Autumn 2023

Our Genesis floor finishes and Floor surface Specification

Angie Haynes

Specification is selecting the product that is going to meet the demands of a specific space and meet the requirement of the given space over a period. When specifying a floor surface there are many options and those choices are ( or should be ) based upon what the function of the space is, there are two basic choices Hard floor or Soft surface ?  There are huge differences in both types of floor finish, Visually most specifications are based upon the look of the product, That’s 1) Colour & 2) Texture. These two elements are fundamental in the way the product looks and a great deal of thought should go into those choices. That’s the visual, the nice bit…  The hard part is dissemination of the various performance indicators that are built into the specification of the product, and what each part means that determine the overall performance of the product in use.  in Carpet terms the fundamental choices are Yarn type and construction, whether the choice is a Woven construction or Tufted construction and there are a number of ways to construct, using Yarn and backing technologies that determine a particular look and performance criteria plays a huge part in the choice of one type over another.  Installation is another key element that will also determine how well a particular product will perform in use. Never, Ever, Skimp on Installation.. it’s absolutely crucial and will make or break the finished project over time.  Todays carpet (or Soft surface )product is technically advanced and has to be installed in a specific way to enable it to perform under the requirement, The method of installation is paramount and it can make a huge difference to the look and performance whether the product is expensive or inexpensive, The Total cost of the product should be in line with what the product is expected to deliver over time, and Installation should be valued in line with the product itself…  In Hard Flooring terms that advice is magnified by the need to determine the required performance level and over what time ( Lifecycle)  frame expected.  Hard (or Resilient Floor)  surfaces are reliant on a sound base (Subfloor) and by not providing a suitable floor substrate will never deliver a performance driven installation. Installation again is crucial in the delivery of a performance product and sufficient budget must be accounted for in the overall cost of Hard Flooring there is absolutely no benefit in the specification of a performance based surface if it is installed badly.  Timber based Floor surfaces again are many and varied in the way they are constructed and there are plentiful choices across the various types, but,  (You knew there was a but didn’t you !) It’s a lot more expensive to make the wrong choice in this genre.  Timber is a wonderful choice for a floor surface, it’s tactile, it’s warm, it’s welcoming, it’s also a product  where Type of construction is paramount in the way it will perform in use, and it’s definitely a case of considering carefully the type of flooring that will deliver the best performance over time.  Laminate, Engineered, Hybrid, Solid, Each has a feature and those features have benefits, Inevitably it’s a cost issue and costs vary tremendously across the choices available. Again,  Installation is crucial when specifying Timber based floor surfaces and a poor install can ruin an expensive product and a good install can make a low cost floor look good.  In today’s market we are totally spoilt by choice, and specifying is very generally a compromise to meet all eventualities, Todays products, especially those designed and developed for commercial spaces are generally geared for a superior performance but the key difference is how a product is Installed and maintained that determines a truly value for money investment.