Top 5 Commercial Flooring Options: Our Expert Picks
By Ciana Gitre
| Fact Checked By: Ashley De Zeeuw
Published: February 11, 2021 | Updated: August 22, 2022
With 2022 in full swing, you may be thinking of new ways to remodel your business’ flooring. Commercial flooring comes in a wide array of options, and finding the right choice for your space’s needs can be challenging.
When considering commercial flooring options, there are four main criteria to consider before proceeding into the nitty-gritty details: durability, style, ease of maintenance, and cost. Notably, some commercial flooring options work better in some spaces than others.
So, let’s compare each commercial flooring option. Each option contains helpful pros and cons and installation methods to better decide what suits your space best.
Commercial SPC Vinyl Flooring
Stone-plastic composite (SPC) vinyl flooring is an excellent option for high-traffic environments due to its 100% waterproof construction and unmatched durability. SPC vinyl flooring is top of the line, thanks to its advanced four-layer flooring technology, consisting of a backing layer, SPC core, printed vinyl layer, and wear layer.
Top-notch rigid core vinyl flooring offers extremely convincing wood-look, tile-look, and stone-look options that can withstand harsh environments, all while being eye-catching. Not to mention, maintenance requires only minimal cleanup.
Best for: Areas that receive a lot of foot traffic, such as restaurants, medical offices, hotels, kitchens, and bathrooms.
How to Install Commercial SPC Vinyl:
- Click and lock: SPC vinyl features a tongue and groove interlocking system that’s user-friendly for both vinyl planks and tiles.
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Pros of Commercial SPC Vinyl:
- 100% waterproof: SPC vinyl consists of layered construction that is 100% waterproof throughout. This is a fantastic choice for businesses worried about moisture content or water damage.
- Durability: SPC vinyl’s core protects against dents, while its wear layer withstands spills and scratches.
- Easy installation: Installation is no hassle, with interlocking planks that snap into place.
- Sound absorbent: SPC vinyl’s attached underlayment absorbs sound waves very effectively.
Cons of Commercial SPC Vinyl:
- Price: SPC vinyl can be more expensive than some other commercial counterparts, but with all the perks of stylish, durable, and realistic flooring, it pays off.
- Comfort: It has a sturdy and rigid feel, so users may notice this flooring is slightly uncomfortable underfoot.
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Commercial Laminate Flooring
Laminate is one of the leading wood and stone-flooring alternatives on the market. Its synthetic structure allows for beautiful flooring at a relatively low price compared to genuine hardwood. If you’re looking for ultra-realistic details, you can choose from our variety of smooth, hand-scraped, embossed, and distressed laminate flooring.
Another popular feature of laminate is that it’s both scratch and stain-resistant, making it an excellent choice for commercial spaces. Also, laminate’s wear layer works against yellowing and fading from UV light better than other options on the market, like vinyl.
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*Pro-tip: Consider the AC rating of your laminate flooring choice. Our experts recommend an AC rating of 4 to 5 to ensure your flooring stands up to your commercial environment.
Best for: Business owners that love a wood look for their space. Offices, boutiques, fitness studios, apartment complexes, and cafes are often popular places for laminate flooring.
How to Install Commercial Laminate:
- Click and lock: Like commercial vinyl, commercial laminate flooring is DIY-friendly. Interlocking planks’ tongue and groove connectors align to create a “floating floor” over your subfloor. Laminate makes it easy, and you don’t need glue, tape, or adhesives for a professional, long-lasting finish.
Pros of Commercial Laminate:
- Styles: Laminate flooring comes in several stylish and cost-efficient styles to spruce up commercial spaces. Compared to genuine hardwood, laminate flooring offers consistent textures and tones.
- Comfort: You’ll find this flooring option comfortable underfoot and great for everyday use in commercial environments.
- Maintenance: Like vinyl, the wear layer of laminate flooring is easy to maintain.
Cons of Commercial Laminate:
- Sound: Laminate can create a hollow sound if placed over an uneven subfloor, to begin with. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and include a good underlay for the most seamless installment.
- Water resistance: Nowadays, many laminates come in various waterproof options. However, some are only water-resistant. This category of water-resistant laminates can only handle a certain extent of high-moisture concern, and they should be kept dry. If not, a vapor barrier can help mitigate this concern.
Commercial Vinyl Sheet Flooring
Vinyl sheet flooring is a modern twist on a classic household choice. From tile to stone to decorative wood looks, you’ll surely find your ideal vinyl flooring.
Today, vinyl sheets are highly durable and consist of multiple layers that can withstand commercial areas with heavy traffic. For the best protection in commercial environments, our experts recommend you purchase a vinyl sheet with an extra thick wear layer of 15MIL to 20MIL.
Best for: Any commercial space looking to show off its unique aesthetic. You can find vinyl sheets in office foyers, hotel lobbies, hospitals, and schools.
How to Install Commercial Vinyl Sheet Flooring:
- Glue down: The traditional method provides more permanent and stable results for high-traffic areas.
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Pros of Commercial Vinyl Sheet Flooring:
- Styles: Vinyl sheets come in a wide range of colors and designs. This flooring often comes in large sheets, making it perfect for projects that require a seamless look.
- Durability: Vinyl sheets also have a reputation of having a strong wear layer, which makes them perfect for maintenance and withstanding scratches and dents that come with heavy traffic.
- Stain-resistant: The transparent layer on top of vinyl sheets acts as a surface barrier against spills and stains. This type of flooring requires minimal maintenance to clean thoroughly.
Cons of Commercial Vinyl Sheet Flooring:
- Replacements: When damaged, replacing vinyl sheets isn’t the easiest. You will have to remove the entire flooring section, unlike removing a single tile or plank with other flooring options.
- Not DIY-friendly: Considering that commercial vinyl sheet flooring must be glued down, it can be challenging to install. For proper installation, it’s recommended flooring professionals manage the process.
Commercial Floor Tile
Floor tile is not only stunning and durable but 100% waterproof (if glazed). From porcelain to ceramic, you will find a large selection of tiles to choose from.
Commercial floor tiles are often thick and sturdy, making them a fantastic choice for high-traffic areas. With endless patterns, designs, and shapes, you can craft your aesthetic desires for your commercial space from the ground up.
When shopping for porcelain tiles, it’s essential to consider the space you are placing them. Although not commonly used nowadays, the PEI rating from the Porcelain Enamel Institute can offer guidance. It may be helpful to consider porcelain tiles with a rating of 4 to 5 on the PEI scale for your high-traffic environment.
Body-color (bisque) of the tile is also something to consider. When chipping and damage happens to floor tile, the body color doesn’t always match the top glaze. More often than not, porcelain tiles have the same color, and ceramic tiles have a red body. However, no need to fret, as floor tiles are one of the long-lasting commercial flooring options!
Best for: Entryways for restaurants, lobbies, spas, and luxury spaces. Anywhere you would like to make a visual impact, flooring tiles are the way to go.
How to Install Commercial Floor Tile:
With floor tiles, there are endless variations in installation design. The most important part of the flooring project begins with proper preparation and leveling of the subfloors. Installation may be pretty hard, but if you’re comfortable with mortar, grout, and tile saws, this flooring option is for you.
Pros of Commercial Floor Tile:
- Durability: Great maintenance can ensure your tile’s lifetime of over 10 to 20 years.
- Maintenance: Due to its non-porous structure, floor tiles can be easily sanitized. With a quick sweep or mop, your floors look as good as new.
- Cheaper than natural stone: If you’re searching for cost-effective options, ceramic and porcelain floor tiles offer an array of beautiful stone, decorative, and marble looks.
Cons of Commercial Floor Tile:
- Price: Floor tiles range in price due to the type of materials. If you have the budget to upgrade to tile, it can offer long-term results that require little to no maintenance or upkeep.
- Comfort: Floor tiles may not be the best for physical workspaces because of their rigidity and slippery, smooth texture.
Commercial carpet rolls and carpet tiles offer looks that are both trendy and customizable. The three most common materials for commercial carpets are nylon, polyester, and polypropylene, all of which are ultra-durable.
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Many commercial carpets, also known as Berber carpets, are made with loop pile fibers. The fibers are looped through the carpet backing, making the carpet durable and with a short pile height. Your carpet tile won’t get easily crushed or matted, like those with cut fibers. * Pro-tip: Many people buy rubber roll underlayment with their commercial carpet for extra comfort and sound absorption.
Best for: Creating a comfortable and inviting space! You can find many commercial carpet designs in offices, apartment complexes, gyms, and rental real estate.
How to Install Commercial Carpet:
Installing commercial carpet can be difficult but doable! If you’re seeking a DIY project, interlocking, and peel and stick carpet tiles offer a more effortless experience. However, we recommend consulting a contractor before starting the process to ensure the installation will work for your commercial space.
Before carpet installation, check that you have the necessary tools: T-square, utility knife, and pressure-sensitive adhesive.
- Glue-down: For high-traffic environments, we recommend using a pressure-sensitive adhesive to maintain the lifespan of your broadloom carpet or carpet tiles.
Pros of Commercial Carpet:
- Styles: Commercial carpet has loop fibers, making them extra durable against dirt, vacuum trails, and footprints. With a range of sizes and looks to choose from, you’ll find your match.
- Sustainable: For eco-conscious buyers, many carpet rolls and tile options are made from organic or recycled materials, like plastic beverage bottles.
- Price: Compared to other commercial flooring options, carpet is a winner for being cost-effective.
Cons of Commercial Carpet:
- Thickness: Depending on the quality, you may notice a range of thicknesses among broadloom carpet and tiles. However, it’s all based on personal preference!
- Maintenance: Carpets attract oil and dirt and require additional care to keep a fresh appearance. Depending on what material you purchase, you can hide imperfections quite easily.
Whether you’re looking for an industrial, modern, or luxury feel for your commercial space, there’s flooring to fit every situation. Remember, design and layout are important, but so is functionality. Your choice will directly impact the people who use the space. If you consider that, your employees and clientele will surely appreciate it!
We hope our guide has helped you hone down on the best flooring choice for you and your business. Ready to take your commercial flooring project to the next level?
Hello! It really amazes me the moment you specified that vinyl sheet flooring is highly affordable and versatile, as well as can last for a very long time too. My husband believes it’s about time we redo the entirety of our home interior because we’ve been living her for almost two decades now and having a makeover would certainly make sense. Alright, I’ll call a professional to help us install the right materials later on.
Recently, I heard that my uncle’s excited about investing in commercial renovation, so he’s looking for construction materials. It’s great that you elaborated on flooring materials and their features, and I’m positive that my uncle will be glad to read your article too. Thank you for the advice on flooring materials and why we should consider their durability levels when choosing.