Guest Column | January 17, 2018

Retail & Store Flooring: Looking Sleek Without Compromising Durability

By Kendall Youngworth, Senior Marketing Specialist, Tennant Coatings

Retail & Store Flooring Looking Sleek Without Compromising Durability Image

A properly planned retail store layout involves placing departments with related products adjacent to each other for optimal flow. Eye-catching, must-have, impulse-buy merchandise on end caps or near registers; strategic positioning of popular items at the far end of the store — these factors have all been established as effective methods to creating enhanced customer experiences and maximizing revenues.

However, retail planning and design is as much art as science. It is all about creating an attractive, easy-to-navigate space that best shows off the merchandise while making the store an environment in which the shopper is comfortable and happy to spend time — even if “just looking around.” Successful design can encourage the person who stepped in for just one or two items to end up walking out with a full shopping bag.

How Flooring Contributes To Retail Ambiance

  • Color: Flooring color selection is an obvious factor in creating great ambience. It can set a tone for the entire store: For example, a lush garnet or charcoal for an upscale men’s haberdashery or a bright yellow for a toy store. Color can also strengthen branding, provide a clean, neutral palette against which merchandise pops, make a windowless store seem lighter and brighter, or even help a space look larger or smaller.
  • Visual Texture And Surface Traction: Designers can add visual texture to retail spaces with strategic placement of flooring in varying gloss levels and inclusion of decorative elements such as chunkier or finer colored flakes, multi-colored aggregate blends, metallic powders, and the like. Each makes a statement about both the store and the customer who shops there. For safety, selection of finishes with appropriate surface traction and slip-resistance is imperative.
  • Design Layout: Many retail establishments have consistent flooring throughout, but there are a range of other options — strategically placed logo, directional lines, color coded departments or even inspirational messages — worked into the design.

Retail Flooring — More Than Just A Pretty Face

The durability factor is as important as the look of the flooring in a retail environment. The flooring must withstand not just high foot traffic, but other stressors such as shopping carts and strollers, forklifts and pallet jacks used in restocking merchandise, and external conditions with customers tracking in rain, snow, mud, and whatever inclement weather brings. It also needs to stand up to daily cleaning, chemicals and, other regular maintenance.

Epoxy Coatings For Retail Flooring

Epoxy coatings and other resinous floors are among the most durable and easy to maintain traffic surfaces for a retail environment. These flooring systems do not require regular polishing, special treatments, or buffing. Additionally, the wide variety of colors and textures makes it easy to create a look and feel that best represents a given brand, as well as achieve retailers’ specific performance goals while meeting their budgetary needs. Some benefits of resinous epoxy floor coatings include:

  • Prolonged life of the concrete slab as the epoxy flooring bonds to and becomes a barrier over the concrete, thus providing improved scratch and load bearing resistance from heavy wear and tear and high traffic.
  • Simplified maintenance, thanks to the seamless nature of resinous flooring. By eliminating grout lines and cracks where dust and dirt can settle and mold and bacteria can flourish, epoxy floors provide an easy to clean surface that can stand up to even the harshest chemical cleaners.
  • Today’s UV resistant topcoats and cycloaliphatic epoxy floor systems offer excellent color retention, enabling decorative options and solid colors to maintain their beauty and vibrancy over time.

Decorative Flake Epoxy Floor Coating

Although mosaic-like terrazzo flooring can be an attractive choice for a retail environment, it is often impractical and expensive to install. In addition, depending on the type of terrazzo, regular re-grinding, polishing, and sealing can make terrazzo time consuming and costly to maintain.

Luckily, decorative flake epoxy systems can mimic the artisanal mosaic look without the hefty price tag. These designer floors consist of colored flake blends encapsulated in clear high performance resin, adding visual interest and providing exceptional durability without the extensive required maintenance of terrazzo. The composition of the flakes is random so the flooring looks organic, and the variety of colors and flake sizes makes floor design extremely customizable.

Decorative Quartz Epoxy Floor Coating

Decorative quartz is one of the most popular types of epoxy flooring systems, not just because of its durability but also due to the wide variety of color options and the fact it can be customized in texture as well. This makes branding and designing a simpler matter with the option of using the same colors with specialized elements to suit the needs of different areas, such as added slip resistance for all walking surfaces. The aesthetic can be maintained while delivering a higher level of employee and customer safety.

Epoxy Metallic Floor Coatings

Metallics are perhaps the most exotic of the epoxy floor coating systems. They offer a truly unique design, using single or multiple “metallic” colored powders to create dimension and swirls of stylish highlights, organic patterns, and cloud like formations, creating one-of-a-kind surfaces that can bring the room to life. People often refer to metallic systems as a mirror image of marble with its three-dimensional look and smooth glass-like finish.

Customized Features: Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy coatings and other resinous floor systems offer a multitude of other features that can be implemented to meet facilities’ performance and safety needs such as added texture for slip resistance, UV stability, chemical resistance, or special properties such as moisture vapor mitigation, high tolerance for thermal duress or resistance to bacteria.

Durability, Easy Maintenance, And Custom Looks For Retail

Epoxy coatings and other resinous flooring — whether solids, decorative flakes, decorative quartz or metallic — offer great durability, easy maintenance, and a wide variety of colors, textures and styles for every retail environment.

About The Author

Kendall Youngworth is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Tennant Coatings with more than 10 years’ experience assisting clients across many industries in the selection and installation of optimal concrete flooring for their facilities. Tennant Coatings of Minneapolis, MN, is a leader in flooring experience, knowledge, and expertise.