Ask the Expert (Flooring Maintenance)

What Additional Flooring Costs Should Be Considered?

A floor covering, especially for today’s active learning environments, must be durable, maintain its appearance and support the desired instructional-intended design of that space. When considering these factors — and knowing a flooring surface is typically the largest of any surface in a space — specifying the right flooring product is important.

When budgets are tight, it can be tempting to select a low-cost or inexpensive flooring. This approach might save money for material and installation cost, but it can have consequences on the back-end. A lower-cost flooring may require more maintenance or it might need to be replaced sooner than expected, costing more money in the long run.

When selecting a flooring facility experts should consider not only the upfront costs, but also the expected total “lifecycle cost of ownership.”

The lifecycle cost is generally defined as the total money spent on materials, installation and maintenance over a seven to 10-year period — the typical lifespan of a flooring installation in a high traffic facility.

Calculating this cost does not have to be time-consuming. Some industry associations and manufacturers offer tools to help facility executives with this important task. J+J, for example, offers an online calculator, floorlifecost.com, that enables users to compare lifecycle costs across various flooring types, including hard surfaces, soft surfaces and textile composite floorings. This allows facility professionals to make informed decisions.

When it comes to flooring, it’s important to know the costs beyond the initial material and installation — including maintenance time, tools and replacement considerations.

This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of School Planning & Management.

About the Author

Bob Bethel is the director of Business Development, Education, for J+J Flooring Group. J+J offers an online calculator, floorlifecost.com. Bob can be reached at bob.bethel@jjflooringgroup.com or 800/241-4586.

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