Public spaces, meetings rooms reach for the residential look
Flooring can have a distinct effect on the tone of a space; for example, many hotels use hardwood flooring to give the space a residential feeling. The Andaz 5th Avenue hotel in New York attempts to make its guests feel as if they are stepping into a luxury New York apartment through the use of smoked timber oak floors, which can be found in the hotel’s meeting and event spaces, bar and den.
|Hardwood floors give a warm feeling suited for intimate spaces, but relies on additional furnishings to dampen sound.|
“Maintaining the hardwood floors has been incorporated into the hotel’s regular process,” saidCornelia Samara, GM of the Andaz 5th Avenue. “Since the design of our meeting space is clean, there aren’t any drapes or linens to upkeep. This allows our preservation of the hardwood floors to be a main focus.”
Samara believes the hotel industry is moving away from traditional boardrooms, creating opportunities for properties such as the Andaz to create a modern apartment feel that appeals to a certain category of traveler.
Dan O’Neill, commercial development manager for Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, recommends wooden boards with character for high-traffic areas. According to O’Neill, if a given hardwood floor is designed so that every board is the same width and look, then it will create a busy look that won’t stand up with the scale of a space. Additionally, with so many similar boards, damage to just one board will be obvious from the outset.
“If a hotel uses larger boards, with character and textures, then the damage caused by scratches and gouges will be minimal,” O’Neill said. “It’s a preventive visual that also works for design.”
O’Neill believes that preventive design is important for flooring, as quality flooring, especially hardwood, is difficult to replace. “Entire TV programs exist where a designer changes a whole lobby in a week and they never do anything with the floor,” O’Neill said. “That’s because unless you throw a carpet down you need the floor as a good base, and you can’t change that.”