By Dave Darche
Facilities executives from a wide range of industries have a mammoth responsibility in overseeing maintenance of their flooring, in addition to other obligations. With limited budgets and staff, managers must mitigate maintenance downtime, while also remaining as eco-friendly as possible. Fortunately, today there are surprisingly affordable, safe, durable and eye-catching options available for facility managers, thanks to innovative new technology in resilient flooring renewal solutions.
Renewed Flooring for Facilities Lean on Staff and Budget
Flooring renewal is a budget saver and lifeline for dilapidated, unsightly surfaces and the facility teams responsible for maintaining them. Replacement is expensive, and not just relative to the cost of the flooring. Consider the substantial time and dollar savings, compared to a new floor installation, renewal offers:
- It’s efficient to install. Downtime is often daunting for a busy facility maintenance team because major flooring projects can shut down valuable building space for a week or more depending on the area being replaced. Facilities managers must build this downtime and the construction costs of time, labor, and materials into the budget. In comparison, the renewal process can typically be completed in a matter of hours, rather than days or weeks.
- It eliminates the need to ever polish the floor again. Skipping the polishing process gives janitorial and maintenance teams significant time to focus on other essential facility work.
- It’s easy to maintain. With proper training and use of high-quality products, the renewal process is efficient and much easier on the budget (and the environment) than a complete flooring tear out and replacement.
Respect the Environment with Renewal Instead of Replacement
Upon first glance, many flooring surfaces seem unable to be saved, and facilities opt to replace instead. Floor replacement not only contributes to rising landfills but also subjects those nearby to airborne dust particulates.
A recent study by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) to better understand the environmental impact of renewing compared to replacing hardwood or resilient (i.e., linoleum, rubber, vinyl, concrete etc.) flooring materials found that renewal can offer:
- up to 92% reduction in carbon footprint versus replacing;
- a 95% savings in energy resources, which is measured by transportation, electricity use, consumables, and materials.
Flooring renewal produces a long-lasting floor, utilizes existing materials, mitigates the landfill issue, and eliminates the carbon footprint created by new products. It’s also important to note that waterborne solutions are now an industry standard for durable, long-lasting floor surfaces. Most resilient renovation systems also offer a clean, non-yellowing formula to keep the floor looking great for years to come.
Flooring Renewal – Three Recent Facility Success Stories
Here are practical examples from facilities that achieved stunning outcomes and durable floors – all while maintaining modest budgets with little room for downtime.
Sunnyside. Arizona’s Sunnyside Unified School District saved more than $40,000 by having the floors renovated rather than implementing a full floor replacement. The district achieved an aesthetically-pleasing, cohesive design that easily withstands the regular and heavy foot traffic from students and staff. Since the renewal process eliminates the recurring cost of polishing the floor, Sunnyside will realize continued labor savings over the life of their floors. In fact, Sunnyside utilized a portion of the costs savings from its project to budget for a Phase 2 project that includes renewing additional district flooring.
- Schill. When Schill Dental Clinic’s worn PVC flooring needed rejuvenating, the Slovakia-based Schill team sought a durable surface that would protect against contaminants and withstand repeated cleanings and disinfectant use. Schill chose a resilient renewal solution that was safe for employees and other office visitors, as well as safe for the environment. An eco-friendly decision to renew the PVC flooring also prevented nearly 400 lbs of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment.
- Kadlec. North Carolina-based Kadlec Regional Medical Center’s medication room floor was damaged from extensive wear that included foot traffic, medical equipment transportation and harsh chemical cleaning processes. Replacement costs were estimated at $7,000 and included three days of downtime due to flooring construction. Seeking a budget-friendly solution, the facility maintenance team decided to renovate the existing floor. The process – which included abrading, cleaning, applying a base color to the existing surface, applying a modern design with color chips and adding a finish coat – took all of five hours and cost approximately $600. The room was back in service the following day, with a monolithic floor surface that prevents germs, contaminants and other materials from seeping into cracks or dulling the appearance.
It’s time to rethink resilient flooring. Tearing out and replacing a flooring surface isn’t the only option. In fact, it can save time, money, resources, and the environment by looking at floor renewal systems instead.
Dave Darche is the national market manager of adhesives/A&D for Bona US and has been in the flooring industry for more than 35 years. He currently serves on the National Wood Flooring Association Architect & Design Committee Board of Directors for the National Association of Floor Covering Distributors.