Flooring enhances the decor and aesthetic appeal of any interiors. Luxurious hotels are fast catching up with designing surfaces to welcome thousands of guests while also looking into ergonomics. Given the footfalls, hotels look for options that are durable yet elegant and sophisticated. An adept combination of style and functionality, is what these properties are striving to achieve.
Typically, it is the interior designers, architects and stylists who are part of the flooring selection for hotel designs, after the debrief on requirements and needs from the management. Their instinct is that flooring can have a distinct effect on the tone of a space, and hotels take this information forward to utilise it to their advantage. Many hotels use hardwood flooring to give the space a residential feel. Some hotels aim to make its guests feel as if they are stepping into a luxury apartment through the use of smoked timber oak floors, which can be found in the hotels’ meeting, event spaces and bars.Hardwood floors give a warm feeling best suited for intimate spaces but rely on additional furnishings to dampen sound.
“Flooring in a hotel varies, based on the concept and budgets. If the concept is heritage, then Indian stones like Jaisalmer and green Udaipur are popular. Floorings are also decided, based on the activity in a hotel,” explains, interior designer, Monica Khanna, the creative force behind The Delhi Design Store.
There are a myriad criteria for selecting the type of flooring in a hotel but functionality is firmly on top of that list. Akarsh Mathur, general manager, The Deltin Daman, reiterates. “Depending on the requirements and functionality, each area in the hotel needs a specific flooring material. To give an instance, a corridor or lobby flooring can obviously not handle wet areas like those skirting swimming pools and vice versa. Restaurants need options that complement and continue the overall look and feel of the hotel’s theme. Thus, such high traffic areas typically have hard flooring like Italian marble, granite and composite marble, as these are easy to clean and maintain. Theatres need carpet flooring, while guest rooms normally have hard flooring like marble, granite or wooden flooring in places.”
At The Deltin Daman, Emperor, the Chinese restaurant, features a combination of black composite marble, carpet and wooden flooring. Restaurants are a much frequented area of hotels and need to exude style while following a thematic design. Flooring here needs be selected carefully, keeping several factors in mind. “The eateries at ITC Hotels, known for their fine offerings, follow a systematic flooring selection. It is an important element towards creating a distinction,” informs S Arunaachalam, chief engineer, ITC Maurya.
While the outlet My Humble House has carpeted flooring, West View-The Grill restaurant leans more on a robust stone finish. Its terrace has flooring that weathers the external climatic conditions. The iconic restaurant, Bukhara has a rustic ambience and its flooring appropriately reflects its sense with the use of sturdy red sandstone. On the other hand, the fine dining eatery, Dum Pukht’s elegant decor is tied in with a mix of white marble and carpet for flooring, which is in perfect sync with the chandeliers and exquisite inlay works on the walls.
But aesthetics alone cannot determine the choice of flooring. Babu Choudhary, executive housekeeper, Westin Chennai Velachery adds, “When selecting flooring for restaurants, there is much to consider beyond simple aesthetics. The options for a restaurant are diverse. Traditional carpet and quarry tile; a wide variety of hardwoods, both natural and engineered; decorative tile; high-end environmentally friendly options. The flooring type is generally based upon design, aesthetics, and ease of construction, safety, cleanliness, ecofriendliness, cost, durability and function. It is important to consider both, diners and the employees who work at the restaurant.”
Getting the flooring right in each area of the hotel is crucial. Guest rooms at Hyatt Regency Mumbai are covered with wooden flooring, whereas Italian marble has been used for bathrooms. “The use of wooden flooring gives a very rich and natural feel to the guest rooms, whereas the use of Italian marble (like Venatino and Satvario) gives a clean, bright and spacious look to guest bathrooms,” explains Nitin Kerkar, director of engineering, Hyatt Regency Mumbai. He further adds, “Kota flooring has been used for back-of-the-house areas as they are cost-effective, easy to maintain and possess good endurance. Granite flooring and paver blocks are used for the back area pathways and anti-skid tiles are a must for wet spa areas.”
Sophisticated colours, clean lines and different textures, thus blend perfectly in different floorings across various areas of a hotel. There is so much to choose from nowadays in terms of flooring materials. “Marbles, granite, wooden flooring, carpets, Italian and other imported marbles, paver blocks, vitrified tiles are some of the typical flooring materials used in hotels,” informs Mathur. The Westin Chennai Velachery makes use of hard materials like slum grey, Botticino, Travertine marble, Kota and tiles, wooden and carpet flooring. Arunaachalam of ITC Maurya is categorical when he states,
“Texture variation helps in breaking the monotony in some cases while each area in the hotel augurs need for different flooring, depending on the activity and usage.” New innovations constantly invade the flooring market. Wooden flooring has gained a lot of popularity. Darker shades are selected for high traffic areas to conceal the dust and other stains while lighter shades are preferred for making spaces look larger. Concrete cobbles, paving blocks, terrazzo, are also sought after.
“Vitrified tiles, vinyl planks, laminated wooden flooring and metal flooring are some of the popular choices nowadays,” chips in Mathur. Vinyl flooring being water-proof is emerging at the top choice for the hospitality industry. Products in this category from Pergo are available in wood, stone and leather surface texture that gives more options for flooring.
According to Arunaachalam, “Thermal and sound acoustics impacts the choice of material used for flooring, apart from the overall decor and theme of the hotel.” Keeping this in mind, hotels opt for carpets in certain areas. Hyatt Regency Mumbai relies on Taiping, Brinton and Rateria, for their carpets.
Among carpets too, vendors are going that extra mile. “Colours are very much in demand now and many carpet vendors have reworked their carpet line with bright bold hues suitable for any area of a hotel. In addition to colour, sculpted carpets in contemporary patterns and shaggy shags with multi-coloured threads are in, as are retro tints, for those who prefer dark warm floors,” informs Choudhary.
Maintenance and cleaning of flooring is an important task and often dictates the choice of materials. “Marble/granite flooring is generally cleaned by honing and surface polishing on regular basis with special chemicals. For carpets, surface treatment with special carpet shampoos and vacuuming, while surface buffing with special chemicals has to be conducted for wooden flooring,” reveals Kerkar.
Mathur avers, “Flooring maintenance depends a lot upon the type of flooring used. Marble maintenance requires regular dry mopping and an electrostatic mop is better. Regular buffing is required to keep up the gloss levels. Marble should be crystallised regularly using chemicals there are lot of the chemical available in the market where the main component is oxylic and has to be used with a single disc machine with different pads preferably red.” Pergo, Vyara, Kajaria, Nitco, RAK, Way floors, EGO flooring, are some of the top of the line brands that hotels partner with. “Flooring is a crucial parameter that reflects the hotel’s theme or philosophy,” concludes Arunaachalam. With the way things are moving forward, hotels are acknowledged this fact and ensuring that they create a good impression for every person who steps their foot in.