By Dave Darche
FFacility managers across a wide range of industries have a tremendous responsibility in overseeing the maintenance of their flooring, in addition to other obligations. With limited budgets and staff, managers need to mitigate maintenance downtime, while remaining as environmentally responsible as possible. Fortunately, there are surprisingly affordable, safe, durable and attractive options for facility managers today, thanks to innovative new technology in resilient flooring renewal solutions.
Renewed flooring for facilities that depend on staff and budget
Renewing flooring is a budget saver and a lifesaver for dilapidated, unsightly surfaces and the facility crews tasked with maintaining them. Replacement is expensive, and not just compared to the cost of the flooring. Consider the significant savings in time and money, compared to a new floor installation, the renewal offers:
- It is efficient to install. Downtime is often daunting for a busy facilities maintenance crew, as large flooring projects can shut down valuable construction space for a week or more depending on the area being replaced. Facility managers need to factor this downtime and construction costs of time, labor, and materials into the budget. By comparison, the renewal process can usually be completed in hours, rather than days or weeks.
- It eliminates the need to buff the floor again. Skipping the polishing process gives janitorial and maintenance crews plenty of time to focus on other essential facility work.
- It’s easy to maintain. With proper training and the use of high-quality products, the renewal process is efficient and much easier on the budget (and the environment) than a full flooring stripping and replacement.
Respect the environment with renewal instead of replacement
At first glance, many flooring surfaces seem impossible to maintain, and facilities choose to replace them instead. Replacing floors not only contributes to increased landfills, but also exposes nearby people to airborne dust particles.
A recent study by the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) aimed at better understanding the environmental impact of renewing versus replacing hardwood or resilient flooring (i.e. linoleum, rubber, vinyl , concrete, etc.) revealed that renewal can offer:
- up to 92% reduction in carbon footprint compared to replacement;
- a 95% savings in energy resources, measured by transport, electricity consumption, consumables and materials.
Renewing flooring produces a durable floor, uses existing materials, alleviates the landfill problem and eliminates the carbon footprint created by new products. It’s also important to note that water-based 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 good for years.
Flooring Renewal – Three Recent Installation Success Stories
Here are practical examples of installations that have achieved stunning results and durable floors, while maintaining modest budgets with little room for downtime.
sunny side. The Sunnyside Unified School District in Arizona saved more than $40,000 by having the floors renovated rather than implementing a complete floor replacement. The neighborhood has achieved a cohesive and aesthetic design that easily withstands the steady and heavy foot traffic of students and staff. Because the renewal process eliminates recurring floor polishing costs, Sunnyside will realize continued labor savings throughout the life of its floors. In fact, Sunnyside used a portion of their project cost savings to budget for a Phase 2 project that includes renewing additional flooring.
- Schil. When the worn PVC flooring at the Schill Dental Clinic needed to be rejuvenated, the Slovakia-based Schill team searched for a durable surface that would protect against contaminants and withstand repeated cleaning and the use of disinfectants. Schill chose a resilient renewal solution that was safe for employees and other visitors to the office, as well as safe for the environment. An eco-friendly decision to renew the PVC flooring also prevented the release of nearly 400 pounds of carbon dioxide into the environment.
- Kadlec. The floor of the medication room at Kadlec Regional Medical Center, based in North Carolina, was damaged by heavy wear and tear, including foot traffic, transportation of medical equipment and harsh chemical cleaning processes. Replacement costs were estimated at $7,000 and included three days of downtime due to flooring construction. Looking for a cost-effective solution, the facilities 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 pops of color and adding a topcoat – took five hours and cost around $600. The room was returned to service the next day, with a monolithic floor surface that prevents germs, contaminants and other materials from seeping into the cracks or tarnishing their appearance.
It’s time to rethink resilient flooring. Ripping out and replacing a flooring surface isn’t the only option. In fact, it can save time, money, resources and the environment by considering soil renewal systems instead.
Dave Darche is the National Adhesives/A&D Market Manager for Bona US and has worked in the flooring industry for over 35 years. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Wood Flooring Association Architecture and Design Committee for the National Association of Floor Covering Distributors.