Top 4 Flooring Options for Retail (2020 Update)

In a retail market where many stores sell similar products, yours will be judged not just by the quality of what you sell but your location’s appearance. That serves as a significant source of attraction for prospective customers, which is why it’s important to work on your store’s interior design and decor. Both enhance its ambience and overall look.

One of the most crucial aspects of your store will be its flooring. Whether it’s a shopping centre, supermarket or showroom, choosing the right flooring is one factor in your business’ growth and success.

That choice largely depends on the kind of products you sell. For example, supermarkets may opt for luxury vinyl tiles as they’re easy to clean and can handle moisture.

And if your store has high foot traffic, consider installing laminate or hardwood as both are highly durable and can last for decades when cared for properly.

Let’s discuss the most suitable commercial flooring materials based on their utility, application and other important considerations.

Best Retail Flooring Options 

Deciding on the flooring materials for high-traffic commercial spaces like stores, salons, spas and restaurants can be challenging. Aside from being attractive, they should also be wear-resistant and long-lasting. Here are some of the best.

Luxury Vinyl

In the past few years, luxury vinyl tile has taken the flooring industry by storm. Attractive enough for upscale restaurants and sturdy enough for high-traffic shopping malls, it’s a desirable flooring option for many commercial set-ups. It’s also available in a wide variety of colours, textures and styles that mimic ceramic, stone and hardwood.

There are two types of vinyl for commercial use – printed vinyl and solid (or composite) vinyl.

Printed vinyl is available in wear layer thicknesses ranging from 10 to 30 mm. The quality of the protective coating determines how well it can handle different levels of foot traffic.

Composite vinyl, on the other hand, is known for its sturdiness and is preferred in commercial spaces. It’s made by combining limestone and coloured vinyl chips, which are heated and pressed together. Proper sealant and waxing can help prevent corrosion caused by wear and tear.

Vinyl floors are very comfortable to stand and walk on, which encourages customers to linger and (hopefully) buy more.

Their attributes include:

  • Feeling soft and comfortable underfoot.
  • Being available in a wide variety of designs.
  • Being able to cope with heavy traffic.
  • Resisting scratches, moisture, stains and dents.
  • Being easy to clean and maintain.

Laminate

Laminate is a cost-effective alternative to hardwood, marble and tile flooring. Made of compressed fiberboard with a laminated design layered on top, it helps you achieve a natural hardwood look on a budget.

Aside from being affordable, strong and durable, laminate floors are scratch resistant and easy to clean due to the laminated wear layer. It’s also more comfortable to walk on than hardwood or tile since it’s thicker and warmer. The wear layer usually ranges in thickness between 6 and 15 mm, but, for spaces with high foot traffic, it’s better to opt for 12 to 15 mm.

Laminate boards are categorized into five scales depending on use and durability. When purchasing laminate flooring, you need to consider the abrasion class (AC) rating based on your needs and budget. Click here to learn more about laminate AC ratings.

Laminate is:

  • Strong, durable and scratch-resistant.
  • East to clean thanks to its stain-resistant surface.
  • Available in a range of designs, colours and surface treatments.
  • Made of environmentally friendly wood materials.
  • Hypoallergenic on its surface to prevent dust and mould build-up

Tile

Dense, hard and very durable, tile makes a great flooring choice for highly trafficked areas.

Its fire resistance makes it safe for crowded spaces. Glazed tiles with a sealed surface protect against scratches, heavy footfalls and allergens. While porcelain and unglazed stoneware tiles are suitable for heavy-duty commercial applications, quarry tiles (made from hard-fired clay) are more affordable while offering the same durability benefits.

Available in a wide range of sizes, colours, textures, designs and styles, floor tiles can easily fit any interior. With ceramic tiles, you have the option to create interesting combinations using branding. For example, you can feature your company’s logo on the floor, precisely cut on different coloured tiles using waterjet technology.

Its features include:

  • Easier and faster cleaning than other flooring types.
  • Natural insulation properties that reduce utility costs.
  • Resistance to daily wear and staining.
  • Being able to create your own flooring patterns and designs.

Hardwood

Hardwood flooring is a classic and timeless choice for high traffic areas.

With an extensive choice of species, colours, grains and patterns, hardwood uniquely combines nature and sophistication like no other flooring material. It also provides a soft, warm feeling underfoot which may encourage customers to linger.

A proper UV-cured sealant protects hardwood floors against scratches, but what about the dents, gouges and hard impacts common to heavy traffic areas? The best solution is to choose a sturdy species with a strong top layer. However, hardwood is highly susceptible to moisture, so you need to make sure that humidity levels are low and well within control.

Your store’s viability, success and profitability can be significantly determined by its look and feel and how they affect your customers’ purchase decisions. Create an inviting atmosphere by choosing indoor decor elements that are safe, clean, attractive and comfortable.

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