Flooring for Retail: Time is of the Essence

Rapid and reusable, adhesive free floor coverings offer the ideal solution for any retail environment where a quick or temporary installation is required. Here, Jason Pethard, Head of Key Accounts at Forbo Flooring Systems, discusses the benefits of specifying ‘fast fit’ flooring.

With retail stores operating long hours, seven days a week, and outlets, such as supermarkets, trading 24 hours a day, perhaps one of the biggest challenges that retailers face when it comes to flooring refurbishments is finding a suitable time in the first instance. Clients will not want to have to close during normal business hours, after all, time is money, nor would they want renovation works to take place that will cause disruption to both staff and shoppers.

One solution that is proving increasingly popular within the retail industry is the use of adhesive free floor coverings. These ‘fast fit’ floor coverings offer a quick and easy installation as products can often be fitted over existing floors, allowing work to be completed overnight or even whilst the store is still in use. Due to the fact that the installation is completely free of adhesives, no setting or drying time needs to be factored in to the project, meaning that the floor is ready to be walked on immediately after it is fitted.

Floor coverings can also be removed with ease if a redesign or new layout is required due to the fact that there is no adhesive used. As subfloors are then left clean and sound for repeat installation, this could be most useful if stores want to change the floor colour or texture with the seasons or to support various promotions, for example. On the other hand, the products themselves can be re-used again elsewhere or recycled at the end of their service life making it a truly sustainable solution.

There is no doubt that creating the ultimate experience is key within retail design and there may be some misconception that choosing adhesive free floor coverings means that products will compromise on aesthetics and performance. With various materials, formats and sizes available on the market to suit varying levels of traffic and applications, manufacturers are constantly innovating and developing solutions that are on-trend, whilst offering the same durability and quality, just with the added bonus of a quick and easy installation. For example, luxury vinyl tiles remain prominent within the retail sector for their ability to replicate its natural counterpart – and now with plenty of adhesive free options, specifiers can design stand-out floors quickly and easily.

For large scale installations, there are wood and stone designs that can be seamlessly interlocked with each other on all sides simply by using a rubber mallet to ‘puzzle’ the pieces together. With no need for an adhesive and minimal subfloor preparation required, the large-scale tiles can be installed over existing floors, including ceramic ones, and walked on immediately after installation, reducing downtime and minimising impact on daily business. This will also eliminate lingering odours usually associated with the use of adhesives, contributing to creating better indoor environments and improving the wellbeing of staff and customers alike.

While adapting the floor space within a retail outlet is an attractive proposition, time is certainly of the essence when it comes to refurbishments. With the latest developments in adhesive free floor coverings, specifiers should work together with a reputable manufacturer, such as Forbo, to choose products that guarantee a quick and easy installation, without compromising on design and quality.

For more information on Forbo’s portfolio of Fast Fit products please visit www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/fastfit for more information on Forbo’s full portfolio of flooring solutions for the retail sector, please visit www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/retail

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