When it comes to your commercial flooring options, many are available. Before making a selection, the demands that will most likely be placed upon it and your specific industry regulations should be considered. It’s typical for commercial facilities to need floors which are seamless, sanitary, anti-microbial, chemical-resistant, slip-resistant, thermal shock resistant, etc. Commercial flooring is usually designed to meet those requirements and offer some combination of durability, cost-efficiency, easy maintainability, and visual appeal.

Common types of commercial flooring options include concrete, epoxy, urethane, methyl methacrylate (MMA), and hybrid flooring systems.

Considerations for Choosing the Best Commercial Flooring Options:

  • Downtime.
    An environment with multiple competing projects and business demands may require commercial flooring options with a fast turnaround time that will minimize business downtime and impact on revenues.
  • Ease & Cost of Maintenance.
    Many types of flooring need significant attention. Some might require regular buffing or polishing. Over time, the cost of labor to maintain flooring acceptably will be many times higher than the initial installation cost per square foot.
  • Traffic Volume.
    Many commercial floors get a beating from foot traffic and rolling equipment. Installing a flooring system built to withstand heavy foot traffic, abrasion and impacts can make the difference between a floor that looks attractive and lasts for many years and one that doesn’t.
  • What are the best commercial flooring optionsSafety.
    The traction of a flooring material is especially important in high traffic areas, moist environments or areas prone to spills. To prevent employee falls and injuries, commercial floors may need to be textured and slip-resistant. The appropriate degree of textures will be determined by the operating conditions, as well as cleaning and maintenance practices.
  • Environmental Impact Issues.
    Certain industries require flooring installations that generate very little dust or odors. Low or no VOC products may be necessary, as well as specialized installation techniques like HEPA filtration, air scrubbers, or negative air machines.
  • Sanitation Requirements.
    Food & beverage, healthcare, and other industries must follow strict federal and state guidelines when it comes to flooring. They must install flooring that is durable and impervious to moisture. These materials must reduce the growth of bacteria and mold to guard against contamination.
  • Chemical & Thermal Exposure.
    It’s important to consider the processes associated with maintaining your commercial flooring system. Commercial floors may be subjected to different thermal processes, such as heat from industrial equipment or hot water washes, as well as different chemicals. It’s essential that your flooring can withstand these types of processes.
  • Static Discharge.
    In data centers, electronic manufacturing, hospitals and other areas where highly sensitive equipment is used, manufactured or handled, static discharge can cause damage and possible component failure.  It’s critical to ensure your floors static dissipative qualities to avoid static electricity that could damage equipment.

Best Commercial Flooring Options

Concrete

Concrete is increasingly becoming the new flooring material of choice for commercial applications. Whether it’s stained, polished, or overlays, concrete offers a range of commercial flooring options, unlike any other material. With unlimited colors, textures, and patterns, you are likely to create a flooring system exactly to your environment needs while coordinating with your décor.

One of the major benefits is its affordability compared to other commercial flooring options. Installation can be quite cost-effective and the lifetime cost is very low because there is very little maintenance involved and it lasts for years.

  • Stained Concrete
    Staining concrete is good for revitalizing dull, lackluster flooring. Concrete stains are semi-transparent and are intended to enhance rather than disguise the surface. They will not hide cracks, blemishes or other flaws in existing concrete. Nor will they completely mask an underlying color or conceal the texture of the surface.
  • Polished Concrete
    Polished concrete involves grinding concrete floor surfaces to a high-gloss finish that never needs waxes or coatings. You can choose the level of sheen — from satin to high-gloss — that meets your maintenance and aesthetic requirements.
  • Cementitious Overlays
    Cementitious overlays are used to repair the surfaces of floors that have been heavily eroded due to thermal shock, chemical exposure, and high impact traffic. One of the best solutions to avoid costly replacement is to overcoat and re-enforce damaged floors with cementitious overlay.
  • Epoxy Flooring Systems
    Epoxy flooring is a system that is made up of epoxy resins and hardeners that when mixed together, form a material that is durable, chemical-resistant and solvent-resistant.  These epoxy coatings are formulated based upon your specific commercial flooring requirements. It’s the combination of the epoxy and hardener component that determines the final characteristics.
  • Urethane Flooring Systems
    Urethane flooring systems are good for the most abusive commercial environments. They are a superior commercial flooring option for many harsh environmental conditions, especially where thermal shock is present.
  • MMA Flooring Systems
    MMA flooring systems are great for those who require minimal downtime. They are also good for very cold environments and are UV stable for exterior applications.
  • Hybrid Flooring Systems
    Hybrid flooring systems combine the best attributes of all of our flooring systems, making them the most value-packed systems. The various combinations can be designed to fit within your budget while ensuring your floors offer the performance requirements needed for your specific commercial environment.

The Black Bear Process

The Black Bear team, with over 30 years of combined expertise, has been integral in renovating and installing commercial flooring solutions for companies throughout the Northeast. Our unique, individualized approach and proven processes involve an in-depth understanding of each space to engineer the right solution and perfect installation.

Learn more about our epoxy, urethane, and polished concrete solutions for commercial spaces. Take a look at projects we have completed for clients in the manufacturing industry, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, municipalities, and for corporate and retail brands. Find out about our expertise in concrete surface prep, mitigation systems, and underlayments to discover how Black Bear Coatings and Concrete can design a longer-lasting, customized solution for your business.

BB_large_remarketing_300x250Concrete floors are cost effective, comparing favorably in price to wood flooring and ceramic or quarry tile. Even the most elaborate concrete flooring designs, with intricate designs and multiple colors, are less expensive than most terrazzo, marble, or slate – often by a wide margin.

Although there are many flooring options that are initially cheaper than concrete, when you amortize the cost of a concrete floor over its lifetime, the price can be comparable or even lower than other high-end flooring materials. A concrete floor will rarely, if ever, need replacement.

You can do things with concrete that you can’t do with any other flooring material. You can’t put a price tag on the self-expression possible with concrete floors.

When compared with high-end floor coverings, such as ceramic tile, slate and marble, decorative concrete is often an economical alternative. Plus, skilled concrete artisans can duplicate the look of these pricier materials.

Yet, the life expectancy of a concrete floor will far surpass that of most floor covering materials. That means in the long run you can save money because you’ll never need to rip out and replace worn or damaged flooring.

Yes, concrete can be cold, but no more so than ceramic tile or natural stone flooring. And yes, concrete floors can transmit moisture vapor if they aren’t insulated properly or if the slab is built on a poorly drained sub base.

But concrete doesn’t have to be cold. Its thermal properties give it the ability to store and radiate heat. For example, you can embed radiant heating cables in concrete floors, so they can stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Concrete floors can be slippery, especially when wet, but no more so than vinyl, linoleum, marble or ceramic tile floors. However, slippery floors can gain traction by mixing a nonslip additive into the stain or sealer before application.

Concrete floors can be loud and produce an echo effect, but no more so than ceramic tile, natural stone flooring, and hardwood or bamboo floors. You can muffle the sounds by using sound-absorptive materials such as area rugs, curtains and wall fabrics.

No type of flooring material is truly “maintenance free,” no matter what the manufacturer may claim. While concrete floors are relatively easy to maintain, compared with other types of floor surfaces, they aren’t completely maintenance free.

In most cases, residential concrete floors experience light foot traffic, and a simple cleaning regimen of occasional sweeping and damp mopping will keep concrete floors looking like new for many years. And when protected with a good sealer and a coat of floor finish or wax, concrete floors are highly resistant to staining, chemicals, and abrasion.