If you’re searching for new flooring, you may notice that there are two broad categories of flooring: commercial and residential. The two may look similar enough that it’s difficult to tell the differences.
Do the two cross over? Can you use one in another setting? Or should you stick with what the guidelines say, and install based on guidance?
What is commercial flooring
As the name implies, commercial flooring is built for high-traffic, more arduous conditions. It’s created to stand up to heavier use. In general, it’s more durable, easier to clean and maintain, and provides a smarter investment over the long run. Whether retail, commercial, or industrial, a more durable flooring product means longer wearability and longevity. Typically, commercial flooring is needed for:
Strength and durability – higher foot traffic impacts the product’s wear and tear. From employees to customers to suppliers, a constant shift of movement can affect the flooring. Additionally, there may be business equipment, office furniture, and vendor supplies that create added wear on the flooring.
Cleaning and maintenance – commercial flooring often moves beyond standard cleanings with a damp mop. Frequent cleanings and sanitizing may be daily occurrences, including the use of harsh chemical products. Where residential flooring would wear down quickly, commercial flooring is built specifically for this level of treatment. It stands up to all of this and more without damage. And it can do so with resistance to other harmful substances that can form with water or chemical damage, such as rot, mold, or mildew.
What is residential flooring
Residential flooring is designed to provide aesthetics in a home environment. Typically, homeowners like individuality and modernization, and are looking for ways to create a pleasing environment while building resale value at the same time. Homeowners want:
Variety – homeowners often use several different products throughout the home. They can do so based on traffic levels in each room, giving a wider array of possibilities in design. Residential flooring is built for style, and to allow homeowners to develop their own personality in each room as they design.
Maintenance – am empty nest requires different levels of maintenance compared to a growing family of four. Having many different residential flooring options allows each homeowner to select flooring based on their needs and desires. Some may wish to exchange durability for practicality. Today’s manufacturers provide options to assure no matter what desires you have in mind, aesthetics is something you’ll never have to compromise on.
What is the difference between commercial and residential flooring?
From reading the two descriptions above, it’s easy to determine that the two types of flooring have vastly different requirements. This impacts the way each are constructed.
Whether commercial or residential, you can find flooring in every category: hardwood, laminate, vinyl, or carpeting. The differences lie in how it’s constructed: commercial-grade or residential-grade. Depending on which you select determines the materials it’s made from, how it’s constructed, how durable it is, and how it’s installed.
Some of the differences include:
Characteristics – while you may think your kids sometimes resemble little tornados moving through your home, they still don’t create the environment that many commercial applications take on. Commercial floors will have far more characteristics to stand up to daily pressure:
Looks are often underlying in requirements in a commercial setting. It’s often solely about durability. And while you want your residential flooring to be durable, extremes may be limited to certain rooms in your home. The kitchen may have a lot more activity than a guest bedroom, for instance.
Selection – residential flooring is built around personalization and customization. That’s why you’ll find much wider style selections. Manufacturers know residential homes need several different styles of flooring to complete their entire home application. Residential flooring buyers often like change to complement their new styles and aesthetics. It’s more about design.
Commercial spaces keep personalization out of the equation. They look more for simple, neutral designs and styles to put the emphasis on business, not on the aesthetics of flooring itself. Luxury and plush flooring choices are almost always out of the equation when designing for high-traffic environments. Simple, durable products win every time.
What type of flooring is most cost effective?
When looking for commercial flooring, a few materials jump to the forefront as high-quality, durable, yet cost effective too. Today’s vinyl products offer unmatched durability, something more business owners are installing as time goes by. Or consider resilient flooring. It offers many of the same advantages as luxury vinyl products, including noise-reduction, which is often necessary in business environments.
If you haven’t seen luxury vinyl lately, you’re missing out on one of the fastest growing flooring products on the market. Luxury vinyl comes in many formats, including planks and tiles, giving it the classic good looks people want. Yet luxury vinyl provides something you can’t achieve with classic hardwood – you will have a waterproof flooring.
When you move to a commercial grade luxury vinyl plank, you’ll have one of the strongest materials available today. From customers and employees to vendors and suppliers, this flooring will stand up to everything dished out. Plus it has the added bonus of being softer on the feet, a good feature if you’ll be standing on your feet all day.
Resilient flooring is especially appealing because its stronger materials help muffle sounds. If you’ve ever heard the click-click of more traditional tile work, you’ll appreciate this product, especially in larger areas like atriums and entryways.
Residential flooring won’t receive nearly as much traffic as commercial locations. That makes grade issues more lenient, requiring thinner materials and less durability than commercial applications.
Can you cross over between the two? Of course. If you have a busy household with lots of kids and pets, commercial applications may make sense. If you’re building an online business where the only foot traffic is you, residential flooring may be the perfect choice.
No matter what your business needs, when you’re ready for new commercial or residential flooring, look no further than our showroom floor. We have the perfect solution for all of your needs, and can help you no matter how big or small your project is.
We’re here to help you find the perfect flooring solution for you.