Wood Flooring for Commercial Premises & Public Buildings and the Burgeoning Art of Reclaimed Timber
Hotel Foyer and Reception Area
Probably the most important aspect of any hotel is the entrance. This is the bricks-and-mortar front of house and the customers’ first impression of the hotel will be made as soon as they cross the threshold, long before the friendly and welcoming reception staff have come into view. Therefore it follows that the successful hotel foyer should be smart and stylish, warm and welcoming whilst retaining an aura of professionalism and elegance.
Whilst this is a lot to ask of a wood floor, no matter how grand it may be, it can be done by clever design and using both well-maintained and highly polished hardwood flooring with a welcoming quality runner to add warmth. Alternatively many city hotels opt for plain varnished floors with a central medallion or borders for effect.
School & College Gymnasiums
Because many gyms are multi-purpose, (often used as exam halls, auditoriums or as a venue for the dreaded parents’ evening!) they are usually made from hardwood for longevity and finished with toughened varnish. Although synthetic flooring is the less expensive option, it is nowhere near as viable and could well result in a false economy when the floor does not stand up well to high traffic.
Wood flooring also requires more maintenance than the synthetic options, but with regular cleaning and buffing, a well looked after gym floor can last anything between two and four years before requiring a professional re-cycle wood floor sanding expert with fresh finishing applied.
Museums, Galleries and Exhibition Centres
Whether you’re attracting over three million visitors a year like the world-famous Victoria & Albert Museum in London, or your footfall is more modest, a real wood floor enhances any type of building and adds the perfect backdrop to any type of exhibit.
The most robust hardwoods are walnut, teak and cherry, whilst at the opposite end of the scale the softer woods are Douglas fir, pine and birch. Obviously, the hardest woods are the best for heavy traffic areas, but unsurprisingly they are also the most expensive. Measure the lifespan of a walnut floor against that of pine, both maintained in exactly the same way and with the same number of footfalls it would be no surprise to discover that the walnut flooring comes out best.
Originally popular in William Shakespeare’s time and with some locations still sporting their original 17th Century walnut flooring, there is no doubt that choosing real hardwood for its durability is a more economical choice. If you like the idea of hardwood but are worried about sustainability and cost then you may like to consider reclaimed timber, which can prove a worthy competitor for the original hardwoods, as well as being eco-friendly and much less expensive.
Reclaimed timber works – without compromising on quality or style
Recycled hardwood works by transforming used or waste hardwood into usable wood again. The current world leaders per capita in using reclaimed timber to furnish flooring and other products are Australia and New Zealand. Wood shards too small to become real wood flooring again are piled into chipper machines and emerge as underlay for engineered wood and laminates, or are even used as a power source.
Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has recommend the use of reclaimed timber products and reused wood. The idea of reclamation is also enjoying resurgence by the UK construction industry. The use of reclaimed timber is a win-win situation for both the planet and the end user with discarded wood being given a new lease of life without further depleting the earth’s resources.