Having initially been created for use in computing environments, access flooring panels are often thought of as being monolithic and utilitarian in appearance. However, because of energy savings, improved air quality, and flexible configurations, access flooring has enjoyed ever-increasing use in traditional office environments. In these environments, floor finishes play a major role in creating the desired look and “feel” of the space and, as such, architects and designers look for multiple options.
Most often, bare steel access flooring panels are installed and then covered with carpet tiles, either using releasable adhesive or a mechanical system such as a Posi Tile (shown left).
In other cases, either because of anticipated foot traffic, the location within the building (such as a restroom), or simply to create a more diverse and eye-catching look, other finishes can be utilized. These finishes are factory applied in a controlled environment, yielding better consistency. And because they are applied to individual panels, flexibility and accessibility to the underfloor space is maintained.
Many types of factory finishes are available but fall into several major groups:
The one-to-one fit of factory applied vinyl, linoleum or rubber finishes will help maintain an easily accessible underfloor plenum in areas where cleaning is a concern.
Porcelain tiles have a 100% natural mineral composition. They are non-absorbent and impervious to chemicals, leading to easy maintenance. They resist wear and scratches under high traffic and the colors do not fade under UV rays.
Engineered wood tile is a natural wood wear layer bonded to a renewable species wood backer board. The finish is typically made from reclaimed timber waste and coated with High Solids oil that penetrates deep into the wood providing a durable finish.
Terrazzo Tile is manufactured from marble, glass or stone chips embedded in a flexible resin and then polished to a high gloss finish. The resulting tiles are extremely durable and provide an easy-to-care for finish that can withstand excessive foot traffic.