There are over 380,000 congregations in the United States, according to the National Congregations Study. That's a lot of churches and a lot of church floors.
Churches need remodeling now and then. What are the church flooring options? Read on for help deciding what's best for your church?
Why Does Church Flooring Matter?
Choosing the right church flooring types for your church is important for several reasons.
Making your church a welcoming place for people to visit is important. The flooring makes a huge difference in how the building feels and sounds. You are creating a feel by choosing the floor.
One flooring choice could communicate a modern, exciting, and joyful place to be. Another can emphasize heritage, respect, and peacefulness. Whatever look and feel are required can be supported by your flooring choices.
Most churches have to have some regard for value for money. Funds can be limited and it's important not to be wasteful with church funds.
The cost-effectiveness of the flooring options isn't just about the purchase price. Value for money is also a factor in installation costs, maintenance, and lifespan.
Carpet is a common choice in church settings especially in areas of the church where prayer and meditation require quiet. Compare the sound of people walking on a wooden floor with carpet. The softer, cushioned sound of carpet is certainly preferable.
Carpet also has a dampening effect on the sound. This is helpful in some churches where it assists the acoustics for singing and music. Carpet provides some great options for a visual appeal with unlimited ranges of colors and patterns.
Carpet tiles, make the best option. They are easy to install and maintain. Damaged or stained tiles can be swapped for new ones with little disruption or cost.
Choose carpet tiles designed for heavy traffic. They will give you long service even in the busiest of churches or locations.
Vinyl Composition Tiles
Vinyl composition tiles or VCT flooring is ideal for very high traffic areas. It's durable and can be aesthetically beautiful too.
This flooring is some of the easiest to keep clean. If you have areas of your church where children play or where there may be food spillage, vinyl composition tiles could be right for you.
VCT flooring can be installed with customized patterns. Strong, bright colors can make it great for kids and adults alike.
It doesn't dampen sound much so you might avoid using it in a room with a lot of echoes. Its toughness makes it great if you have rooms where you move seating and tables around frequently.
Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl comes in various alternative flooring forms. Vinyl plank flooring is an option if you like the idea of wooden floors but don't like its price, maintenance, and installation challenges. Wood looks great but it's often not practical.
Vinyl plank flooring is easy to install. It's even possible to create the effect of a traditional church wooden floor with a choice of colors and grains replicating natural wood.
Unlike some wooden floors, vinyl plank flooring resists moisture, moderate flooding, spills, and stains. This is a great option for value and performance.
Luxury Vinyl Tile
Another vinyl-based flooring option is luxury vinyl tiles. Like vinyl planks they can be used to replicate natural materials but with all the benefits of vinyl.
A stone floor can look amazing but it's noisy to walk on, feels cold, and is very expensive. Luxury vinyl tiles can replicate the appearance of stone or traditional tiles such as terracotta. It's warmer to the touch than stone and much cheaper.
Wood is an attractive flooring material. The natural look is beautiful but it's expensive and not durable.
Laminate flooring has some of the performance issues of wood. It responds badly to water and dampness. In dry conditions, it can be easy to clean, install, and maintain.
Laminate flooring offers an outstanding range of natural wood finishes available. Even though it isn't really wood it does look very realistic.
Choose commercial grade laminate flooring for better performance and longer life, even in high traffic areas. It will resist normal wear and tear including food spills, moving furniture, and damage from most children's play.
Any particular flooring option will come with strengths and weaknesses. An option is to play to the strengths of each flooring option. Use a different flooring option for different parts of the church.
Carpet tiles may be the best flooring option for the main worship area or any rooms used for quiet contemplation and prayer. It's ideal when you want to silence footsteps or the annoying scraping sounds of chairs moving. Keep a store of extra tiles to swap with worn or stained tiles in high traffic areas.
If the church has a more traditional appearance, carpet tiles may not be in keeping. A durable and inexpensive alternative to natural stone is a better solution than carpet. Consider luxury vinyl tiles and choose a stone effect that complements other features in the church.
Lower traffic areas such as speaking platforms or alter areas may be suitable for a more natural esthetic look. Consider laminate flooring or vinyl plank flooring. This is an attractive contrast to the carpeted areas and you may be able to combine it with other attractive wooden features such as a lectern or altar table.
Church entrances can be a problematic area for flooring. People walk in from the street or parking lot and bring in dust and grime on their shoes. It's common to have door matting in this area but what should you surround this with?
Easily cleaned surfaces are best. You need to be able to use a mop or wet cloth to clean this area, so carpet tiles are not suitable. Vinyl composition tiles are an excellent and inexpensive solution.
The decision you make about church flooring is a long term one. Different options come with different benefits. Use this guide and choose carefully.
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