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S is for Specifications

The specifications process with any building material or technology can be a short or in-depth process which can significantly influence the success or failure of the project.

Why ‘One Size Fits All’ Doesn’t Work When It Comes to Flooring…

flooring specifications - how will the floor be used?

What will the floor be used for? Will it be walked on frequently with a heavy volume of foot traffic? Are there slip or skid risks? Ask yourself how the floor will be used on a daily basis

Regardless of the building element that is being specified, from roofing and cladding to fixtures and finishes, a successful construction outcome is dependent on many factors. When it comes to flooring, the ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work. The building environment, performance requirements, environmental constrictions, aesthetic needs, and construction timelines are all essential factors in determining the correct flooring system to specify.

Considering the building environment before choosing a flooring system is important, as new-build projects may require different technical properties when compared to a refurbishment project. New or ‘Green’ concrete slabs or footings on ground level may require damp proof membranes to prevent rising moisture. Refurbishment sites may have short windows for downtime and require a faster curing flooring solution. Average downtime costs vary considerably across industries and also vary significantly depending on the scale of the business. For a medium-sized business, the exact hourly cost may be lower, but the impact on the business much greater.

Inner city project locations or areas within a multi-use site can be affected by local council imposed noise restrictions which can limit the construction methods used. In this instance, you may need a flooring system which can be overlaid onto a variety of substrates as the ability to remove existing substrates may not be an option.

Ask Yourself, How Will the Flooring Be Used?

flooring specification - what does the floor look like?

Decorative flooring designs can completely transform a commercial, industrial or institutional environment depending on the building’s purpose

Understanding how the building will be used is another key factor for consideration when specifying building materials such as flooring. A stadium concourse will not have the same performance requirements as a food and beverage processing facility, likewise, car park needs will differ to an aquatic center. Key elements, including government regulations, HACCP and GECA standards, ASNZ Slip Resistance requirements and UV exposure are just some of the factors that need to be considered.

Flooring surfaces can endure some of the most punishing processes in environments that are subject to a wide range of aggressive materials from aerospace and automotive oils and fuels, to food products or derivatives, to natural or synthetic fats and oils, to highly aggressive acids, alkalis, and solvents. Understanding the building environment can ensure that the right flooring choice is specified during the early stages. Choosing the wrong flooring system and having to revisit this area once the project is complete, can be a costly and time-consuming process.

Now, What Will the Flooring Look Like?

Not to be discounted, the aesthetics of a flooring system are also important to the success of a facility. Colour, design and pattern choices can impact the overall feel of a facility and have a positive impact on the operational management of both commercial and industrial venues. Colour can be used to zone areas for visual identification and navigation, it can be used to create mood and atmosphere, it can be used to enhance brand visuals and colours with higher LRV (light reflectance value) can be used to enhance brightness and reduce lighting costs.

Understanding all of these elements can sometimes be an overwhelming process, therefore, it is important to speak with an expert who can guide you through the process. The repeat specification or ‘one size fits all’ approach to flooring can lead to project failures and unforeseen costs, so speak with your local technical representative about your next project and let us help ensure that you get the floor that’s right for your project.

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Ilona Osborne

Ilona Osborne is the Marketing Manager at Flowcrete Australia - a leading manufacturer of seamless resin floor solutions. In this role Ilona leads the regional marketing efforts in Australia and New Zealand to engage with construction professionals and to provide them with insights and information on resin flooring.

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