The Perfect Floors: Setting the Right Foundation for Your Retail Store
Whether you’re a seasoned retail shop owner or setting up a brand new business, you know how important it is to have an attractive storefront that invites your customers in and entices them to stay.
And one of the most critical decisions you can make for your storefront is which type of flooring you install.
The right flooring can give you the foundation to enhance your store’s decor, create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, and showcase your products in the best possible light.
Whether you’re looking for a sleek and modern feel, something rustically cozy, or anything in between, this blog will take you through the best flooring you can install in your retail shop.
What Should I Look for in My Retail Shop Floors?
When choosing the perfect floor for your retail shop, there are several factors that you must take into consideration, both for looks and functionality.
Durability — As a retail store owner, you’re hoping for as much foot traffic as possible.
Of course, along with high foot traffic comes a great deal of wear and tear on your floors. To combat this, the most significant factor to look for when selecting flooring is its ability to withstand many visitors and the scratches and scuffs they can bring.
Depending on what kind of store you have, you might be dealing with humidity and spills, which you’ll have to consider when choosing your floors.
A durable floor is water-resistant or waterproof and can handle heavy traffic, ensuring that your store always looks its best and saving you costly repairs and maintenance in the future. In short, look for flooring with a commercial warranty and ask about what durability test results are available for the flooring.
Maintenance — In addition to durability, you’ll want floors that are easy to maintain. Your floors will be handling high traffic levels and potential spills, stains, and scuffs.
You want a floor that can be quickly and easily swept, mopped, or vacuumed to keep your customers safe from slips and falls and keep your store looking its best.
In addition, choosing a floor that’s easy to maintain keeps your store looking great and saves you and your employees valuable cleaning time.
Aesthetic — Your floor is just as much a part of your brand as your logo, products, and decor.
The right flooring can create a positive first impression for the customers in your store and set the tone for the atmosphere and branding they find inside. You want floors that align with your brand and the products that you’re selling. Choose a flooring option that aligns with your brand feel, whether luxurious, modern, rustic, or comfy.
Comfort — Speaking of comfy, let’s not forget about comfort! A floor that’s comfortable to stand and walk on directly affects the shopping experience of not only your customers but your valued employees as well (yourself included!).
Choosing a floor that offers cushioning underfoot, shock absorption, and support contributes to your employees' overall well-being and satisfaction since they spend hours of their day standing and walking around your shop. Consider sound insulation, often provided by flooring underlayment, to keep your shop quieter and make it a nicer place to be.
Safety — The safety of your customers and employees should be your highest priority as a store owner.
A safe floor minimizes accidents, slips, trips, and falls, which are some of the most common types of injury in commercial spaces.
Look for flooring that offers slip resistance and good traction to avoid incidents like this for your customers and employees.
You’ll also want to consider the safety features of your floors, such as choosing materials with low emission levels, checking that they’re made of fire-resistant material, and ensuring that they are resistant to splitting or cracking to avoid trip and snagging hazards.
Make sure that you finish your installation with the appropriate transition pieces so there are no trip hazards between rooms, in doorways, or at the edges of your installation.
Best Floors for Your Retail Shop
Keeping all of the above factors in mind, here are some flooring options that have proven very popular for retail shops everywhere and the advantages and disadvantages that could come with them.
Tile, especially porcelain or ceramic, is common in many retail shops. Many shop owners choose tile for its extreme durability and ability to withstand the wear and tear of daily foot traffic.
In addition, tile is available in various textures, colors, and tile shapes and sizes that allow for different patterns and accents. This versatility means that it is easy to customize to match the look and feel of your store to create a visually appealing, cohesive look.
Other Benefits: Besides its decorative versatility, tile is durable, water-resistant, and, for the most part, easy to clean. Textured tiles can also provide better traction to reduce the risks of slips and falls.
Considerations: While tile is durable, it is prone to cracking. Dropping a heavy object on your floor could result in a crack or chip that can only be fixed by replacing the affected tile(s) completely. It can also be a slip hazard unless you’ve got a textured tile or have anti-slip strips to provide the necessary traction.
Light-colored grout can also become stained and dull over time, so consider darker-colored grout that is better at hiding stains for easier long-term maintenance.
Many retail spaces go with very low-pile industrial carpeting. This makes for a more comfortable surface for customers and employees to walk on than a hard surface and holds up surprisingly well against heavy foot traffic.
Like tile, it’s also available in various colors and patterns, allowing you to customize your floors to enhance your store’s look.
Other Benefits: Having carpet in your store can help with noise reduction and echoes as it muffles the sound of rolling carts and trampling feet, something you and your employees might appreciate during a long and busy day. And, as long as you keep up maintenance and ensure there is no rippling, buckling, or other damage to your floor, carpet makes for a pretty safe, non-slip walking surface.
Considerations: If there is a chance of spills in your store, you will want to avoid carpet of any kind. Moisture can get trapped in carpet, leading to unsightly stains and possibly mold.
Carpet requires more frequent cleaning on top of routine vacuuming due to its staining susceptibility. It is also prone to trapping allergens like dust and dander, which could affect your store's indoor air quality (IAQ).
For another comfortable flooring choice, many retail stores go with rubber.
Rubber is a highly durable flooring choice for your store that is easy to clean and maintain, usually only requiring a quick sweep and an occasional mopping. It is comfortable underfoot and sure to give your customers and employees a pleasant walking experience when spending time in your store.
Other Benefits: Rubber has many of the noise reduction properties that carpet does, making for a quieter and more pleasant shopping experience or workday. In addition to that, it has decent traction and is naturally slip-resistant, helping you to avoid incidents in your store.
Rubber is also non-porous, making it water-resistant as well.
Considerations: Rubber floors can be a very expensive investment upfront compared to other flooring options. It also doesn’t give you many design options, and some people may find the appearance of rubber floors less visually appealing than, say, hardwood or carpet. These days, rubber flooring is most often found in gyms or sporting supply stores.
LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank)
LVP flooring has become a prevalent option recently due to its durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal.
LVP is designed to mimic the look of a classic hardwood floor that many customers find very visually appealing in their homes and in the stores they shop in. It is a durable choice, being very resistant to scratches, stains, and overall wear, which makes it an excellent choice for a high-traffic retail space.
Other Benefits: LVP flooring is durable and highly versatile, coming in a wide range of styles, textures, and shades, allowing you to mix and match to fit the look and feel of your space and give your store a sense of elegance and sophistication.
It’s also relatively cost-effective, giving you the classic look of hardwood without putting a massive dent in your budget. LVP is also a low-maintenance floor, only requiring simple sweeping and the occasional mop to keep it looking nice and fresh. Unlike natural hardwood, LVP is waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about those occasional moppings causing any lasting damage to your floors.
Considerations: While most LVP products are DIY-friendly, proper subfloor preparation is essential, so you may need an installer to help prep your space.
And while LVP is incredibly durable and stands up well to heavy foot traffic, depending on the wear layer, it may be less sturdy than flooring options like rubber. Look for commercial-grade LVP flooring, like the Modin Rigid LVP Collection, to make sure your flooring can stand up to everything your shop throws at it.
Engineered hardwood is another flooring option that has become very popular in the last several years. It’s made with a dense inner core and topped with a thin layer of 100% natural hardwood, followed by a UV-cured acrylic protection coating. In the case of Flooret’s Silvan Resilient Hardwood Collection, the resulting planks are 3X harder than a standard hardwood floor and topically waterproof.
It’s a traditional and elegant look without the added maintenance, risks of warping, or high cost of hardwood floors. The unique construction of engineered hardwood provides the durability you need for high-traffic areas with a warm and inviting natural aesthetic that draws your customers in.
Other Benefits: As well as being durable, engineered hardwood is versatile. There are loads of shades and finishes, so you can find the perfect style to work with your interior design.
Engineered Resilient Hardwood is also a sustainable choice for your retail shop, so if sustainability is a key focus for your company or your customers, you can’t go wrong with an FSC-certified floor like Silvan.
Considerations: While engineered hardwood is easier to install than hardwood floors, it is still a project that requires a professional’s touch to ensure your subfloor is prepped correctly.
Engineered hardwood requires more maintenance than LVP but less than other options, like carpet. If your shop is routinely subjected to large spills or very high humidity, engineered wood may not be your choice since it’s not 100% waterproof like LVP.
Why LVP or Engineered Resilient Hardwood Flooring is a Great Choice for Your Store
As mentioned above, LVP or engineered resilient hardwood are flooring materials that look great installed in your space and check many of the boxes that a retail store owner needs from their flooring.
With their stunning visual appeal, these two options can effortlessly enhance the look and feel of your store, providing you the much-sought-after and classic aesthetic of hardwood, all with added durability you need to handle high foot traffic and without the extra expense and rigorous maintenance of a traditional hardwood floor.
You, your employees, and your valued customers will enjoy the charm your wood-look floor brings to your store, not to mention the luxurious underfoot experience that comes along with it.
An LVP or Engineered Hardwood floor is the perfect balance of style and comfort, leaving a lasting impression on everyone in your shop.
Perfect Retail Flooring from Flooret
Investing in your store means investing in its foundation — the perfect floors to set the stage for success.
Check out our collections to find your store’s perfect flooring solution.
Our flooring transcends trends, offering timeless elegance that is sure to always stay in fashion. Each of our collections is built with a protective top coating and can withstand the demands of heavy foot traffic, ensuring long-lasting durability throughout the life of your floor.
You can also rest easy knowing that because we care about the well-being of our customers, our products are Floorscore-certified for low emissions. Experience the beauty of natural hardwood, combined with unmatched durability and resilience, all at an affordable price.
Reach out to our flooring experts today and put yourself on the path to the floors your retail space deserves.