Walk this way

Walk this way

Walk this way

The use of flooring can be one of the most cost-effective, striking and compelling ways in which you can transform an office space. Not so long ago, flooring was purely functional in the majority of working environments however, as office interiors have progressed and evolved, so too have the floor coverings… 

The recognised fact that flooring can make such a difference is great news. It can now provide a relatively cheap way to make a huge impact or, at the very least, if you’re playing it low-key, put a final flourish to a job. When it comes to the design, it’s all good but…There’s always a but !

The issues surrounding flooring are not pre-dominantly cost-related. When it comes to sourcing what we walk on, it all comes down to time…

The flooring industry is notorious for its lead times and many a project has been known to come unstuck at the end thanks to a missing box of carpet tiles. It’s a nightmare scenario and we’ve all got our share of horror stories but the basic issue lies with the methods of manufacturing. Colours are manufactured in batches and so, if you discover that you’re short, or if you have a couple of damaged boxes, you could be waiting weeks, or even months, for the machines to be cleaned and reloaded, once they’ve started another colour run.

Who or where you source from can present a whole new headache too. If your coverings are coming from outside of the UK, shipping adds to the length of time necessary for delivery and can provide further delays and complications if there are any problems at this stage of the process.

There are always ways to alleviate the pain. Precision at the point of procurement works pretty well. Allow the usual percentage for waste but then make sure you add to this if you know you’re looking at a long lead time. On larger projects, you can be held to ransom when it comes to payment while everyone waits for a single delayed box of tiles so allow a margin of error and, crucially, manage those client expectations!

So what’s on trend at the moment?

While in office kitchens, the current trend is for a wooden look, vinyl finish; we’re still a nation of office carpet lovers, elsewhere. A lot of our clients have plumped for tiles with a pattern, that can be laid in any direction, since Interface introduced its range, which creates an eye-catching and transformative effect and is pleasing to the majority of end-users.

Budget will always be a factor but, again, I can’t emphasise enough the issue of time.

Time gives you the opportunity to experiment and to consider some varied and individual finishes that will make an office really stand out. Ultimately, it’s all down to the phasing and, as the carpet is last to go down, with a bit of considered planning, you can work it so that time is on your side.


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