Customers and visitors of public buildings probably won’t ever think about the floor they’re walking on. In the most common types of venues there’s usually something far more interesting to them happening a little higher up than their feet, but the type of floor used in a building can have a big impact on the look and feel of a place.
That’s why industry professionals need to put a lot of thought into what kind of floor would be best. As the floor is the most used- if that’s the correct word- part of the building, it can make the difference between a calm and relaxed space, or a chic and busy business area. People can literally feel the difference in the type of floor used, so if you’re developing public spaces, there should be time in your diary to consider this.
Here are some places where wooden floors are a very necessary part of the building and how and why it’s used.
Before we begin on specifics, it’s worth pointing out the main reason most of these are more suited to wood floors, as they all share a similar reason. Wood floors are softer on the feet than stone, yet don’t come with the obvious cleaning issues of carpets.
Carpets would probably be too soft if anything – they create a feeling of relaxation that is more suited to home environments, not an open place for activity and discussion.
Over 90% of art galleries in the UK have wooden floors. The color is the only variation, with some galleries going for dark floors and white walls, and others vice-verse.
The reasoning behind this isn’t really clarified, but the main reasoning is that it creates a warm and neutral environment for people to settle into viewing whatever art they’re there for.
Gym floors obviously need to serve a different function to that of galleries. The main purpose of wood floors in gyms is to provide a springy base for people, so that there’s minimal pressure on the knees. The laminate surface is also specifically designed to provide enough friction for the right footwear.
The right footwear is the key phrase in that sentence, and should clarify why gyms are often so fussy about what you can and can’t wear on your feet, if you ever wondered.
Shops that sell natural products often go for wooden floors to create a rustic and natural looking environment. Stores such as LUSH do this really effectively and the natural look complements the bright colors of their products.
That doesn’t necessarily explain the use of wood floors in clothes shops though. “Superdry” and “AllSaints” are some of the biggest users of wooden flooring. They use dark floors to contribute to an industrial look, complemented by intrusive metal designs and architecture.
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