New Flooring Trends for Apartments Focus on Style, Durability

D Lightning By D Lightning, 8th Feb 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Supply Chains, Procurement & Logistics

Innovative apartment owners are taking advantage of recent developments in flooring technologies to differentiate and update their rental properties. New trends include stained and polished concrete flooring, architectural overlays, dazzling epoxy flooring, and non-wood laminates. This article explores each of these new types of flooring.

New Surfaces vs. Traditional Floor Coverings...what's HOT for 2013?

For apartment owners and managers looking to update and differentiate their rental units, several new trends in multi-family flooring are making a dramatic impact underfoot! Traditional units featuring beige carpet and faux tile vinyl floors are being converted into designer-inspired works of art using concrete, epoxy, and hybrid non-wood laminate flooring.

Want to see the latest in style and cost efficiency? Take a look at these new options:

1. Polished and Stained Concrete

Chances are there is a beautiful stained concrete floor hiding out under the existing carpet and vinyl - especially on ground floor units. Advances in concrete grinding and polishing technologies now make it possible, and affordable, to convert slab-on-grade units to beautiful and durable stained concrete flooring.

Advantages of concrete floors are:
Clean hard-surface flooring for every room
No replacement cost - flooring becomes a capital improvement
Low turnover cleaning cost
Easily repairable, can look brand new at each turn
Endless design options
Lower cost than tile or hardwood, allows color changes as desired

Polished floors are installed by specialty concrete contractors using very specialized diamond grinding equipment. Installation can take several days, due to the amount of work involved and drying times for stains and sealers. However, once these old floors are ground, patched, polished, stained and sealed; the floors look spectacular and hold up to all kinds of abuse. Tenants typically add area rugs where they like, which also help extend the life of the floor. When its time to turnover the unit, concrete floors simply need cleaned and waxed to bring them back to 'brand new' condition - a significant advantage over floors that only deteriorate from new to please remove immediately.

2. Architectural Concrete Overlay

Concrete overlays allow apartment owners to use stained concrete flooring in 2nd floor units. Similar to polished concrete, architectural overlays are thin coats of new hybrid cement mixes that can be applied over lightweight gypsum floors commonly found on above-grade units. Overlay lends itself to textures and patterns, and can create dramatic effects when installed by qualified artisans.

The advantages of Overlay floors include all those of polished and stained concrete. In addition, overlay is a repair and resurfacing material, which means if your buildings are in bad shape, overlay will actually help repair your floors and beautify them at the same time! Why pay for expensive 'subfloor repairs' that would be needed before installing vinyl plank or LVT when overlay can do the entire job with style?

Dazzling Epoxy Floors (and countertops)

Another hot option for concrete or overlay floors is to use the latest epoxy technology that combines the durability of industrial-grade epoxy (think garage floor toughness) with dazzling colors infused with metallic powders that result in some truly eccentric, modern looks. These floors can look like swirling galaxies or airbrushed masterpieces, and are very popular for showrooms in retail buildings. If you want the latest in modern style combined with unsurpassed durability, epoxy coatings are a new option.

Clean, modern look
Extreme durability

Epoxy requires a solid and sound floor, so its really a design option for concrete or overlay floors, unless its used on countertops! This material is notable because it can go over existing formica to give aging countertops a new "concrete" look, including modern contoured or metal edging.

Non-wood laminate (floating) floors

Apartment owners are usually familiar with wood laminate, and its many drawbacks resulting from the fact that it is made of compressed wood particles that expand with the slightest amount of moisture. The latest innovation in floating, click-together flooring combines the look and durability of Luxury Vinyl Plank (or LVT) with the durability of Trex tm style decking. The result: Click-together laminate that is completely waterproof. In addition, by laminating LVT, owners get all the advantages of vinyl, too, such as sound dampening and no maintenance.

Advantages of non-wood laminate:
Completely waterproof - will never expand or soak up moisture
Click-together floating floor is easy to install
LVT top layer reduces sound transmission
Comes in any look - wood, stone, tile, exotic patterns
Vinyl wear surface is extremely durable
Low cost material and installation

Non-wood laminates will likely replace all but the cheapest wood laminate products in the near future, as they have none of the disadvantages associated with wood laminate, and are comparable in cost per square foot. These laminates provide the advantages of LVT and click-LVT, too, without the limitations of vinyl. For instance, non-wood laminate is tough enough to go over uneven wood subfloors or concrete floors without requiring extensive subfloor repairs!

Price summary

No discussion of apartment flooring trends would be complete without mentioning cost. Discerning owners and managers must balance the books, and these new trends are as inexpensive as they are innovative. Prices from a national flooring provider range from $2.85/sf for Polished and Stained concrete up to $3.85 for Epoxy flooring. Non-wood laminates range from $1.55 - $2 per square foot for materials, depending on options such as wear layer and underlayments. Compared to carpet, vinyl and laminate floor coverings, these trendy upgrades provide much longer useful lifespans with lower cleaning and maintenance costs.

In 2013, discerning apartment owners have some new options to choose from to set their units apart from the crowd.

Concrete Artistry Flooring, Inc.


Apartments, Concrete, Floor, Flooring, Installation, Laminate, Multi-Family, Overlay, Property, Property Management, Staining, Turnover, Vinyl

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author avatar D Lightning
After many revolutions around this rock, I can honestly say there are a few things I know how to do really well, and I hope to use this sit e to share my knowledge.

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author avatar Vartika
8th Feb 2013 (#)

Thanks for the post. Informative.

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