12 Best Flooring for High-Traffic Office Spaces: With Pros and Cons


Offices function similarly to commercial spaces. They can be divided into different areas and spaces each having different functions, which in turn calls for the use of specific materials that will complement the needs of the space. With regards to the flooring material, there are several options you can use that are mad for high-traffic office spaces.

From carpet flooring, luxury vinyl tiles, porcelain tiles, to natural stones, concrete floors, and epoxy floor coating systems, there are several options that you can use in an office space that is durable for high-traffic situations. The trick is to know which situations best to use them in.

Each flooring material has its own strengths and weaknesses and you need to understand where and when to use them. One office space for example might need a soft and noise absorbing floor, while another space might need high water and stain-resistant flooring. Two office spaces, with two different requirements, and that can only be addressed by two different flooring materials.

If you’re looking for the best floor options to use for high-traffic commercial areas, I have an article about it too. You might want to check it out.

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1. Commercial Broadloom Carpets

PROS

  • Soft to walk on.
  • Reduces noise.
  • Non-slip.
  • Colors and designs can be customized.

CONS

  • Needs frequent vacuuming.
  • Not water resistant.
  • Stains easily.
  • Harbors dust, dirt, and allergens.
  • Torn or worn areas are hard to repair.

Commercial broadloom carpets or wall-to-wall carpets are one of the common floor options used in office spaces because of its acoustic properties. They reduce ambient noise which is ideal for a general office area, meeting, or conference rooms where sound needs to be controlled.

Walking on them is not only quiet, but it’s also much more comfortable as compared to hard floors. Ladies wearing heels can attest to this.

Be sure to use the commercial grade of broadloom carpets because residential grade carpets may not last long in a high-traffic office setup.

Broadloom carpets have a variety of patterns and designs you can choose from. And if the design calls for something unique, they can be customized according to the design requirements. Logo or custom patterns may be added. The supplier or manufacturer does this for you, including the installation.

They do need frequent vacuuming since they easily harbor dust and dirt particles. And since they’re not water-resistant and stain-resistant, they are not recommended to use in wet areas such as in toilet, office kitchens, or in pantries and dining spaces.

Repairing broadloom carpets with areas that were torn or worn out can be difficult and is often done by the manufacturer or supplier.

2. Carpet Tiles

PROS

  • Soft to walk on.
  • Reduces noise.
  • Non-slip.
  • Colors and designs can be customized.
  • Worn out tile is easy to replace

CONS

  • Needs frequent vacuuming.
  • Not water resistant.
  • Stains easily.
  • Harbors dust, dirt, and allergens.

Carpet tiles are very similar to broadloom carpets but are offered in a more manageable tiled system. Worn out tile can easily be replaced, and often doesn’t require the help of the supplier or manufacturer to do this for you.

Carpet tiles are available in a variety of patterns, colors, and designs you can choose from. They also can also be customized, offered by some manufacturers, if the design calls for it.

Be sure to get the commercial grade carpet tiles as residential grade may not last as long.

Similar to broadloom carpets, carpet tiles will not work well in wet areas such as toilets, kitchens, dining, or pantry areas as they can easily stain.

3. Luxury Vinyl Flooring

PROS

  • Non-slip.
  • Aesthetically versatile; available in different colors and designs.
  • Available in realistic wood or stone look.
  • Provides a bit of cushion if installed with foam underlayment.
  • One of the cheap floor options.
  • Waterproof.
  • Stain-proof
  • High scratch resistance.
  • Very easy to clean and maintain.

CONS

  • Can get dented by heavy object.

Luxury vinyl floors are a sub-category of vinyl floors which are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They are resilient floors that have high scratch-resistance, waterproof, and stain-proof.

Luxury vinyl floors are also known as luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) and luxury vinyl planks (LVP). They are available in a variety of designs and colors, with LVPs being popular to mimic the look and texture of real wood. They are cheap and a good alternative to wood floors if your office space design calls for it.

Luxury vinyl floors are very easy to install and are available in stick-and-peel systems and snap-together systems. The snap-together system usually comes with a rigid core making it possible to install it as a floating floor with a foam underlayment, making it a bit softer to walk on.

They are very easy to clean, with very little maintenance needed. Being waterproof, and stain-proof, they can also be installed in wet areas as well.

They have a high scratch resistance, which is ideal for high-traffic areas in office spaces. They wouldn’t wear out so easily. They can last between 10 and 20 years, and by the time they do wear out, you would have already decided to redesign your office space.

They can stand up well to normal office equipment, chairs and tables, but they can get permanently dented if you place a very heavy object or equipment on it.

4. Engineered Bamboo Floor

PROS

  • Best wood floor alternative for high-traffic office use.
  • High scratch resistance.
  • High dent resistance.
  • High water and stain resistance.
  • Hard-wearing.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.

CONS

  • Susceptible to water damage.

Engineered bamboo floors are the closest floor option that looks very similarly to hardwood floors. While hardwood floors can accumulate scratches and dents easily, engineered bamboo floors are tougher, harder and can stand up well to high-traffic commercial or office space situations.

Engineered bamboo floors is a very good alternative to wood floors if the design calls for the use of wood. It gives the same classic look and warmth as wood floors to an office space.

They are rated as harder than most hardwood floors which makes them a good option for commercial use. They are hard-wearing, have high scratch-resistance, and high water, and stain-resistance. They are also easy to clean.

Avoid using them for wet areas though as they are very susceptible to water damage. If they get soaked too long in water, they can swell, warp, and get permanently damage.

5. Laminate Floors

PROS

  • Affordable alternative to wood floors.
  • High scratch resistance.
  • High water and stain resistance.
  • Offers a bit of cushioning.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.

CONS

  • Susceptible to water damage.
  • Can be a bit slippery.
  • Can get dented by heavy object.
  • Will wear faster than other floor options.

Laminate floors, along with luxury vinyl tiles, are another good affordable alternative to wood floors, cheaper than engineered bamboo floors. They are not real wood but they have a digitally printed realistic image of hardwood on its top layer.

A clear melamine resin wear layer keeps the floor protected against scratches and stains. Depending on the thickness of the wear layer you used, it can last up to 10 years or more. Once the wear layer becomes worn out, and the image starts to fade, it is time to replace the floor but by the time it happens, you would already have decided to update and redesign your office space.

They are one of the cheap floor options to use for a high-traffic office space. They are installed as a floating floor and if installed with a foam underlayment, they can offer a bit of cushioning when you walk on them.

Some laminate floors can be a bit slippery so choose a product that have a good traction. They also are susceptible to water damage so avoid using them in wet areas such as in toilets or in office kitchens.

They will stand up well against the usual office equipment, chairs, and tables but they can get permanently dented by heavy objects or equipment.

6. Porcelain Tiles

PROS

  • Waterproof.
  • Stain-proof.
  • Scratch-proof.
  • Non-slip tile options.
  • Aesthetically versatile; available in a variety of colors and designs.
  • One of the cheap floor options.
  • Very easy to clean and maintain.

CONS

  • Replacing cracked tile can be difficult.

Porcelain tiles are part of the ceramic tile flooring. They are also made from the mixture of mineral clay materials and water, and then baked into a dense and durable flooring material. Porcelain tiles are made denser and much more harder than ceramic tiles and are better suited for high-traffic commercial applications.

They are a versatile flooring material, available in a variety of designs, colors, textures, shapes, and sizes, that can be used for just about any type of design look and theme. They also have designs that mimic the look of wood and stone.

There are also non-slip options that have very good traction even when they get wet. And because they are waterproof, and stain-proof, they are one of the best floors to use for wet areas such as your office toilets, and office kitchens.

Very easy to clean and maintain, porcelain tiles have a very low upkeep cost.

It can get damaged or chipped if a very heavy object drops on it. And replacing a damaged tile may be a bit challenging.

7. Natural Stone Flooring

PROS

  • Elegant looking.
  • Lasts a lifetime.
  • Very hard and durable.
  • Waterproof.
  • Stain-proof with proper sealer applied.
  • High scratch resistant.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.

CONS

  • High upfront cost.
  • Polished stone can be a bit slippery.

Natural stone flooring are very hard and durable floors that can give a look of elegance in any office space. They are usually used in areas where you receive your clients such as in receptions, lobbies, showrooms, conference or meeting rooms.

The have a higher upfront cost but if they are well maintained, they can last a lifetime. Upkeep costs are also very low, which makes up for the high initial costs invested in them.

With a proper sealer applied, they can become waterproof, and stain proof.

You can have it polished or textured, but the polished finish can become be a bit slippery.

8. Concrete Floors

PROS

  • Hard-wearing
  • Lasts a lifetime.
  • Very hard and durable.
  • Waterproof.
  • Stain-proof with proper sealer applied.
  • High scratch and impact resistance.
  • Low lifetime costs.
  • Very easy to clean and maintain.

CONS

  • Can stain from poor floor sealer.
  • Limited design.

Concrete floors are a good floor to use for a minimalist or industrial look design. They make the room less cluttered looking with its clean, polished, devoid of any pattern, and smooth surface. Though you could also have them textured, or colored if you want to add character to the floors.

They are very hard and durable, hard-wearing, waterproof, stain-proof, and high scratch and impact-resistant flooring, perfect for any high-traffic areas of your office. You could also have these floors in wet areas such as in your toilets and office kitchens.

They can last a lifetime if maintained well. Make sure though that you apply a proper sealer to keep it protected against cracking and stains.

Concrete floors are very easy to clean. Regular sweeping or vacuuming is often enough to keep it clean.

9. Epoxy Floor Coating System

PROS

  • Hard-wearing
  • Lasts a lifetime.
  • Non-slip.
  • Very hard and durable.
  • Waterproof.
  • Stain-proof.
  • High scratch and impact resistance.
  • Low lifetime costs.
  • Very easy to clean and maintain.
  • Design and color can be customized.

CONS

  • Improper application may result in cracking, chipping, or peeling.

Epoxy floor coating systems are usually applied over concrete floors. They are poured chemical coating that hardens into a hard and durable floor surface that is hard-wearing.

Since you’re applying the coating over concrete, the flooring is already hard and durable to begin with. The coating gives it additional protection against wear and tear. It is waterproof, stain-proof, with a higher scratch and impact resistance. You could actually use this for areas handling corrosive chemicals as it has high resistance to them as well.

Epoxy floor coating systems are highly customizable and can be colored with patterns resembling stones or metallic finishes. Also, since the system is poured over concrete, it becomes one seamless floor surface.

10. Terrazzo Floors

PROS

  • Can be elegant looking.
  • Design can be customized.
  • Hard-wearing
  • Lasts a lifetime.
  • Non-slip.
  • Very hard and durable.
  • Waterproof.
  • Stain-proof.
  • High scratch and impact resistance.
  • Low lifetime costs.
  • Very easy to clean and maintain.

CONS

  • High upfront costs.

Terrazzo floors are a composite flooring made from a combination of mixed stone chips, or glass, and mixed in a cement binder. They are often poured over concrete and then allowed to dry and harden. There are also tile products that are installed similarly to porcelain tiles.

Being a poured system, similar to epoxy floor coating, the design can be customized to address the needs of the design. With the right combination of stone chips and glass, you can make it look really elegant.

Although you can actually use this for any office space, they are an ideal flooring for office spaces you hold or entertain guests or clients such as in lobbies, reception, showrooms, lounge, conference and meeting rooms.

The flooring is hard-wearing, non-slip, high scratch and impact resistance, waterproof, and stain-proof. It can last a lifetime under normal office wear and tear.

They have a higher upfront cost but its qualities and having a very low upkeep costs make up for it.

11. Artificial Grass

PROS

  • A soft floor alternative to carpets.
  • Soft to walk on.
  • Reduces noise.
  • Non-slip.
  • Waterproof.
  • Stain-proof.

CONS

  • Needs frequent vacuuming.
  • Harbors dust, dirt, and allergens.

Artificial grass can be an unusual flooring to use for an office space but it can be a great accent flooring for a lounge or breakout room. Since it is designed to use in the outdoors, it is made durable and can be used in heavy-traffic situations.

It’s a soft floor that can take the place of carpets. It is also soft to walk on, reduces noise, and nonslip. You could even use this in areas that gets wet since it waterproof, and stain-proof as well.

Similar to carpets, it does need frequent vacuuming since dirt, and dust particles tend to settle in between the grass blades.

12. Rubber Floors

PROS

  • Sound absorbent.
  • Soft to walk on.
  • Non-slip.
  • Waterproof.
  • Stain-proof.
  • Hard-wearing.
  • Resilient; absorbs heavy impact well.

CONS

  • Rubber smell can linger long after it is installed.
  • Limited design and finish options.
  • Can be punctured by a sharp object.

Rubber floors are best to be used in office spaces that offer gym or exercise areas for their employees. It is a resilient flooring that is soft enough to absorb impact from gym equipment well, but firm enough to support heavy objects without getting permanently dented.

It is non-slip, waterproof, stain-proof, and hard-wearing. Although it can easily be punctured, it can hide them well.

It can be unusual to use rubber floors for other office space but some manufacturers have products with designs that don’t look like any other rubber flooring and may work well with an office setup. With its characteristics, it can stand up well against the high-traffic conditions of the office.

The rubber smell can linger long after it is installed though and so it might be something to consider.

Angelo

He is an architect for more than 20 years. He is passionate about design and architecture and enjoys sharing his knowledge and information with people as well.

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