A Product Life Cycle and Cost Analysis

When it comes to post-construction costs, floor failures are second only to window leaks for the most common insurance claims.

How can you avoid rising materials and maintenance costs incurred by having an improper floor selection in your facility?  Too often, flooring projects are budgeted as inexpensively as possible on the short-term and end up costing more in the long-term. The design of the project is, at times, put ahead of functionality. This is a process that results in higher lifetime facility costs.

Why Do Floors Fail?

There are a variety of reasons why flooring fails; moisture emissions, material malfunctions, insufficient chemical resistance, thermal shock, poor slip resistance, improper preparation and installation, but most importantly, unrealistic expectations. This issue is often caused by the selection of products, based on these four points:

• Price

• Appearance

• Functionality

• Life Cycle

Avoiding Floor Failures

The best way to avoid flooring failures is by choosing the appropriate material in the initial design stage. Tub rooms, kitchens, showers, washrooms, “wet” labs, warehouses and other areas have been consistently specified for resilient, linoleum, and VCT for budgetary reasons.

In each of these areas, water damage has forced the owner to replace the flooring prematurely. After looking at product warranties, most of them are limited to specific conditions as they are not designed to succeed in harsh environments.

The same is true in heavy traffic areas, such as hospitals. Resilient and vinyl flooring is often destroyed by rolling hospital beds, wheelchairs, and castors.

Product Life Cycles

It is understood that less expensive materials require upkeep and maintenance such as cleaning and waxing, not just for aesthetics but for performance as well. Epoxy floors require cleaning for appearance purposes only. If flooring needs to be replaced, it will cost more than the initial installation. In most cases, epoxy does not need to be replaced. It can be sanded and top-coated for minimal costs.

Studies analyzing life cycle costs throughout North America rank “Epoxy” as one of the leading materials in avoiding long-term costs.

To learn more about epoxy flooring solutions, please visit Stonhard.com