I've been throwing this idea around for sme time and after reviewing WIKI and some of the forum posts on here I've come up with (what I think) is a summary of the types of flooring and thier advantages/disadvantages in a hostel setting.
Feel free to add to it, and here we go....
There is a large debate over which flooring material is best suited for a hostel. The main types we will go over are carpet, laminate, PVC, wood and tile. Although there are pros and cons to each of the materials it is important to note that a final decision should be based on hostel size, geographical location and occupancy.
Carpet is best suited for cold climates. It adds an insulating barrier from the cold, functions as a sound barrier and adds a warm, welcoming ambiance to a space. The best type of carpet to install is that of a commercial grade and treated against stains. Choosing a suitable color that will hide stains and add to the character of the facilities is important. For high traffic areas, the use of a runner carpet can be beneficial because it can be rolled up and replaced in a matter of minutes. Some hostels use commercial carpet tiles so that is one or two are ruined then they can be replaced without tearing out the entire carpet, be aware though that some carpet styles may go out of production and you may not be able to find a match. Check with your supplier to ensure that they will continue to produce that model of carpeting.
Regular carpet can be ruined in a matter of months from high traffic, spills, vomit and the occasional dog droppings. Posting "no food or drink" signs in the dorm rooms can help. Most spills happen in common rooms and the kitchen, so avoid carpet in these areas. Carpet can be high maintenance; vacuuming can be noise and commercial vacuums can be expensive; carpets need to be cleaned regularly to remove dirt and stains; dust mites, bed bugs and other critters can thrive in carpet, and can be a turn off for allergy sufferers.
Laminate (veneers) flooring
Laminate flooring has been used in some hostels for dorms and common areas. It can be visually appealing and is easy to clean. Laminate needs to be installed properly on a very flay surface. If not done correctly it can lead to the floor bubbling up and being very noisy when walked on. Even with an area rug, the movement of the flooring can be substantial. Having the hardwood look without the price can be advantageous. Laminate is not highly recommended because is can easily chip and then starts to look cheap. Laminate can also give patrons the impression that the management has cheaped out on the facilities. For lox traffic areas like private rooms and dorms it can be a cost effective way to add ambiance to the room. Due to the noise, feel and low durability or laminate flooring it is not recommended for use in a hostel
In central America and south east Asia you wont find anything else. Tile can be expensive to install and chilly on the feet in cold climates, but is extremely durable, esthetically appealing and easy to maintain. Tile is your best bet for bathrooms and kitchens. In warmer climates it can be nice for clients because the cold floor can help to cool them off. In cold climates it is recommenced to install in-floor heating under the tile floor. Tile reflects sound more readily than other surfaces and this can be remedied by adding strategically placed throw rugs to common areas and bedrooms.
PVC and vinyl Flooring
PVC and vinyl flooring are cheap to install and come in an endless variety of colors and textures. It can feel "institutional" to some people. It can also stain, melt if a hot pot is dropped on we t, and can be very difficult to remove once installed. For commercial operations it is only recommended to use these in bathrooms and kitchens.
Wood flooring is any product manufactured from timber that is designed for use as flooring, either structural or anesthetic. Bamboo flooring is often considered a form of wood flooring, although it is made from a grass (bamboo) rather than a timber. Wood is a common choice as a flooring material due to its elasticity and flexibility. It can be installed over a concrete slab. Wood expands and contracts with changes in moisture
Wood adds character and charm to any space. It is a renewable recourse, durable and easy to clean. In high traffic areas wood needs to be polished regularly to keep it looking good, but this can be alleviated by using high traffic runner carpets in hallways and corridors. Wood is initially expensive to purchase and install, but lasts longer than PVC, vinyl or carpeting. Using throw rugs with wood floors can add to the esthetic appeal and warmth of a hostel.
Proper use of vacuuming, sweeping, and damp mopping is usually all that is required to maintain the cleanliness and appearance of a wood floor. Oil soaps should not be used to clean the floors. The best suggestion is to use the manufacturers recommended cleaning products. Like tile floors, excessive grit and foot traffic will affect appearance. Unlike carpet or rugs, a properly finished wood floor, like tile, does not accumulate hidden soil or odorous compounds.
Seamless chemical flooring
Many different seamless flooring materials are available. These are usually latex, polyester, urethane or epoxy compounds which are applied in liquid form to provide a completely seamless floor covering. These are usually found in wet areas such as laboratories or food processing plants. These may have granular or rubberized particles added to give better traction.
With a bit more feedback and imput, this could be a proper article. Thanks for reading everyone, hope youve enjoyed.