The office as we know it has gone. COVID-19 has fundamentally shifted the way we work and as we start preparing for post-pandemic life, 9-5 office working seems to be one of many aspects that businesses and employees are happy to leave in the past. A recent survey conducted by the IoD (Institute of Directors) found that 74% of company directors plan to continue flexible working after the pandemic.
So, with flexible working and hotdesking set to become the new norm, architects and interior designers are now tasked with reimagining the office. Here’s which aspects of flooring design you should prioritise in your new world office...
Hygienic and durable flooring
Needless to say, ensuring a safe and hygienic work environment will be a top priority for businesses as we begin to ease back into the office. This means that gone are the days of carpeted offices. Research conducted by Doctor Gerba from The University of Arizona found that in office spaces, carpets are around 4,000 times dirtier than toilets.
To maintain a sterile work environment, office designers should opt for an engineered lacquered hardwood flooring. Easily cleanable, the glossy coating of a lacquered finished wood helps prevent a build-up of bacteria in the floor.
The additional benefit of a lacquered finished wood floor is that it is renowned for its durability and can withstand the daily wear and tear of office life. Unlike cheaper easy to clean alternatives such as laminate, engineered hardwood can be sanded and refinished time and time again, making it a far more cost-effective option in the long run. We provide a range of lacquered finished engineered hardwood flooring, such as Light Timia Oak which is both durable and easily maintainable.
Functionality and minimalism
As flexi-working and hotdesking start to rise in popularity, offices will need to evolve to cater to these new ways of working. Less private cubicles and more collaborative spaces will ultimately mean that minimalism will become a top priority. Therefore, trends such as ‘Japandi’, which combines the minimalism of Japanese design with the functionality of Scandinavian décor, will soon be reflected in the new world office interior.
Characterised by bright, open and comfortable spaces, ‘Japandi’ makes functionality a priority over intricate décor. Flooring plays an essential role in achieving this minimalist aesthetic. A muted, natural-toned wood, such as Chiswick Oak, will help to achieve a light and spacious look in an office.
As we look forward to life post-COVID, many people are hoping to rebuild a greener and more sustainable society. This priority will inevitably be reflected in interior design trends.
When selecting flooring for the new world office, interior designers and architects must consider the environmental impact of the products they choose. As an incredibly hard-wearing wood, oak is one of the most sustainable flooring options. With UK forest management and protection programs regularly replanting oak trees in woodland areas, it has one of the smallest carbon footprints of all woods and releases fewer toxic emissions during the manufacturing process than other options.
We produce a large majority of our flooring accessories at our own mill in Chirk, North Wales, which massively cuts transport emissions. With a host of environmental and sustainable accreditations under our belt, we are the top choice for the eco-conscious customer.
No matter what your office requirements are, we have a wide variety of finishes and styles to fulfil your needs. To view our full collection, visit: https://akirby.co.uk/shop.
Manufacturer and supplier of premium hardwood flooring, Atkinson & Kirby, has relocated its headquarters to Chirk, North Wales, joining the company’s existing onsite manufacturing and distribution facility. As part of the ongoing development of the company, Atkinson & Kirby has relocated its office headquarters to join its existing manufacturing and distribution facility in Chirk. The move will improve both the service and quality of products by having all staff in one location, unifying working relationships between all departments, from marketing to distribution, as well as improving efficiency, customer service and delivery. Atkinson & Kirby still retains its office and distribution in Livingston. Tradition is an integral part of Atkinson & Kirby and the company is proud to remain one of a few British manufacturers of hardwood flooring, with a selection of solid flooring being produced in its Chirk mill. Tony Miles, CEO of Atkinson & Kirby, comments: “The consolidation of all offices to Chirk is a big move and demonstrates just how serious we are about British manufacturing and sustainability. “We are FSC® certified and take pride in the quality of wood we supply, with rigorous inspections at various stages of production, making sure the wood is always from a sustainable source. “We are a family business and above all, excellent quality and customer service are our priority. The move is already proving successful, with a unified workforce, improved communication and efficiency.READ ARTICLE
When picking out new flooring, many people overlook the toxic chemicals that some flooring types can emit into the home. Young children and pets can be especially susceptible to these toxins which is why it’s important to choose a floor that is as natural as possible and free from any toxic chemicals that can contribute to indoor air pollution. Use this as your guide to non-toxic flooring. Carpet Carpet has traditionally been a popular choice of flooring, however as we become more aware of the health risks associated with carpet flooring people are searching for more natural options. There are many areas in which toxic chemicals could be used within carpet, including the dye used to colour the carpet, adhesives used to bind carpet fibres, and the chemicals used to create resistance to stains. New carpet installation is a large contributor to indoor pollution, a recent EU study identified over 59 hazardous substances found in carpets. Carpets hold these chemicals for months, if not years, but fear not, if you are set on choosing carpet or a rug for your home, place the rug outdoors or a well ventilated area for at least a week, as the first few weeks are when the carpet expels the most toxic fumes. Hardwood Flooring There are two types of hardwood flooring, solid or engineered. When installing hardwood floors the most common option is to glue the floor down. There are many safe, non-toxic glue options that you can use, speak to your installer about sourcing a non-toxic glue. Alternatively, flooring profile options have advanced including 5G click, which simply clicks together allowing you to ‘float’ the floor, without requiring glue. Solid Hardwood Solid hardwood flooring is considered the safest and least toxic option as it’s completely natural and free from any toxins. Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from a single piece of timber. It has many advantages, including its durability, with proper maintenance and care, solid wood flooring can last a lifetime. For an even more eco-friendly option, choose 100% FSC certified wood floors, as the timber used to produce the floor comes from legal sustainable sources. However, as solid hardwood floors are 100% wood they can’t be used in moist areas, including bathrooms and basements. Engineered Hardwood Engineered hardwood flooring has low toxicity and similar advantages to solid hardwood flooring, but it can also be used with underfloor heating. Engineered flooring is made from multiple layers of wood for extra stability. Laminate Laminate flooring mimics hardwood, but instead uses synthetic wood. Unfortunately, due to the toxins and chemicals in the bonding adhesives, laminate isn’t the safest option for non-toxic flooring. Ceramic Tile Ceramic tile is also another safe option, as the tiles are usually made from non-toxic materials. However, as tiles require a thinset mortar for the tiles to adhere to, as well as grout to fill the spaces between each tile. While, the tiles themselves do not contain these chemicals, it is possible that these products do. In Summary When choosing your flooring opt for the most natural materials and products for a non-toxic home that is safe for pets and children. Atkinson & Kirby is committed to supplying non-toxic hardwood flooring, with solid hardwood floors being manufactured at our mill in Britain. All of our hardwood floors are FSC® and PEFC® meaning you can be sure the timber was sourced from sustainable forests. View our solid hardwood floors or engineered hardwood floors. If you would like to order a sample, or speak to one of our experienced customer service team, contact us here.READ ARTICLE