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Commercial Flooring News

Listening To Voices From The Shop Floor

Craig Pawson on retail flooring

FLOORING in retail environments has three main requirements – safety, minimum maintenance and appearance. Contractors should deliver on all three aspects to ensure the project is completed successfully.
I Safety: The most important factor when specifying retail flooring is the user’s safety and welfare.

The Health and Safety Executive reports that over 3,500 slips, trips and falls each year. So what is the best material to use?

Carpets provide one of the safest surface areas as they will not become slippery or unstable. Wooden flooring is often seen as the culprit of slipper y sur faces. However, if applied with a high quality anti-slip finish, the material becomes durable and slip resistant.

Vinyl and linoleum flooring also provide a hard wearing, water resistant sur face when treated with an

anti-slip finish.

I Maintenance: Shop owners do not want a floor surface which requires regular extensive maintenance

and refurbishment.

This is where carpet doesn’t meet all three requirements, as it is susceptible to dir t, spillages and stains and cannot retain its appearance in high traffic areas.

Carpets would need replacing on a regular basis. For a long term option providing easy renovation, wooden flooring is ideal. There is no need to replace the sur face, as the finish can simply be removed and reapplied.
This will present an as-new appearance, and significantly reduce the downtime compared to other materials.
I Appearance: As with anything, first impressions count for a lot. When customers walk into a shop, they judge the quality of the products by the appearance.

The floor surface plays a big role in the overall appearance of the room. It is therefore essential for contractors to specify materials that are aesthetically pleasing. This presents an oppor tunity to use a variety of materials to play on their strengths. For example, carpet could be used in areas with lesser footfall, while wooden flooring is installed for the walkway. Alternatively, contractors could specify wooden flooring and alter the appearance in different areas with the use of coloured finishes.

Craig Pawson is Osmo’s flooring specialist

T: 01296 481220

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at