Commercial floors demand products that hold up to the traffic of continued and repeat wear-and-tear for years – and look great doing it.
Ceramic tile looks great and lasts, but is it right for your space?
What about vinyl tile, the most popular product thirty years ago but quickly losing ground?
Is epoxy a good coating for your concrete floor, or polyaspartic? Or maybe you should just polish your concrete?!
When it comes to getting the best commercial floor for your space, we’ve put together a list of the best (and most lacking) options to go over concrete.
The Best Concrete Flooring Options For Your Commercial Space, Explained
Here are the drawbacks and upsides to some of the most common flooring options for commercial spaces, including:
- Ceramic tile over concrete
- Vinyl tile over concrete
- Epoxy floor coatings for concrete
- Polyaspartic floor coatings for concrete
- Polished concrete
Ceramic Tile For Commercial Floors
Ceramic tile is a luxurious look for many commercial settings, often a great aesthetic for shared entryways or lobbies and retail stores.
Ceramic tile will hold up well in most commercial spaces, including kitchens and bathrooms, but its biggest drawback has to do with its installation, not its surface.
Ceramic tile’s primary drawback in commercial spaces is that grout lines get dirty quickly and can trap both harmless dirt as well as bacteria.
Maintaining clean grout is tough to do, and if you put in ceramic tile over concrete you should expect your grout lines to go gray with time. For many spaces, that may not matter, but for some, you may want to consider your other options.
Vinyl Tile For Commercial Floors
Nearly-seamless vinyl tile was common for many commercial applications 20 years ago, but as newer and more durable products have hit the market, vinyl tile has lost some ground.
The main drawback to vinyl tile for commercial spaces is the frequency with which it must be waxed and maintained.
To keep it in great shape, vinyl tile must be waxed every year or so. And to do it perfectly, that involves stripping the old wax coating first. This process is time and labor intensive, and we simply don’t see a lot of vinyl tile being installed these days for that reason alone.
Epoxy Coatings For Commercial Floors
Epoxy is strong and durable, and up until the last ten years or so, it was the floor coating of choice for covering concrete.
But epoxy is not as scratch-and-abrasion resistance as some other paint-on coatings, like polyaspartic. Epoxy also yellows from UV light and sun exposure, causing an ugly appearance over the years.
It also takes as long as 7 days to fully cure, meaning businesses may be out of order for quite some time when they install an epoxy concrete coating.
The primary upside to epoxy floor coatings is their affordability (they’re cheaper than polyaspartic coatings). For DIY homeowners, epoxy can be a great option, but for most commercial applications, it may not last quite like you’d hope.
Polyaspartic Coatings For Commercial Floors
Polyaspartic concrete floor coatings are more durable than epoxy, less prone to chipping or cracking, and they cure within about 48 hours.
Polyaspartic floor coatings are the premier choice today for most commercial concrete flooring solutions given its durability and ability to withstand changing temperatures and abusive wear-and-tear.
The primary drawback of polyaspartic coatings are their cost, which is higher than epoxy, and that it often takes professional installation given its fast curing time.
Polished Concrete Floors
Polishing a concrete floor is a great option for brand new concrete floors.
Polishing a brand new concrete floor helps to improve its appearance by dust-proofing it, and increases its durability and stain-resistance. A grinder is used to slowly grind and smooth the floor finish; a densifier hardens the floor during the process, and a guard solution is added to increase strength and resist staining.
Its primary drawback is that if there’s pitting or cracks to repair in an older floor, this isn’t won’t be effective – polishing concrete only works well for new concrete.
Polishing can be cheaper than coating options, particularly for large spaces, and it’s easy to clean, and it looks great.
The Bottom Line On the Best Flooring for Commercial Spaces?
When it comes to a great, durable floor for your commercial space, we’re big fans of polyaspartic coatings and polishing concrete. For schools, kitchens, retail spaces, event spaces, and so much more, a great concrete coating or polish can provide years of beauty and functionality for your business or organization.
At Top Coat Concrete, we provide many types of commercial flooring solutions in and around Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, helping business owners get the right flooring for their space, and at the right price.
If you’re looking for commercial flooring in Western PA, we’d love to talk. Get a free consultation and quote by calling Top Coat Concrete today.