When designing the interior of an office or other commercial space, flooring is a key consideration. Designers must take into account aesthetics, function, materials, budgets – and, most importantly, the people who use them. Carpet is a popular and versatile choice. It’s comfortable, it helps reduce noise, and it comes in endless colors and patterns. Despite its many advantages, some designers have reservations about using carpet because of the long-standing myth that carpets can aggravate asthma and cause allergies. The truth is current studies demonstrate the opposite. Carpet can actually help trap dust and allergens from the air, helping to maintain air quality.
The Study That Debunks The Carpet Allergen Myth
Dr. Bruce Mitchell, Airmid Health Group Chairman & CEO and practicing allergy and immunology physician, designed and evaluated a study aimed at understanding how different kinds of flooring interacted with allergens, specifically cat dander, dust mite feces and pollen. During this study, the allergens were injected into a sealed room over a specific period of time; then the room was measured for airborne allergens. After performing common daily tasks in the room, such as walking and sitting, scientists measured the air again for airborne allergens. They repeated this cycle several times and gathered results.
The Truth Is In: Carpeting Can Actually Decreases Airborne Allergens
Defying conventional wisdom, the study results show that the rooms with carpet, not hard surface flooring, had lower levels of airborne allergens. The carpet fibers trapped the allergens, so when the scientists moved around and performed daily activities, the allergens stayed in the carpet and did not float in the air. According to Dr. Mitchell, the study results show “effectively cleaned carpets have the capacity to trap allergen and microbial particles, making these particles less available to become airborne and thus maintaining indoor air quality.”
According to Paul Murray, Shaw Vice President of Sustainability & Environmental Affairs, Shaw was aware of the negative perception of carpet for people with asthma and allergy. “This new research shows that the relationship between carpet and airborne allergens is just the opposite from the popular belief,” he said. “Dr. Mitchell’s excellent work adds to the growing body of evidence that indicates carpet is indeed a viable flooring choice, even for people with allergies and asthma. We’re slowly changing the tide.”
So, designers, feel free to choose carpet. It won’t increase airborne allergens, and, as long as it’s properly cleaned and maintained, carpet can actually maintain air quality. In fact, based on the results of this study, carpet could be a better choice than hard surfaces that deflect allergens and keep them airborne.
To see Philadelphia Commercial’s carpet selection, view our online catalog. For more information email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.Read More »
In typical fashion, NeoCon 2016 was an opportunity to see a host of exciting design trends that are on the horizon. Two themes stood out from the rest: the bold and the natural. These themes were brought to life in the blending of colors, patterns and textures that created interesting and exciting designs. Below we break down how these two themes worked both on their own and together.
With boundless enthusiasm for experimentation, NeoCon’s exhibitors brought bold patterns, colors and textures to life at NeoCon 2016 this year.
While interesting patterns have been a staple of soft surfaces, some of the more intriguing patterns were seen in hard surfaces, such as plaids, floral designs and pixelated fades. The examples on display ranged from wall-to-wall bold patterns to more standard designs accented by the pop of a strong color. This move toward versatility in pattern design speaks to not only a desire for experimentation, but also an overall willingness on the part of designers/end-users to make a bold statement throughout their spaces.
Bright and bold yellows, blues and pinks were front and center in a lot of the designs at NeoCon. The effect was a retro style with a modern twist. The idea of old to new was also seen in the reemergence of earth tones as both primary and accent colors in everything from flooring to furnishings to statement walls. Often, the most surprising designs came as a result of blending bold colors with graphic line drawings.
The statement wall has re-emerged as a way to make a big impression in a shared space. With brightly colored murals, abstract patterns and unexpected wallpaper prints; statement walls at NeoCon stood out in a big way. An interesting trend that moved beyond color and print were the walls that incorporated inspiration from the natural world.
From floral- and palm-patterned wallpapers and real plants and ferns installed in living walls, biophilic design was again a popular element seen throughout NeoCon. The bold use of these natural designs perhaps best exemplifies the blending of the two overarching themes – an idea that was carried out in multiple examples at NeoCon.
The outside world met the office environment with the use of natural and unfinished wood pieces. It was perhaps best exemplified in the rough, unfinished edges of tables and 3 dimensional wooden statement walls. In other examples, the warm browns of the wood were coupled with bold blues, yellows and pinks to create striking designs that remained rooted in the natural world.
Open Office Environments
Ultimately, these colors, patterns and furniture don’t exist in a vacuum. They work best when put to practical use, like in open-office environments, which continues to be supported with products shown at Neocon. In an extension of the biophilic design elements seen in the statement walls, there was a deliberate attempt to bring the calm serenity of the natural world into the work place.
The best part about observing up-and-coming trends at NeoCon is seeing them actually make their way into the real world. Are you inspired to add a bright and bold statement wall to your lobby? Or perhaps thinking of bringing some natural elements into your open office? We’d love to hear how you might bring some of these and other trends into your own space.Read More »
The first steps into your building are some of the most important. You can protect the investment you make in your facility and your people with effective entryway flooring solutions. Not only do they help establish a first impression; they can also be the difference between a safe or hazardous environment, and they can preserve the integrity of the flooring throughout the rest of your facility.
In this infographic, we’ve made it easy to determine the kind of flooring you need by dividing a typical entrance area into zones, each with specialized performance needs.
Why You Should Invest In Entryway Carpet
In addition to being easy to install and providing excellent roller mobility, noise reduction, and added comfort, entryway carpet can increase the safety of your building and prolong the life of your investment.
Creative and Cost-Effective Entryway Solutions
High quality, attractive walk-off flooring doesn’t have to break the bank. We have a variety of options to dress up (and clean up) any entryway. These products are designed to meet the unique performance needs of zones 1, 2 and 3.
If you’re looking for an entryway solution for your facility, please visit our website or email us at email@example.com. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.Read More »
There is no doubt about it; the American population is living longer. We can expect our parents and grandparents to live longer lives than generations past. In fact, according to the Administration on Aging, by 2030 72.1 million Americans will be over the age of 65, and 6.6 million will be over 85. Not surprisingly, the number of Americans living in senior living communities is expected to double by 20301. The average age of a person living in an assisted living community is also likely to increase. Ten years ago the average age was 82; in the future the average age is predicted to be 90 years old. Furthermore, better healthcare and increased life expectancy have also driven the need to consider new issues for the senior resident when they do move into assisted living or other senior communities.
To address the needs of this market, we went into the field to research the latest flooring needs and trends for the senior living market. We traveled to nine cities and interviewed 36 industry experts who specialize in senior living. Here’s what we found:
Balance Aesthetics and Function
Assisted living communities have to be designed to meet the needs of the most critical resident. This means creating an environment that feels like home while accommodating the needs of seniors who have mobility and vision challenges. Designers must consider the potential spills and incontinence, and designs must address adverse changes in vision and mental capacity.
Consider Movement When Selecting Flooring for Senior Living Facilities
Research shows that carpeted floors can lead to physical and psychological improvements. Because they are slip resistant, comfortable and offer noise reduction, seniors walk more efficiently and feel more secure on carpet. So from rec rooms and dining rooms to private living spaces and entry ways, carpet is utilized in more places than not. Carpet needs to be designed to meet the needs of the frailest senior who may shuffle when walking, use a wheelchair, walker or cane, and have visual, hearing or memory impairments. Carpets constructed with low, dense piles can help seniors move more efficiently and feel more confident as they traverse the assisted living space.
Carefully Select Colors And Patterns
Even though baby boomers are 20 years away from the average age of an assisted living resident, they are making most of the housing decisions for their elderly family members, so it is important to consider their tastes when designing flooring for the residents who will live there. Busy patterns and color combinations can inhibit mobility in residents with changes in vision, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Too much stimuli can cause confusion, creating an increased risk for accidents. Because the lens of the eye yellows with age, it is easier to see warm colors. Cool colors can be used, but they are more difficult to differentiate between similar hues.
Choose Flooring Options that are Easy to Maintain
With the increase of average age of residents, comes an increase in the risk of spills and incontinence.
Moisture impervious backing can significantly extend the life of the product, so it is an ideal choice for products designed for senior living communities. Luxury vinyl tile and plank flooring are excellent choices for wet areas, like dining areas. Solution-dyed nylon is also an important component of carpet for senior living facilities because it is easy to maintain and clean without losing its aesthetic appeal. In response to these unique needs, we have developed products specifically for the senior housing environment, including private residences, corridors, public areas and dining rooms. For example, the Snapshot collection contains broadloom, carpet tile and vinyl flooring selections with designs, colors and constructions that support the well being of senior residents.
For more information on our flooring options suitable for senior living facilities, please visit our online catalog or email us firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
1Ortiz, J. (n.d.). Assisted Living Facilities. Retrieved August 31, 2015, from http://www.sbdcnet.org/small-business-research-reports/assisted-living-facilitiesRead More »
When a company meets with a designer to discuss the interior design of a new or existing space, they typically have something in mind when it comes to flooring: color, pattern, level of durability, application … price. The trouble can be fulfilling all of the client’s wishes with something off-the-shelf. So what about a customized flooring solution? More often than not, budgets or timing won’t accommodate it.
We run into this challenge frequently with clients. That’s why we’ve put together Tailored Solutions; it gives them the best of all worlds. Designers can select from a growing and diverse set of patterns offered in the Tailored Solutions program. Then they select a base color from the running line and hand pick the accent color that suits their furnishings and finishes. There are literally thousands of color combinations. Ultimately, the result is a customized flooring solution without the custom budget or lengthy production delay.
NetEdge & MetroNational Get a Tailored Solution Within Budget, Ahead Of Schedule
MetroNational approached us to provide flooring for the redesign of their client NetEdge Solutions’ corporate office. As with every project there were parameters, including budgetary and time considerations. But at Philadelphia Commercial, budget—however tight or unlimited—is an opportunity to create value.
Collaboration and Customized Design
MetroNational’s design team had a hard time finding a running line solution that lived up to their vision for the space; the pattern was wrong or the color options weren’t quite right. After unsuccessfully searching through several flooring options, they remembered our Tailored Solutions program. We collaborated with MetroNational’s design team to identify the client’s ideal patterns and colors, and once the designer selected a base color from the Blink carpet tile line to create an affordable solution tailored to fit NetEdge’s unique design requirements.
From Vision to Speedy Delivery
To help NetEdge and MetroNational’s designers envision their personalized carpet tile solution, we provided a four-tile layout of their preferred Blink pattern, as well as CAD renderings of the flooring using their selected base and accent colors. Although delivery was promised in six weeks, the product arrived in four, putting the redesign well ahead of schedule.
Learn more about how quick delivery and personalization are hallmarks of Philadelphia Commercial’s service at philadelphia-commercial.com.
Visit our online catalog or email us at email@example.com.Read More »
Your fiscal year deadline is near and you have money left in the department’s budget. In the “use it or lose it” world of government and corporate budgets, the last thing anyone wants to face is retroactive budget cuts. Now is a good time to make much needed capital improvements, like upgrading your flooring. The trick is getting it done quickly.
Putting projects out for bid on the open market, awarding the work, and getting it completed can take a significant amount of time, and time isn’t a luxury you can afford when you’re up against the close of the fiscal year. If you work with a provider that has the proper paperwork in place, you can shave weeks – or even months – off of your timeline.
Here are three things to look for in a flooring provider when you want to replace your flooring in a short time frame:
1. Work with a provider that has already done the heavy lifting
Avoid the lengthy open-market bidding process by working with suppliers who have already been through the qualification process and have GSA (General Services Administration) contracts, state contracts and co-op agreements (e.g., NJPA) in place. It will save your team a lot of time, effort and money.
2. Make sure your provider can offer turnkey service
Finding a qualified supplier is only half the battle. The other half is finding a supplier who can supply the labor for installation within the same contract. Otherwise you’ll have to put the labor out for bid in the open market.
3. Select a supplier who can help you meet your set-aside requirements
Nearing the fiscal year deadline, you also may find that you haven’t met your requirements for set-asides. If you’re required to award contracts to a percentage of women, veteran or other minority owned businesses, work with a provider that has relationships in place that enable you to meet those requirements. Select a qualified supplier who has a vetted list of product and service suppliers that meet these small business requirements:
At Philadelphia Commercial, we can help you check all these boxes. We have a diverse network of valued partners that can provide tremendous value to your projects while helping you meet your annual set-aside requirements.
We also offer the largest selection of Quickship products in the industry (with more than 1,200 products ready to be shipped in 10 days or less), making it easier to order and install flooring before the year is out.Read More »
Getting to know your environment can make or break the success of your vinyl flooring project. All it takes is a few measurements and some patience to avoid making costly mistakes when installing luxury vinyl flooring.
Proper Moisture Testing and Acclimation
One of the biggest mistakes a contractor can make when installing flooring is not paying attention to the moisture of the slab and temperature of the environment where the flooring will be installed. The majority of the installation questions we receive have to do with humidity and temperature. By better understanding the mechanics behind how relative humidity and the temperature of the installation area interact with our products, you can greatly increase your chances of a successful and problem-free installation.
The Importance of Moisture Testing When Installing Vinyl Flooring
For proper installation the relative humidity of the foundation (concrete slab) should not exceed the level of the adhesive (90% for 4100 adhesive). There are several ways to measure the moisture vapor in the concrete; the most common and best one is the in-situ relative humidity test – ASTM F2170. This is a quantitative test that determines the percent relative humidity in the slab and is a predictor of moisture that may permeate from the slab, which can affect both the adhesive and resilient product. Another frequently used test method is the CaCl test method – ASTM F1869. This quantitative test measures moisture vapor emissions “expressed as the rate of moisture vapor emission, measured in pounds of moisture over a 1000 square foot area during a 24 hour period.” Both test methods provide the installer data to determine whether the concrete will accept both the adhesive and floor covering. It is important to note that the test results are only relative to the time in which the tests are conducted.
How Ambient Temperature Impacts Installation
The temperature of the room should be between 65 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Product and adhesive stored in temperatures outside of the ideal range need at least 48 hours to acclimatize before installation. If the installation area or the products themselves are below that range, the product can shrink, and after installation, when the temperature rises, the floor can expand and buckle. If the flooring is installed above the optimal temperature range, the product can expand, and when the temperature cools, the flooring can contract, leaving gaps between planks.
How To Control The Humidity And Temperature to Ensure The Most Successful Flooring Installation
Fully functional HVAC systems are the best way to ensure proper temperature and humidity control. HVACs should be running for five to seven days prior to installation, especially in new construction. If additional humidity control is needed, a dehumidifier can be used to decrease the humidity.
Philadelphia Commercial has one of the industry’s broadest portfolios of flooring options to choose from and a dedicated team available to help you with any installation questions. Email us as firstname.lastname@example.org.Read More »
What Are The Benefits Of Biophilic Design?
Biophilic design is growing in popularity especially in healthcare facilities and educational settings, where it’s believed to help patients heal quicker and inspire students to learn. Designers and architects are exploring a variety of methods to create spaces where people thrive—from the use of live plants and natural lighting to patterns and colors that mimic natural elements.
Studies have connected exposure to natural design and the “therapeutic use of natureª” as offering “positive effects on health and well-being.ª” According to an article by Terrapin Bright Green, “studies examining the human attraction to nature have yielded convincing evidence that link interactions with nature with positive gains in productivity, increased healing rates, and even enhanced learning comprehension, in a wide range of sectors.º”
There is substantial evidence supporting biophilic design’s cost saving advantages. It is reasonable to assume that when patients heal quicker medical costs decrease, and when people are more productive in the office, companies gain cost efficiencies.
How Is Philadelphia Commercial Integrating Biophilic Design?
Philadelphia Commercial created the Embrace Collection to meet the market demand for products that support biophilic design. This collection combines colors of the seasons with three nature-inspired patterns. Reveal’s subtle interpretation of the cherry blossom, Enlighten’s depiction of a gentle rain, and Wonder’s translation of a weathered cobblestone pathway assist designers in creating positive, therapeutic environments.
For more information on Philadelphia Commercial’s Embrace Collection or any of our other products please visit our online list of products or email us at philadelphia.commercial@philadelphia-commercial.
ªGrinde, Bjørn, and Grete Grindal Patil. “Biophilia: Does Visual Contact with Nature Impact on Health and Well-Being?” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI), n.d. Web. 21 July 2015.
º”The Economics of Biophilia.” The Economics of Biophilia. Terrapin Bright Green, 12 June 2012. Web. 21 July 2015.Read More »
There is no better place than NeoCon to get a first-hand look at up-and-coming design trends. When we’re there, we sometimes see a dramatic shift in the way designers and manufacturers are approaching commercial spaces. Other times, like this year, we see more of an evolution of current design trends, like addressing health and wellness with products that highlight mobility, biophilic design and the need for privacy and quiet.
Trend 1: Producing in a Mobile Environment
Manufacturers are paying attention to research on workplace mobility that shows giving professionals a variety of workspace options actually improves employee health and increases overall productivity.
Furniture designers showed adjustable and bar-height chairs and desks, standing desks, traditional sitting, and mobile work areas. This gives employers the ability to offer choices, so people can outfit their desks and workspaces to fit their own needs.
Trend 2: Privacy in Open, Collaborative Work Spaces
Keeping it quiet in the workplace has always been a challenge, especially with the push for more open, interactive environments. But now, whether you are working with a small, crowded space or a large space with high-volume traffic, you have many more options for creating peace and quiet.
Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking has put a spotlight on people’s desire for privacy in a collaborative working environment. Several manufacturers showed high backed and wrap around seating options for more private work spaces and sound absorbent fabrics (like felt) to help reduce noise and distraction.
Trend 3: Bringing Natural Comforts into the Office
Nature has made a comeback in commercial spaces with continued interest in biophilic design. Studies show that bringing nature into the built environment can improve the outcome of what is done in the space. Many showrooms
featured plants and living walls (i.e., walls embedded with plants) to create a new level of comfort. And several manufacturers showed raw and unfinished woods that reinforce nature and warmth in interior spaces
Trend 4: Broad Color Palettes
There were a wide variety of colors and patterns represented at NeoCon, giving designers a broad palette from which they can create nearly any mood. Bold, bright colors and patterns mixed with the classics.
And gray continues to be an important color, but there is a clear movement toward warmer neutrals. Soft pink and mint reminiscent of the 1950s made a retro color statement, while blue is firmly established in the contract market.
Trend 5: A Variety of Patterns and Textures
This year’s patterns and textures ranged from bold with high levels of color contrast to those inspired by natural materials and weathered effects. And textures ranged from nubby weaves to flat felts in mostly solid and near-solid colors.
As usual, NeoCon didn’t disappoint. We left inspired by design trends that give businesses and designers all the inspiration they need for creating the right function, form and feel for any commercial space.
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