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The best floor coverings for an office
There is nothing that influences the look and feels of an office surface like the floor covering you choose. An office environment demands a certain look and feel to reflect what is happening inside the office. The floor contributes not only to the aesthetics of a room, but also to its function and convenience.
Verity Hunter, Head of Sales at Flowcrete SA, a specialised floor covering firm in South Africa, says that the Asian markets, especially East Africa, have a tendency to use many tile products in office applications as they are quite inexpensive. Mainly ceramics from China. However, more and more businesses are turning to hard floors as an office choice.
"Flowcrete is currently getting some requests for a brushed or pickled surface ofcrete. Rising demands for pickled thin layer concrete are due to the fact that businesses are looking for a more attractive and durable surface coating," she states.
These types of floor coverings are perfect for companies that need some kind of sound protection, such as an office area. However, it is important to remember that carpets can be susceptible to staining and may need special care over the years. Teppichfliesen offer more versatility, as each individual carpet can be changed without clutter and noises.
There are also carpet tile designs in different lifestyles and designs that offer executives a variety of options that mirror the look and feel of an office. Zandile Gumede of VAN DYCK FLOORS, South Africa's oldest carpet producer, says the carpet tile industry is currently growing.
Generally speaking, carpet tile is becoming more environment conscious. Today, consumers are looking for more durable floors," she added. In addition, she says that it is essential that carpet not only retains its esthetic look over the course of its life, but that it also has the capacity to retain its form and stay level on the ground without bulging or bending.
It is these elements that define the life of carpet flooring and are very important in selecting the right office floor that lasts and always looks good. The vinyl floor is loved by industrial floor coverings because of its long life. Ideally suited for a broad spectrum of office, industrial, healthcare as well as consumer space uses that are subject to high loads.
These types of floors are hard-wearing and resist damages such as depressions and scrapes. Available in many different colors and styles, it adds a classy note to any office. Wendy Mitrovich of Polyflor SA, one of the premier vinyl floors providers in South Africa, says it is important to know exactly what the surface will be used for, the planned transport in the area and customers' needs when selecting a vinyl carpet.
"More and more, vinyl is becoming the favourite material for floors because of its convenience, long life and resistance, its hygiene and acoustics, its layout options, its serviceability and ecological awareness," she states. Elastic floors are perfect for high frequented industrial interiors such as airport, health care and restaurant use. Elastic floors are long-lasting, moisture and temperature proof and easily maintained.
Parquet has always been the classy look in most office environments and has never gone out of fashion. Emphasises the look and feels of office interiors and is long-lasting and easily cleaned. It' a great office floor office options for areas that have a great deal of action.
Although damaged by humidity, the choice of a prefabricated base can help preserve its look. It is a cheaper option to wooden floors, tile or brick. In the laminating operation, two or more kinds of material are fused and sealed. Long-lasting, easily cleaned and maintained.
There are also various choices: plain laminated, moulded laminated, patinated and wooden-grained. Indian Floor Expert Mukesh Kumar notes that for a breakthrough African type of markets, laminated floors are a great value proposition due to their economics. The other best floor covering option is tile.
The tile is strong enough for the customer to have a choice. Waterproof and dirt-repellent fibreglass tile. Tile also improves the appearance of an office, as long as it is periodically washed. Greg Barry of Belgotex, a leader in Africa's manufacture of flexible floor coverings, says color and styling are very crucial issues.
"Tilted board size tiled floors are becoming very fashionable in 1.2m x 30m, and luxury vinyl wooden look floors are still up there. We also have new, lively needle punch designs," he added. In addition, Mr. Edu Mas Rafels of Ape Grupo in Spain added that the ceramics floors markets are almost endless, there are many demands and preferences to offer one or the other one.
"Generally speaking, the Asian markets are on the advance and the demand for tiles is very varied, from intensive to industrial applications, from intensive to bright and / or brilliant floors for new facilities in stylish finish. Neither a standard surfacing nor a cement surfacing demand exists that can be expanded to the Africa markets in relation to either works or projects," he states.
But not all types of coverings are perfect for all sites. A number of different criteria influence the selection of your carpet, according to Mr Devolder of United, a Belgian producer of vinyl decking known for its high-speed decking. "Not only should a subfloor be simple and quickly laid, it should also be durable and low-care.
Together, all these elements define the power of a floor," he added. Therefore, executives should be active and work with experts such as specifiers, interiors specialists and vendors to find the best floors for their office. Working with experts will help you to take into consideration the many different aspects you may miss when designing your own laying of floors:
Highly frequented office areas need floors that can cope with the busy office environment. Universities, aerodromes and areas of the municipality often have floor coverings such as terrain, quartz, marble or even grandite. The density of pedestrian flow also varies depending on the office functions and thus influences the cleanness and service of the office.
The choice of floor covering should be based on the lightness of the repairs when they start to age. Observations of the corridors of most office buildings show that most walks take place in this area and are therefore likely to be the first to age.
It should be possible to easily fix or change the layout without bothering staff, customers and the company as a whole. The majority of commonly used kinds of floors require significant and careful care. For example, carpet debris must be quickly eliminated and VCT tiles must often be cleaned from old floors and substituted with new ones.
Therefore, the labor costs for the care of floors over the course of the years will be many multiples of the costs of installing them. Often the service live of a soil substrate will depend on problems that the manufacturer cannot foresee, such as the amount of service required on that substrate. Good soil care can last longer than the nominal service lifetime.
Certain floor coverings have a higher content of VOCs than others. Not only does the content of floor coverings have a positive influence on room climate but also on the recyclability of the end products and the reusability of the end products by industrial users. An old saying about penny-wise and pound-foolish is not appropriate when considering the most appropriate kind of floor covering for an office.
It is important to consider the lifecycle cost of floor coverings; lower cost items could not become less expensive over a period of years than higher cost items. The choice of an economical floor layout already in the planning phase is a wrong saving. In addition, according to Jerome Gaubert of Floover, a supplier of floor covering in Spain, every single installation is different, so it is important to consider issues such as budgets, specifications and designs.
Since floor covering technologies are changing and improving, the Africa markets are reacting to the changes by reacting quickly to the changes and enhancements provided. There are certain evolutions for vinyls, according to Sasha Kozinsky, director of Finfloor, an import and distribution company for floor coverings in South Africa, namely the launch of Diamond SPC hard cores, a hard plastics compound that is the most durable floor covering on the shelves.
Out of all construction material, all types of floors and also the adjustment to floors change. Kozinsky adds: "The move to ecology is causing many flooring executives to reconsider when looking for alternative products to rugs and contemporary vinyls. Africa, Middle East and Greece at FORBO, a leading international provider of high performance flooring for private and business use.
Pickled concretes with an thin layer of Epoxy paint are in high demand now. The reason for this is that businesses are looking for a more attractive and durable surface covering. One of the tendencies, according to Ms. Hunter, is that Flowcrete receives many more requests, for epoxy terrazzo flooring.
Very similar to brushed concretes, this kind of ground can be laid with a wide range of paints and additives to achieve a custom finished surface. A further increasingly sought-after development is the use of metal coatings based on epoxy. "Every single plumbing system is one of a kind, which is one of the beauty of the product," she added.
Mr Akis Apostolopoulos of KTISIS, a soil specialists in Greece, added that in most business areas EPOX is becoming the favourite option. The reason for this is the low costs and can be laid more quickly than tile. Interest in design floorings such as 3-D and metal floorings seems to be high.
Prashant Patel of the Indian company Bej Ceramics also notes that ceramics as an option to floor coverings have changed dramatically since the advent of digitally printed products. It says that the consumer no longer prefers only ceramics for cleanness and sanitation, but also prefers uniquely-designed. Briefly, the new Open Spaces Office trends approach to Open Spaces Office design creates new, varied and varied applications, according to Carolina Aragón of Polygroup, a world-renowned Spanish double floorist.
"One of the key criteria for this sleek look is the presentation of blacks and metals on the ground that neutralize the whiteness of the wall. The most sought-after features from our double-floor décor range are the country-style look, shades of darkness and vinyls," she added. "Surfacing can serve as a visible sign: with muted, neutrals used for calmer areas and strong, light colours indicative of a room for creativity.