A survey* conducted the first week of December 2010 asked cleaning professionals a variety of questions regarding the types of floors now being installed in facilities, as well as cleaning and maintenance issues related to those floors.

"The two trends that popped out in the survey regarded the types of flooring now being installed and the care of floors in general," says Gary Pelphrey, General Manager of Powr-Flite Direct. "Apparently, the respondents say more sustainable floorings** are now being installed, and more than half say they are refinishing floors less often now than [they did] a few years ago."

The respondents also indicate overwhelmingly that more of their locations are installing hard-surface floors, something welcomed by nearly half of the respondents, who indicate maintaining a hard-surface floor is "easier than maintaining a carpeted floor." However, nearly the same number say that maintaining hard and carpeted floors is about the same.

Other findings include these:
• More than half of the respondents say they "submit a higher bid if the facility has mostly hard-surface floors," 20 percent say they submit a lower bid, and about one-third say their bid is not affected either way by the types of floors in a facility.
• Forty percent say they bill their clients separately each time they refinish the floors; 20 percent indicate that refinishing the floors a certain number of times per year is included in their bids; the remainder say they bill their clients only for supplies when refinishing floors.

"Overall, a hard-surface floor probably does take more time to clean and maintain than a carpeted floor, and this is reflected in how the respondents bid on these facilities and their charges," says Pelphrey. "For the building owner, the payoff is that a hard-surface floor lasts so much longer."

* AlturaSolutions Communications conducted the online survey for Powr-Flite Direct. The company requested the survey in order to determine trends in floor coverings and care.
** The survey defined a sustainable floor as one made of cork, bamboo, recycled rubber, etc.