by Penny Sures
As a flooring inspector I am often asked by end users “what is the best floor covering for my business?” My answer is “what is important to you?” Each type of floor covering has pro’s and con’s. I guess the best way to determine what is “best” is to identify the strong points of each product and whichever one possesses the most aspects of what is appropriate for the use of the facility. All too often a picture in a magazine or what is seen in a model home is the main criteria for making a selection.
Many years ago, I took a photograph from a magazine to my hair stylist and said “I want my hair to look like this.” As my hairdresser had specialized training and years of experience, she was able to do as I asked. What I didn’t consider is that when I styled my hair at home it would look completely different – and more often really bad! The next time I visited this person I suggested that she show me what type of style would suit my face and hair and would be easy to maintain. It made for a more successful style.
On the surface there may not be a great relationship between floor covering and hair styles, but not far underneath the dilemma is the same. Elements such as traffic, maintenance issues, type of activity conducted and other factors come into play when selecting a flooring material for your business.

Some things to consider might be:

  • Do you have rooms you want to convey a formal appearance?
  • Who will be maintaining the floor? How much time do you have to invest in this activity?
  • Are wheelchairs, walkers, rolling chairs or carts used that can damage or shorten the life of some floor covering materials?
  • What is the environment of the facility – extremes in humidity can have a deleterious effect on some types of products.
  • Is the flooring being installed in an area that will be frequently exposed to water? Knowing what materials will perform well in these conditions will result in a successful installation that will give many years of good service.
  • On what surface is the flooring being placed? Many products require a flat sub-floor to provide support to the flooring material – this is especially true with materials such as hardwood and bamboo as well as stone and ceramic tile.
  • Is the substrate smooth and free of cracks? This situation does not rule out the use of any flooring material, but preparation must be done to produce a satisfactory job.
  • Moisture in the substrate itself is another consideration for some types of floor-covering. An independent inspector can perform these tests for you and help in making sure appropriate measures are taken to mitigate this often overlooked condition.
The above questions are just the tip of the iceberg in making suitable floor covering selections. An independent inspector can advise you before you make your first visit to a store. He or she has no vested interest in selling you anything, but can raise the questions to help you make an informed decision.
Unlike hair – floor covering does not grow back to correct mistakes!
Certified Flooring Inspectors can either inspect floors that have problems and fail, or aid in avoiding failures before they have a chance to fail. Flooring Inspectors are experts with training, experience and technical knowledge to save commercial and residential consumers the time and expense that surround buildings with flooring failures.




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