Ugly out of carpet and vinyl composition tile-VCT is not a desired appearance. Carpet and VCT are the most frequently specified products for the larger areas of many commercial installations. Therefore it is with these products that ugly out is most frequently experienced.
Deter Floor Covering “Ugly Out” in the Commercial Environment
While ugly out can be experienced with all flooring products, in the overall design of a project consideration should also be given to hardwood, bamboo, ceramic tile, stone, cork, linoleum, sheet vinyl and specialty products. Regardless of the product selected, a poor choice will frequently result in a maintenance headache or premature failure.
In the floor covering industry a term that is commonly heard is “ugly out”. As an example, most carpet fibers will withstand loss of pile from abrasion. Loss of pile thickness from abrasion is the common industry definition of wear. An improper selection of fiber, color or construction often results in loss of appearance due to packing, crushing, soiling and matting or “ugly out”. Most manufacturers warranties cover abrasive wear but they rarely cover appearance change.
- A product that will perform beautifully in a guest room may quickly “ugly out” in the lobby, corridor or on stairs.
- In an office the carpet that will perform magnificently in an executive office may quickly “ugly out” in the heavier trafficked offices.
- For an installation that receives rolling traffic from heavy equipment or is frequently subjected to wheel chairs and walkers carpet may not be the best selection. If carpet is used the style of carpet, cushion and method of installation are all important considerations.
- The soil hiding characteristics of a floor covering being installed in a restaurant will be different than those of a product installed in a hotel lobby of guest room.
To prevent “ugly out” many careful considerations must be given to the selection of the floor covering. In far too many buildings products have been selected because someone liked the color or style. Color and style alone are emotional considerations. In a formal living room or master bedroom emotion may be fine. For high traffic areas a bit of logic needs to be programmed into the selection.
In a commercial installation durability, soil hiding characteristics and ease of maintenance are prime considerations. The traffic volume will be highest at entrances, elevator lobbies and corridors, as people must travel through these areas to get to the offices and conference rooms. The areas most prone to wear and soiling will be the traffic patterns near doorways. In offices the open areas between furnishings will receive the bulk of the traffic, beverage drips and spills. A few of the questions that you must know the answer to for optimal performance are:
- What is the traffic pattern?
- What is the expected volume of traffic?
- Is traffic distributed evenly or is there a lot of cross traffic over the same areas.
- Is food or beverage served in the area?
- How clean are the walking surfaces of adjoining areas?
- Is a paved parking lot just outside of the entrance or is the floor covering to be installed at some distance or on a different level of the building?
Once you have logically defined the environment and expectations you have reached a point to where you can select a product that will not “ugly out”.