People are often surprised at the scope of work a designer takes on with every project. Many have confessed they initially thought I shopped for a living, but quickly learn it’s so much more than that. Along with drawing comprehensive, scaled floor plans, we often work with clients, builders, architects, contractors, manufacturers, and the trades, and help choose all the finishes.
So yes, some of that time is spent sourcing. Recommending products to our clients saves time and money in the long run, when we know a product will live up to our expectations, and clients count on us for our expertise.
Spending time in commercial shops, malls and manufacturers means we spend a lot of time walking on concrete floors. Most malls have finished floors of tile or stone that sit on concrete, which works to accommodate thousands of people walking on it, but it can also be hard on feet, legs and backs.
A wood floor would be more forgiving, less fatiguing, like the floors in most homes. Unfortunately, wood is a living product that when left untreated doesn’t hold up to the pressure of use, exposure to seasonal elements like rain, snow, salt, sand and constant cleaning.
That’s why I was excited to learn about a new product that addresses just that. Through extensive research and testing, Planchers Mercier has created a new finish for wood flooring strong enough for commercial use. The nerd in me always wants to know all the details on new product and this got my attention immediately because I’m already a fan of Planchers Mercier wood flooring, so I dove in to learn more about the finish, Generations Intact 2500.
The finish is multi-layered. A hydrophobic layer is added on top of the wood surface. It’s a molecular barrier created when the molecules of the finish interlock with the wood cells to create a bond, a waterproof barrier. This ensures the finish can’t come off or fade.
The next layer is an anti-perforation barrier created with aluminum oxide particles in varying sizes. This layer gives the surface added durability.
The top layer is an anti-scratch barrier. It’s packed with micro-fragmented aluminum particles which creates a multi-point contact surface. This makes it more resistant to scratches caused by frequent traffic in commercial spaces.
Multiple layers make the finish flexible, durable and resistant to impact. It’s also anti-microbial which reduces the risk of bacteria and mold infecting the surface.
It’s been tested with hammers and found to be flexible under impact. The Taber test, where a finished board is mounted on a turntable fitted with abrasive material that spins until the finish is worn off, showed that it took 2500 turns, making it the most resistant finish in the industry. That’s where the 2500 comes from in the finishes’ name, Generations Intact 2500.
The beauty of the texture, shine and colours can’t be tarnished or damaged by snow, water, salt or sand. The good news is it’s easy to clean with simple soap and water and its Greenguard Gold certified. That means it’s the most clean, non-toxic floor on the market and it comes with a 3-year commercial warranty on surfaces with direct outdoor access and 10 years for light commercial projects.
When technology advances a product for commercial use, the design community takes note, especially if it means adding the richness and warmth of wood floors to commercial projects.
The same technology that makes a floor stand up to the wear and tear in a commercial environment often evolves into a product for the consumer market. So, next time you walk into a store or restaurant, take a moment to look at the floor. It may inspire your next flooring choice!