed solutions for high traffic flooring in several different industries, including hospitality, healthcare, fitness and more. If you’re looking for more guidance about the best flooring for high traffic areas, click below!

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