What floor cover for Aquarius hallways?
Porcelain or Carpet in the Aquarius Hallways?
Since 2017 Aquarius C.A. hallways have a bare concrete floor alternated with some marble in the elevators landing.
What are the alternatives to repair this important component of Aquarius? The options are immensely varied. One of the most important decisions is: should the floor covering be hard or soft?
The modern trend is luxury condominiums and 5-star buildings like hotels and commercial spaces is to have hard floors.
The traditional approach is to install carpet as Aquarius had in the past. This was the standard in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
What are the advantages of hard floors, like porcelain floors?
- Durability – apparently a well-maintained porcelain floor may last 40 years. Stains are easy to remove.
- Easy to clean and maintain. The use of vacuum cleaner followed by mopping with a wet cloth is all that is required most of the time.
- Odors do not adhere to porcelain.
- Porcelain does not get mold and mildew.
- It is easy on people with allergies.
- Pet impervious.
Negative aspects of porcelain floor:
- It may be noisier. In the case of Aquarius, we have had the experience of more than 2 years of bare concrete in the hallways. This seems to indicate that noise may be not a factor specially when we note that the second floor has hard marble and no complains of noise have been registered in the 45 years of the building existence.
- Some variety of porcelain may be slippery. Again, many areas with marble in the building have not registered accidents. Also, there are always non-slippery alternatives.
- It may be hard to repair if there is not a reserve of tiles. A good reserve of tiles may address this issue.
How about a softer approach? Installing carpet except in the elevator’s landings. Advantages:
- Warmth and coziness.
- Better sound control than porcelain.
- Easier and faster to install.
- Potential lower cost may allow for periodic replacement.
- A high-quality well-maintained carpet should last 10 years
Problems with carpet flooring:
- Hard to maintain
- Tends to accumulate dust and allergens
- Cleaning and maintenance are harder. Requires periodic shampooing to remover stains and odors.
- Pet incidents will adversely affect the area.
- Gives the building an older, out of fashion appearance.
- Clear colors (to avoid the cavernous appearance of the walkways) should be avoided. So, the choice of colors is restricted to darker colors making the hallways gloomy.
How about cost per square foot?
Porcelain comes in an infinity array of colors and patterns. One trending pattern is imitating wood plank floors. Will this fad last? It is hard to tell. It is also possible to have porcelain that imitates natural stone like marble, flagstone or travertine. Porcelain may come in four major categories: (1) full body, (2) multiple loading, (3) twin pressed and (4) standard and colored body glazed.
The choices in carpet are also wide ranging. A new trend is to install carpet in tiles. CVS pharmacies opted for this modality. The advantage of the carpet tiles is to change those damaged or soiled and keep the still presentable ones.
The cost varies. Fixr.com informs that $ 9.50 is a fair estimate for porcelain tiles installation including the acquisition. Homeguide.com estimates a cost from $ 7.00 to $ 14.00. A base estimate is installation only of $ 4.00 to which the cost of the tile and underlayment (vapor barrier-sound suppressing, like) should be added.
Carpet also comes in a great variety of cost estimates. The recommended one is the cut pile carpet. For hallways shag of cable should be avoided. Fixr.com estimates a cost from $7.00 to $12.00. Homeguide.com offers a range from $6.00 to $ 15.00. Some would suggest a cost as low of $2.00 per sf.
Are there other alternatives?
Wood, natural stone, stamped concrete are some additional alternatives. Also laminate and sheet vinyl are often mentioned.
One relatively new option is epoxy. The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport has opted for this flooring in all areas that have been renovated. Epoxy has many advantages. Low weight, immense variety of patterns, colors and
surface finishes and the promise of very long and carefree enjoyment. Epoxy has been used in garage floors for its resistance to abrasive and acid substances. The evolution of more refined patterns and artistic possibilities has made this alternative more and more popular in more sophisticated areas.
So, the cost for porcelain and carpet seems to be similar. The preference should go to porcelain if durability, cleanliness and a more contemporary look and feel is desired. Carpet could be preferred if warmth, softness, and old tradition are the most desired variables.
My vote? Porcelain! What is your opinion?