Unlike residential spaces, commercial buildings are exposed to daily heavy traffic. The flooring solutions in such places need not only be durable and sturdier, but also to look good for several years. Moreover, nothing can make a visual impact in your place of business like a new choice of flooring. Not only does it contribute to a room’s aesthetics, but also elevates the functionality, sending a strong message about what goes on inside. These are the top flooring choices for commercial building designs.

Tiles – millennia of style

Valued for their aesthetic properties and the ease of maintenance, ceramic tiles have been around for more than 5,000 years and are here to stay. However, the property that makes tiles perfect for commercial settings is their durability. Namely, tiles are classified by their hardness, so consumers can easily decide where they can be used.  Porcelain and Enamel Institute (PEI) rates porcelain and ceramic tiles by five classes, ranging from PEI Class I-V. For high-traffic locations like commercial buildings, choose PEI Class IV or V. Modern manufacturing and design have made tiles an even more attractive option than before. Their maintenance is also perfect for a business environment – if one tile is damaged, it can be replaced with a new one, without disturbing the whole area.

Laminate – when your budget is elsewhere

Laminate floors benefit from beautiful photographic images of actual wood, stone, or tile floors, which are applied to a laminated wood base. Needless to say, laminate floors cost a fraction of the real wood or stone. If laminated floors are your pick, look for products with a thick wear layer of melamine resin, as they are more suitable for high-traffic areas. The thickness ranges between 6-15 mm, so make sure you hit an upper figure, anything from 12 to 15 mm. In commercial settings, laminate floors are suitable for individual offices as well as hallways and waiting areas. Due to their cost effectiveness, laminate products have a huge potential in blooming markets like Africa and Asia.  

Vinyl – durability dates style

Vinyl floors are another option that is immensely popular for commercial buildings due to their long-lasting performance. Its versatility lends itself to a wide variety of applications, from offices to retail and healthcare spaces that experience high foot traffic. Rather than being impermeable, this type of flooring is resistant to damage such as indentations and scratches. It cleans easily and with its many different colours and designs, it’s on par with ceramic tiles. Another quality that sells vinyl floors are is acoustic properties that make them an alternative to carpets but with much easier maintenance.  

Polished concrete – not your usual footpath

Far from the concrete, you see on your car park, decorative concrete flooring options include acid-stained, etched, stamped and tinted concrete, as well as concrete floors with embedded tiles, stone, and other features. By using acid-staining, a concrete floor can be made to mimic natural stone, like granite. If you want to promote local values, some manufacturers even give you an option to choose a stone pattern scheme based on your region.  

Carpet tiles – best of both worlds

Once favorite flooring for offices and reception areas, wall-to-wall carpets were notorious for their ease of staining and maintenance over years. Carpet tiles, on the other hand, provide yet unmatched flexibility, as every tile can be replaced individually, with no mess and noise involved. New manufacturers rely heavily on recycled content in yarn and fibres, so their products are easily matched with increasingly strict green building regulations. The price range of these tiles varies greatly, but keep in mind that apart from the ability to maintain their aesthetic appearance over time, carpet tiles need to keep their shape over years and remain flat on the surface. To achieve this, they need to have sufficient weight, dimensional stability, and strength of construction.

Today’s flooring options focus on a visual dimension more than ever. With a rich palette of colours, patterns and formats available, designers have a much easier job in choosing between attractive styles and durable designs, no matter which option you choose.


Published by Emma Lawson