Business owners deciding on what type of floor would look best.

Low Maintenance Hard Surface Floors

There’s no way around it- hard surface flooring isn’t cheap.  Whether you’re looking to upgrade the flooring in your business, or are simply trying to salvage old floors, it’s important to note that nearly every flooring type requires somemaintenance.  The good news: if your floors look so bad it’s embarrassing, you’ve come to the right place.  Bad news: no flooring is simply “install it and forget it”.  If you’re looking to purchase new flooring, the product and maintenance costs are certainly something to consider. In this blog, we’ll focus on the types of hard surface floors commonly found in commercial facilities.  In order from low to high maintenance, lets dive right in.  

Polished concrete requires the least amount of maintenance 

A no-brainer.  The king of durable flooring is polished concrete.  Seems like you’re seeing it everywhere, right?  For the past few years the trend for many commercial facilities such as supermarkets and office buildings is to rip out that old carpet, tile and even wood.  They’re taking things down to the foundation and going with concrete.  Why?  It’s a big cost-saver in the long-run.  

Yes, a polished concrete installation will give your business a showroom appearance.  But it also costs a fortune.  Initially, you’re creating an inviting space for your clients; but what about maintenance moving forward? You may be pleased to hear that it requires very little.  Regular sweeping and mopping will suffice.  However, over time, dirt, grime, and grease can bond to the surface.  An occasional machine scrubbing might be in order to aggressively emulsify and break up that stubborn dirt and oil.   

Ceramic or Porcelain tile, comes in as the second most durable floor

Tile flooring can look amazing and can boost the look of any interior space.  It’s also known for its durability and resistance to stains, moisture and scratches.  It requires minimal maintenance.  Just a routine sweep and mop and you’re good to go.  However, the product cost and installation can be high.  Also, new grout should be sealed with an impregnating, penetrating sealer.  This prevents staining and water absorption into the grout.  These sealers are pricey as well.  But once installed and sealed, you’ll be good to go for quite some time.

Side note: keep an eye on your grout lines as they may periodically need scrubbing.

Tile and grout flooring throughout a commercial office facility.

Engineered Flooring is all the Rage 

Engineered floor technology has made leaps and bounds in replicating the look of hardwood, stone, or tile.   It is highly durable as well.  Product and installation costs are also reasonable.  Let’s look at various types…

LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) & LVP (Luxury Vinyl Planks):

Luxury vinyl tile and planks are a premium vinyl product that can replicate the look of hardwood, stone, or tile.   It is highly durable, and water resistant, giving you the look of wood or stone without being porous.  These types of floors work well in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas that are susceptible to moisture.  It’s easy to clean with sweeping and occasion damp mopping.

VCT or Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Regular vinyl tile or sheet vinyl flooring is cheap and durable.  However, the maintenance costs can be considerable as it requires a protective layer of wax.  Water-based wax product will prevent scuffs, scratches and damage to the tile itself.  It also helps with waterproofing.  Unfortunately the wax doesn’t last forever.  It will eventually chip away over time. In fact, it’s a good idea to have it chemically stripped off and re-applied once a year.  Depending on how much traffic the floor receives, quarterly machine scrubbing may also be in order. 

Wood Flooring

Clean wood flooring in a commercial office building.

Classic.  Undeniably beautiful and bank account draining.  Depending on the type of flooring you choose, some varieties of wood are more durable than others.  In most cases protective finishes are needed for waterproofing and to prevent scratching.  Like any sealer, it don’t last forever, and depending on the type of sealer you choose (polyurethane or wax) you may need to periodically reapply it.  

Cleaning wood floors is pricey as well.  As a pH-neutral wood floor cleaner is recommended by most manufacturers (a relatively costlier product).  Pro tip: when in doubt always use little to no water when cleaning.  Water and wood floors don’t do well together.  

Regular sweeping is all that is needed most of the time.  A microfiber dust mop is ideal.  Regular cleaning prevents dirt, grit, and debris from scratching the wood’s surface. 

What is Machine Scrubbing? 

As you’ve caught on by now, nearly any type of long-neglected hard surface floor can benefit from an occasional machine scrub.  Machine scrubbing results in all floor surfaces being free from all visible dirt, marks, grime, residue cleaner and any build up (especially on the edges) to display a uniform appearance. As a bonus, a professional cleaning company will use a detergent with disinfecting properties to ensure a clean and safe floor.

The Bottom Line on Low Maintenance Hard Surface Floors

Machine scrubbing a floor on a periodic basis will first and foremost help preserve the life of your floors. It will also give your clients and employees a clean and safe environment to interact in. Have more questions on low maintenance hard surface floors? Need to schedule your next service? Call a consultant today!

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