Builders and property managers should start the selection process by thinking about how rooms will be used and the expected performance throughout the space.
By Kiel Menick and Layne Dugger (MultiHousingNews.com Article) — Flooring and coatings make a big impact on how a resident perceives a space. It is important to look for products that can stand up to the high levels of wear these surfaces undergo. Choosing products with the latest technologies will reduce the need for frequent repaints or flooring replacement, as well as ensure a property’s aesthetic appeal for years to come. Builders and property managers should start the selection process by thinking about how rooms will be used and the expected performance throughout the space.
Here are some important features to look for when selecting coatings and flooring.
Kitchens are often centrally located and have become the go-to hub for social gatherings. This means higher levels of traffic and increased wear on materials.
Selecting a higher-gloss finish or a technologically advanced washable flat allows for frequent cleaning while maintaining a uniform appearance. For the walls, look for coatings that resist food splatters, wash easily and resist high moisture levels. Additionally, consider a coating that features Odor Eliminating Technology, which helps reduce ambient odors of organic origin, like tough, lingering odors from cooking, smoke and pets. This technology can reduce common indoor odors so rooms stay fresher longer.
Choose a waterproof, resilient flooring for a cost-effective, attractive solution to spills and accidents. Use a luxury vinyl plank (LVP) to create a hardwood look that will flow seamlessly into the living room. For durability, look for a product with a high wear layer and PSI. A product with an enhanced finish is up to five times more durable than one with a typical urethane surface.
Water and mildew resistance are key attributes when specifying for a bathroom. Whether your resident views the bathroom as a relaxing retreat or functional space for everyone in the family, keep it sparkling by selecting durable products that withstand the test of time.
While tile is a popular choice, a shortage of qualified tile installers, installation time and cost can be deterrents. Instead, consider a waterproof luxury vinyl tile (LVT); its water resistance and durability are needed, and its natural stone and hardwood visuals can be coordinated with other elements of the overall design scheme. Easing labor needs and expenses, LVT can be installed five times faster than traditional ceramic.
For bathrooms, pick a coating that provides high levels of resistance to moisture and water-spotting. Also, a paint formulated with antimicrobial agents inhibits the growth of mold and mildew on the paint surface and inhibits the growth of bacterial odors. Applying the right product in the bathroom can also mean a faster return to service and fewer repaints.
The Living Room
While the kitchen has gained popularity as a room in which people spend time in their home, the living room remains a central and favorite location. Residents today look for a unique, livable space that feels customized and personal to them, which you can offer while still maintaining cost efficiencies.
Consider adding a custom accent wall or painting a color on the ceiling to increase property value and attract residents without adding significant costs. As for coating attributes, look for durable paints with very good washability and hide. And for fast-turn, easy maintenance, and to eliminate spot-priming, use a stain-blocking paint and primer in one.
Minimize transitions by bringing the same LVP from the kitchen into the living room. Look for a plank in mid-to-light natural or gray tones for an on-trend hardwood visual. Incorporate longer planks for an even more authentic wood look. Products with an attached pad eliminate the need for underlayment and reduce sound transfer.
Owners and residents will sleep easy from the ground up with the right product specifications that can create a desired refuge.
Air quality has continued to grow in importance to residents. Appeal to this preference by selecting coatings that have achieved GREENGUARD GOLD Certification. These products are certified to GREENGUARD standards for low chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage. Using a coating with zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) or one that meets the most stringent VOC requirements is a great choice. Another great innovation is Formaldehyde Reducing Technology, which helps promote better indoor air quality by reducing airborne concentrations of formaldehyde and other aldehydes. This technology helps reduce the levels of these VOCs from potential sources like insulation, carpet, cabinets, fabrics and other building materials.
For children’s bedrooms, don’t let skateboards and crayons leave lasting impressions. Consider coatings that are highly washable with stain-blocking properties, as well as resistance to marks and burnishing.
While hard-surface products are trending throughout the home, carpet still reigns supreme in bedrooms. It is important to choose a single-source flooring provider to ensure hard- and soft-surface products are designed to coordinate. Bedroom carpeting should contribute to style and comfort while also delivering the durability needed for a multifamily unit. New fiber innovations provide high-level durability and cleanability without sacrificing style or softness, because pets will be pets and kids will be kids! A high-performance fiber system makes it possible to offer carpet without worrying about stains from pet mess and wear, which often call for frequent replacement when a less-than-durable carpet is installed. Or, property managers can consider a modular soft surface option, which can offer quick, cost-effective replacement with high style from installation patterns like herringbone or basketweave.
Paint and flooring technologies have come a long way, particularly in the solutions provided for residential properties. With different products providing different combinations of performance features and aesthetics, selecting the right products for a space can have a significant impact on resident satisfaction, durability of a property, as well as long-term savings in cost and labor for property owners.
Considering the space’s uses and the needs of residents will add value and attract and retain residents. And coatings that apply, hide and touch up easily will save time and money.
Kiel Menick is the director of marketing, multifamily and builder markets at Sherwin-Williams. Layne Dugger is the vice president of national multifamily accounts for Shaw Floors. To learn more, visit shawbuilderflooring.com and S-W.com/multifamily.