When it comes to commercial flooring two popular options are carpet and vinyl. Vinyl offers comfort, durability and a variety of design options for an affordable price. Since it has similar benefits to carpet, you might find it difficult to choose between the two flooring options.
To help you out, we’re going to compare the benefits of vinyl flooring to that of carpet. To make things simple, we’re going to focus on four main areas: safety, cleanliness, price and design.
Choosing the right flooring material is an important part of creating a workplace that is safe and healthy. Between 2017 and 2018, slipping and falling was the second-most common cause of workplace injuries among Australians (per Australian Bureau of Statistics), with a considerable number of these injuries caused by poor floor conditions.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the safety properties of both vinyl and carpet.
Vinyl, on one hand, is a synthetic plastic polymer, which means it has a non-porous surface. On a non-porous material, spilled liquids will simply remain on the surface and will not be absorbed. This makes vinyl flooring potential slippery when wet, increasing the risk slips and falls.
Carpet on the other hand, has a fibrous surface that absorbs most liquids that are spilled on it. Because of this, wet carpet tends to not be as slippery as wet vinyl. In this sense, carpet is the safer option.
Additionally, carpet has a much softer surface compared to most vinyl products. So, if someone happens to slip, the carpet will be able to cushion the person’s fall.
Commercial flooring sees a lot of foot traffic on a daily basis. This high foot traffic then leads to dirt, mud, moisture and food debris on your flooring. Because of this, it’s important to choose a flooring material that’s easy to clean.
As mentioned before, vinyl has a non-porous surface. So, any spills are easy to clean and will not stain if cleaned up quickly. Muddy footprints and other surface-level stains can also be cleaned with just a damp mop.
If you work at a place that’s prone to spillages and high foot traffic, vinyl might be a good option for you,
On the other hand, if you have carpet flooring, dirt and stains can be very difficult to remove. Since the liquids and contaminants cling to the fabric, cleaning carpet can be a time-consuming task. To get rid of stubborn carpet stains, you may also have to spend money to hire a professional for shampooing services.
When it comes to the initial costs, vinyl and carpet are pretty similar. The difference, however, lies in the maintenance costs.
Luxury vinyl in particular is an extremely durable material that offers moisture, stain and scratch resistance. Because of this, it’s not necessary to spend a lot of time and money maintaining your vinyl flooring. In the long run, this could save your business a considerable amount of money.
On the other hand, carpet requires regularly vacuuming and, in some cases, shampooing and steaming. In short, carpet demands more effort and attention.
If you want your carpet to smell good throughout the year, you’ll have to hire professional carpet cleaners. So despite the upfront costs being similar, carpet will likely end up being more expensive than vinyl in the long run.
Both carpet and vinyl have a variety of design options that you can choose from.
Vinyl comes in almost any colour that you would want. If you want a specific pattern on your vinyl flooring, most manufacturers can get that done for you as well. As long as the vinyl doesn’t get exposed to too much sun, the pigmentation should be able to stay vibrant for a long time.
Perhaps one of the better selling points of vinyl is its ability to mimic other materials. The texture of your vinyl flooring can be made to look like marble, timber or granite. If you want your workplace to adhere to a specific aesthetic but you don’t have the budget to buy the natural materials for it, vinyl might be a great alternative.
On the other hand, nothing can beat carpet when it comes to conveying a sense of grandeur. If you run a restaurant that leans towards the luxurious side, a dark red carpet might help you achieve the opulent atmosphere that you’re going for. In contrast, light coloured carpets can also bring a sense of warmth and homeliness to a room.
When you break down the properties of vinyl and carpet, it’s clear that one option isn’t inherently better than the other. Both vinyl and carpet have their own advantages and disadvantages. You need to analyse your own preferences and needs in order to find the right flooring material for you. Consider the nature of your business, the needs of your workers and the wants of your customers. These factors should be able to guide you to the right decision.