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Concrete floor coverings have been used as functional floor surfaces in industrial environments. Recent innovations in the traditional methods of concrete maintenance, however, have led to increased use in retail, grocery, and other types of facilities. These innovations range from better, faster drying aqueous sealers with lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to decorative acid stains (increasingly popular in retail) to diamond abrasives, which are relatively new and making headway in the industry. This technology, usually associated with stone maintenance, can deliver harder and denser polished concrete surfaces with higher reflectivity, without the use of sealers. Floor coverings made from clay materials and fired at high temperatures have properties suited for different environments.
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Commercial offices and commercial facilities, high-gloss stone, marble and terrazzo floors are being replaced by porcelain tiles that can be manufactured to look like other types of flooring. These tiles are cheaper than natural stone and display an authentic, realistic appearance with less maintenance required. However, it is important to keep in mind that wood flooring has problems with water and abrasion sensitivity. Wood is a relatively soft material compared to other coverings.  The common floor coverings are vinyl flooring, ceramic tile, hardwood and carpet.
Vinyl flooring is also known as "resilient flooring" and is the least expensive covering and the easiest to install. It's most likely used in kitchens and bathrooms. Terrazzo and agglomerates, which are 70% or more natural stone (granite or marble usually) embedded in a cementitious or resinous binder, can be good for use in high traffic areas, such as schools and transportation facilities. Wood flooring (solid or engineered) is extremely attractive.

Ceramic tile is hard, durable and available in a wide variety of sizes, patterns and colors. Ceramic tile is a sound choice for rest rooms, because it is highly resistant to moisture penetration. Quarry tile and pavers have strong slip-resistant characteristics that make them ideal for kitchen areas. New advances in porcelain make it a suitable selection for high traffic areas such as malls. There are some different categories of ceramic tile like glazed ceramic tile, which has a colored glaze, quarry tile, which is unglazed, porous, softer and thicker than glazed but has to be protected with sealer once in a while. Porcelain mosaic tile is extremely dense and naturally water-resistant and has the same color throughout its thickness.

Hardwood floors are durable and easy to clean. A hardwood floor could last forever if it's treated periodically with a strong urethane finish. Plywood-backed flooring and floating plank floors cost less than solid hardwood and can be used for do-it-yourself installation. Scratches can be filled and a badly damaged small area can possibly be fixed with new planks.

Carpet is most common in bedrooms, family rooms and hallways. The two basic types of carpeting are loop-pile, which uses uncut loops of yarn to make a textured look, and cut-pile, which has trimmed fibers that gives a more uniform appearance. The two pile types are sometimes combined in one carpet. Carpet has better appearance and comfort instead of durability, but maintenance consists of reducing wear by keeping it as clean as possible.

Carpet remains the most popular flooring type for its acoustical qualities. Carpet has the ability to deaden sound so building occupants aren’t disturbed by loud footfalls. In many facilities, carpet is installed in squares to allow for easier replacement if an area gets stained. Carpet, however, is seeing some of changes of its own. For example, new styles and textures are being introduced as well as more colors. Also, many new buildings are installing carpet made from recycled materials. While flooring is not changing in office common areas, there are new styles being introduced in lobbies and entryways.

Maintaining and Repairing Vinyl Flooring
         Today's high-quality vinyl floor coverings don't need any regular care besides sweeping and mopping. For repairing, it depends on the type of floor and the type of damage. It's better to replace the damaged tiles. With sheet vinyl, you can use the surface or patch in new material. For small cuts and scratches you can use liquid seam sealer, a clear compound that's available anywhere vinyl flooring is sold. That will permanently fuse cuts and scratches so they're almost invisible. Clean the area with lacquer thinner and soft cloth. When it's dry, squeeze a thin bead of sealer into the scratch. For tears or burns, cut out the damaged area and glue in a patch cut from matching flooring. If it's badly worn or damage is widespread, all you can do is replace it.

D.  Maintaining & Repairing Carpeting
         The most important thing you can do to make a carpet last long is to keep it clean, vacuuming often and getting rid of stains as soon as they happen. You should be aware of any cleaning method that exposes carpet to too much moisture or leaves a soap residue; it often proves to be a magnet for dirt in the future. Burns and stains are the most common problems. If the burns are shallow enough, you can use small scissors to clip them away. For deeper burns, patch them by cutting away and replacing the damaged area. Remove damage or stain by using a "cookie-cutter" tool, available at carpeting stores. Press the cutter down over the area and twist it to cut it away. Use the cutter again to cut out a replacement patch from scrap carpeting. Insert double-face carpet tape under the cutout, positioning tape so it overlaps patch seams. Press the patch into place and make sure the pattern matches the existing carpet. Apply seam adhesive to the edges of the patch to seal the seam and prevent unraveling.

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Retail Store Sub-Flooring problems - All modern commercial buildings have concrete sub-floors that have been manually placed, leveled and finished (usually) by cement finishing crews. They are very rarely level and smooth. The finished flooring can be adversely affected by any serious flaws in a concrete sub-floor. Ceramic tiles are hard and very fragile (brittle). If your concrete sub-floor cracks, so will the ceramic tiles. The larger the tile size, the more likely the finished floor will show cracks prematurely. Cutting or coring of any concrete sub-floor should be left to professionals.

Concrete Flooring. Concrete flooring is now available in a variety of sizes, designs, patterns, textures and colors. Concrete can be quite heavy, so you must be careful during installation. There is a special chemical procedure for aging concrete so that it looks very beautiful and luxurious. Using concrete instead of another pricey material, such as marble or granite can save you quite a bit of money. Additionally, the rooms laid with concrete will look very unique.

Metal Flooring. Metal flooring has become very versatile. Not as popular as other types flooring material, it was once used only in commercial and industrial buildings. Difficult to install but virtually maintenance free, metal flooring can be manipulated to simulate bronze or brass. In addition, metal tiles can be interspersed with other types of flooring materials to make a very interesting and stunning floor.

Leather Flooring. Leather is not something that only your grandmother would have as a flooring material. Leather has an unmistakable rich and luxurious look. It is also relatively expensive, but the expense is well worth it. Leather tiles come in different colors, shades and textures so it is easily customizable to any room. Leather is also very soft and warm, making a leather floor very comfortable and inviting to walk on.

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