Farm office flooring suggestions?

hilltop_gwNovember 23, 2010

We're in the process of building a new farm shop with attached offices, breakroom & conference room. The main body of the shop is sealed concrete. I need flooring for the offices & other rooms. It will get vendor traffic and farmer/employee traffic(so some dust, mud and gravel). Whatever flooring we choose will go over concrete with radiant in-floor heat. One store recommended VCT but another suggested ceramic tile with an epoxy grout. I'd like to be consistent through all of the rooms. Any other suggestions?

What would hold up the best?

Most cost effective?

Be the easiest maintenance?

Look the nicest?

Be the least slick?

Easy to replace when necessary?

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woodfloorpro

A HIGH pressure laminate would be a great choice for you. Easy care, stain proof, floating & self locking for easy replacement.
Spend a little more for the quality rubber pad, deadens the noise and feels very comfortable underfoot.
There are many really good choices that can cause a wood floor guy like me to take a closer look.
Lots of style choices too.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 10:46PM
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hilltop_gw

Appreciate the laminate suggestion, but I know we won't use laminate. I respect your opinion woodfloorpro as I know you post often but it just isn't going to happen. We had laminate for 14 years in our home. We bought the best quality that Wilsonart put out at the time thinking it was a newer product and they'd stand behind it. Ha! For 14 years we lived with buckled flooring where it peaked apparently from the glue that was used at the seams, the recommended installation method at the time. I swore I'd never use laminate or Wilsonart again as they came and took our leftover samples for testing and never ever got back to us. By the time we replaced it, we had white spots where the coloring had worn off & that was from regular household use. I can't imagine what it would look like after a few years of gravel and farm dust. We had purchased the best padding but it still had a hollow, fake sound. I probably sound bitter about the laminate. I had to "sell" my husband on the idea 14 years ago. He certainly won't go for it in our farm shop now.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 8:37AM
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glennsfc

I also have a dislike for laminate flooring, although I had come up with the idea about the same time as the patent holder did. Bad timing on my part.

I did a few laminate installs and every one of them had some kind of moisture or wear issue, so I decided not to offer the product. The product is seen in the commercial venues quite often these days. Yes, it is easily replaced, but it looks terrible when it shows wear...kind of like a cheap vinyl tile when the design starts to wear off.

Then, of course, there's that slight "creepy feel" you get when walking on the stuff, even if it has a dense, sound deadening cushion underneath. But...enough trashing of the product...it has its market share and some folks really like the concept.

The product you seek just does not exist. The VCT would be a good option. Replacement could be as easy as placing a new layer over the old. A commercially-rated, slip resistant, ceramic tile would certainly give you longevity of service, and the addition of the epoxy grouting would give you a seamless result in practical terms. It would also transfer heat from your radiant slab very efficiently.

Other than those suggestions...stainless steel diamond plate, maybe?...you would never have to replace that, although think of the initial cost! Or, how about a good commercial quality carpet tile? Worn pieces can be easily replaced and the entire floor replaced without too much removal effort.

Sigh...that's enough brainstorming...

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 12:24PM
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zookeeper93

In our barn, we have swept concrete anywhere the horses will be and the feed and tack rooms are polished. All natural, no stain/dyes.
A trainer friend of mine just poured their new barn and the offices are just off one of the main isles, with an entrance area from the main barn as well as from the exterior. They have black gumbo soil and a caliche drive, as well as the county rd leading to their place. Will have the white mud as well as the black, along with the sundry litter from a working horse farm.
While the whole of the barn is a swept concrete, the whole of the offices and any rooms "not equine", they did a dye acid type coloring and then highly polished. No varnish or urethane. It is gorgeous and out of this world.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 8:21PM
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hilltop_gw

Thanks for the comments. At least you've confirmed that I'm on the right path with my ideas. The VCT is the safe choice. The ceramic tile would look a little classier but be bumpy to roll chairs on. Zookeeper93, I've actually thought of just leaving it as a sealed concrete or staining & sealing. I'll have to check into the acid coloring. I just finished sealing the main body of the shop (15,000 sq ft) and the exterior drive ups. I like the way it looks in that area & it will definitely be easy to keep clean. Coloring it for the offices might be an option. I'll have to ponder on that.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 10:05PM
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