There was a time that heavy-duty flooring for factories meant drab grey concrete. However, times have very definitely changed and the range of options now available has hugely increased. With the chance to pick from hardwearing rubber, vinyl, carpet, tiling and more, there’s no reason why an area that has to stand up to heavy foot traffic or the use of equipment, tools or machinery shouldn’t be smart, stylish and attractive, too.
Where might heavy-duty flooring be needed?
The kinds of applications where heavy-duty flooring is likely to be desirable include factories and manufacturing plants, but also commercial kitchens, hospitals, schools, gyms and fitness centres, offices, showrooms, event halls and stadiums. As many of these are public-facing areas, the chance to have attractive flooring is a benefit.
There are many reasons why highly durable flooring might be beneficial. The first, and this is especially true in the case of public areas, is the volume of footfall. Other considerations can include the use of machinery and noise reduction. If there’s a chance of spills or heavy impacts then heavy-duty flooring will mitigate the potential for damage. Showroom flooring might have to stand up to regular and intense cleaning, as well as footfall.
When it comes to deciding what type of heavy-duty flooring to choose, a significant consideration is likely to be the cost. The level of maintenance required must be factored into the overall cost, and the size of the floor space to be covered will have a major impact. Finally, the expected life span of the floor and the cost of a replacement should be considered.
Types of Heavy-Duty Flooring
There are many different types of heavy-duty flooring available; here are some of the most common.
Terrazzo flooring is versatile, attractive and highly durable. For large areas, in particular, the lifetime cost can make it a good choice. For smaller areas, however, the cost may be prohibitive. However, if you want to make a splash and have your logo or other branding included in the flooring design, terrazzo allows for that. It’s relatively low maintenance, impervious to liquids and – as there are no joins or grouting – easy to clean.
Quarry tiles are a perennial favourite in kitchens, in particular. They’re relatively inexpensive and highly durable, and with the right installation and maintenance will last for many years. One consideration, in kitchens especially, is to be sure to use an epoxy grout, which will withstand foot traffic, grease and spills. On the downside, you can do less with the design of a quarry tiled floor than with some other options.
Luxury vinyl tile – LVT – is durable, attractive and cost-effective. You can do more aesthetically with LVT than with quarry tiles, for example, and it’s also fairly quick and straightforward to install. Vinyl planks are layered sections that incorporate durability, impact resistance and a decorative finish. Both tiles and planks are easy to clean and low maintenance. However, vinyl can fade or discolour, especially in strong sunlight, and it can be difficult to remove.
Epoxy flooring is cost-effective, durable, and versatile when it comes to appearance and aesthetics. It’s easy to clean and long-lasting – provided the installation is properly carried out. There’s no room to cut corners here, as the durability and lifetime of the flooring depends on it. That said, it offers an ideal solution to pretty much any flooring need.
There are pros and cons when it comes to the choice between carpet tiles and broadloom. Carpet tiles may be more expansive initially, but they are easier to replace if there’s any damage. Regular vacuuming and maintenance will help prolong the life of a carpet-tiled floor. And, since heavy-duty and water-resistant tiles are now available, the potential for damage is reduced.
Rubber flooring is durable, waterproof, slip-resistant and helps reduce sound. On the flip side, however, the aroma can linger for some time after laying and the aesthetics can be limited, so it’s probably not best suited to commercial spaces such as restaurants, for example. For places like gyms and hospitals, though, it can be a good choice.
Where do I find out more?
Here at Donnelly Watson, we have a wealth of experience of supplying and fitting heavy-duty flooring from leading brands. In the first instance, take a look at our commercial flooring and safety flooring and get in touch for advice and assistance with your specific needs.