What type of floor is best for the office?
Many an employee in the Netherlands will jump for joy: the open-plan office seems to have finally had its day. It is clear that after the corona crisis we will approach our office furnishing differently than before. But which changes do you have to take into account and what impact does that have on, for example, the type of floor you choose?
The end of the office garden
What was once the modern way of collaborating in the office, and the answer to the 'clumsy' office design from the eighties and nineties, turns out to have done very little in the end. Agree, an office space full of small, cramped cubicles – or worse, the typical American 'cubicles' – is also not pleasing to the eye, but on closer inspection, very few employees have actually benefited from that ultramodern open plan office. It had to become a place of inspiration, collaboration and dynamism. In many cases it turned out to be a chaotic, noisy semi-canteen where it was always dirty and where a chronic lack of quiet work or meeting places had to be accepted.
We take massively from that office garden goodbye. The office becomes more of a meeting place. A place where we don't go primarily to work behind a laptop for ourselves, but where we travel with a purpose. To meet with customers or business relations, or to hold an inspiring team training, for example.
The office floor changes with it
This means that we will thoroughly renovate, renovate and even rebuild offices from scratch. We will take into account the wishes of the future. One workplace per employee, all grouped per department on one floor, those kinds of facilities are a thing of the past. We are going to set up inspiration zones, places to meet customers and relations in a pleasant, professional way, and we are going to take digital presence into account during meetings: screens in every meeting room, so that people from other locations can also participate. This one office trends had already committed themselves at the beginning of 2020 and are now continuing completely.
The most elementary basic parts of the office 'just' change with this (r)evolution. For example, the office floor. If the office space is going to be used much more for group activities in the future instead of by individual employees who work in a fixed place from 9 to 5, this will have an impact on those kinds of basic parts of your office.
How do you choose the optimal office floor?
But how do you proceed if you now want to redecorate your office, or perhaps you are going to furnish an office for the first time? How do you choose the floor that best suits your company and office?
- Step 1: Think how intensive the floor will be used. Will you often invite customers and relations to the office? Or do you only work there with a handful of employees? There are big differences between the intensity of use that different floors can handle before they start to wear. Especially if (also) a lot of trolleys – such as the coffee cart or the cleaning cart – are driven over the floors, it is advisable to look at a floor that is suitable for intensive (semi-industrial) use.
- Step 2: Determine what look your floor must have to match your company. A dark tile floor can have a sleek, but also a chilly appearance. Warm carpet does something completely different with the room. Also consider noise: carpet floors absorb more sound than parquet, for example.
- Step 3: Determine if wasting time and money on maintenance and cleaning. Carpet can be beautiful, but you can't get coffee stains out. Sometimes it is ideal to look at virtually maintenance-free floors. PVC, for example: it hardly scratches and can be cleaned in no time. This can save you a lot of time and money in cleaning and maintenance.
- Step 4: Determine your budget and cross off the options that simply aren't in your budget.
What options are there?
What options can you come up with then? Roughly speaking, these are the options and associated features:
- PVC floors: sound-absorbing, maintenance-free, easy to clean and suitable for underfloor heating.
- Carpet: luxurious appearance, sound-absorbing, structurally needs to be thoroughly cleaned, not suitable for underfloor heating, can wear/discolour quickly.
- Laminate/parquet: relatively cheap, noisy, easy to clean, suitable for underfloor heating, damages relatively quickly.
- Cast concrete floors: luxurious appearance, relatively expensive, noisy, suitable for underfloor heating, easy to clean, wear-resistant.
- vinyl: cheap, easy to clean, suitable for underfloor heating, relatively quick to damage, sound-absorbing.
- Floor tiles: luxurious appearance, suitable for underfloor heating, noisy, easy to clean, different price and quality classes.