What the entertainment industry has learned from past flooring trends
After the entertainment industry has had to cope with a large number of legislative shake-ups in recent years, the interiors of pubs, clubs and bars have changed fairly drastically to meet new demands. It was that long ago that nearly all of these venues would have been carpeted throughout, with just a square area cut out to create a communal dancefloor. But this common yet surprisingly inappropriate type of floor covering has since been phased out in place of a more durable and hygienic alternative.
What’s wrong with laying carpets in pubs and bars?
So how come carpets were all the rage back when your parents were cutting shapes to the Bee Gees? Well, on the surface they were a cheap and cheerful way to floor a venue, but it quickly became obvious that they simply weren’t up to the job.
People are clumsy at the best of times, so lot of drinks are likely to reach the floor throughout the course of an evening. And, though it seems like centuries ago, once upon a time smoking was still permitted inside these kinds of establishments, so it’s really no wonder that a lot of your old haunts might have had an incredibly ‘unique’ smell. It may have been a familiar musty aroma to many, but it was certainly a disgusting stench to most! And where did this smell collect the most? In the carpets, of course!
Just think. A bar could close in the early hours of the morning after a great deal of drinks and cigarettes had been spilled and stubbed out on the floor during trading, but chances are it would still need to re-open at midday the next day. Because carpets are so absorbent, they would still be wet and ash-ridden from the night before. The resulting smell really would be something else, despite the cleaner’s best efforts to mask it. These carpets would also look incredibly worn after the vast amount of footfall they would see on a daily basis, which meant that pub owners would have to replace them a lot more often than they might like.
As a result, it’s now rare to find a pub that has carpet running throughout. Even though smoking is now banned inside any public premises, landlords and venue owners have realised that there is a much fresher, cleaner and more attractive alternative in wood flooring.
The benefits of wooden flooring in licensed venues
So what are the options when deciding which wooden floor to choose for your establishment? The landlord will ultimately need to decide between solid wood flooring or engineered wood flooring, but before doing so, he or she should learn a little more about each type and the benefits of each.
Explaining both options
Solid wood flooring is cut directly into boards or strips using the species of wood you have specifically chosen for your floor, whereas engineered wood flooring is man-made and consists of lots of different layers which have been bonded together to create a very stable board. The top layer is a solid wood strip that can vary in thickness. It’s this final layer of solid wood that makes the engineered strip look so real.
Making the decision
Before committing to a certain type of flooring, consider your venue’s needs. A lot of landlords will prefer a solid wood floor as it can be sanded and finished many times over. While an engineered wood floor can also be re-treated in this way, the amount of times this work can be carried out will depend on the thickness of its top layer. The manufacturer should be able to give you guidelines that will help you determine whether or not this could pose a problem in future. In addition, if you plan to install under floor heating in your pub, club or bar, it’s often recommended that you don’t lay solid wood flooring, as it may cause instability in the timber (though this is highly contested by many installation experts).
Whichever option you choose, wooden flooring is a very stylish, hardwearing and sanitary option and simply knocks spots off the traditional carpet. Spillages can be mopped up with minimum fuss, the floor won’t retain nasty smells and, most importantly, it will be able to cope with the large volumes of footfall it is likely to see through out its lifetime.
Steve Miller regularly consults with business owners to help them choose flooring solutions that will meet their commercial needs.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dominicspics/820583862/