Changing your carwash or opening a new detailing shop can be a fun and challenging experience. You have a lot of decisions to make about what materials go best with your carwash. One critical choice is the flooring you pick.
What factors should you pay attention to? This article will outline eight aspects you should consider before selecting.
Analyzing the climate of the area
Your area’s climate is one factor you’ll need to consider for your flooring. Humidity, precipitation, sun exposure and snow are all aspects to consider when choosing your flooring. The right flooring is necessary to ensure durability for your carwash or detailing business, even when weather conditions work against you.
When you consider climate, tile may be the best way to go because of its durability in most environments — it has excellent insulation and can stay cool during the summer.1 Tile flooring doesn’t absorb much moisture, so it’s easy to clean and maintain. Another benefit of tile is it can handle humidity well in the summer. The material can get cool during winter, so installing radiant heating under the flooring may be a good idea.
Finding water-resistant flooring
No matter where you live, water will be a consistent part of your carwash or detailing business. Water resistance should be high on your priority list when selecting new flooring. You’ll want to invest in a durable material that can stay strong for a long time. Some of the best water-resistant floors include:
- Concrete: Concrete is a popular flooring choice for mechanics, carwashes and detailing shops because it’s durable. If you properly seal the concrete flooring, it will resist water exceptionally well. The key here is to control the porosity of the concrete because that will determine how waterproof it is. For example, low-porosity concrete will hold up much better than concrete flooring with capillary pores.2
- Vinyl: Another solid choice for water resistance is vinyl flooring. It’s waterproof, so surface water won’t wear down this flooring or cause damage. People use it for bathrooms, commercial kitchens and laundry rooms because of its water resistance.
- Tile: Tile is another excellent choice for your carwash flooring. It’s durable in all kinds of weather, showing why it’s stable. The best type of tile for your carwash may be porcelain if water resistance is a high priority — its low absorption rate makes it a top choice for carwash owners.
Another element to consider in your carwash is how you and your employees will fare all day with the flooring. You’ll be on your feet, so you want to help them out by installing a floor that will be durable and comforting at the same time.
The most comfortable flooring would be carpet. However, with a carwash, that’s unrealistic because of the mold potential. For comfort and durability, you may want to consider vinyl. The material is typically softer than other hard surface floors and relatively easy to clean.3
Another practical flooring option for your feet is laminate. This flooring can give the appearance of wood, but it’s softer. If winters are a concern, laminate is also warmer than tile and wood.
Installing the flooring
Are you and your staff handy? Can you install the flooring by yourselves? This question is essential because installation can be much cheaper if you plan to do it yourself. You’ll want to consider how large your shop’s floor is and how long you think it will take to complete the job. You may have to close the business for a short time or move the operations outside or to another location.
Hiring a professional to install the flooring can be beneficial if you don’t have the skills or the time. A professional installation will likely take less time and run into fewer errors with the flooring. They’ll also have the proper tools for the job, so you won’t have to wait on that element. When in doubt, let the pros take over.
Maintaining the flooring
The next factor for your flooring is how much maintenance it requires. You have a lot to deal with at a carwash or detailing business daily, so you’ll want floors you won’t have to worry about in your operations.
For the sake of maintenance, vinyl may be your best bet. It’s one of the easiest to maintain because of its strong qualities. Vinyl flooring is ideal for commercial use because it can withstand daily wear and tear for years for about 20 years. The only daily maintenance you need to do for vinyl flooring is sweeping and mopping. You should be careful with the amount of water, though — if water seeps into the edges, it can wear down the vinyl.
Another terrific choice for low-maintenance flooring is laminate. High-quality laminate flooring can last up to 20 years, much like vinyl. It also doesn’t need much daily cleaning — you should be able to mop and vacuum for careful maintenance.
Remembering the coating
For maintenance, there are some ways you can periodically help maintain the flooring for a long time. One approach is to use epoxy floor coating, especially if you’ve installed concrete.4 Epoxy is a coating you put on top of concrete, typically consisting of polymer resins and hardeners.
The coating bonds well with your existing surfaces and further strengthens the flooring — it’s resistant to machine damage, chemicals and anything else your carwash throws at the flooring.
One factor that may slip under your radar is allergies. Some flooring will better protect your workers and customers from allergies. You should be mindful of the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the flooring.
Laminate and vinyl can be guilty of high VOC content, agitating those with allergies. Vinyl flooring with a low VOC content is preferable because allergens can’t hide on the floor.
Designing the waiting room
Another aspect you shouldn’t forget about is the waiting room. This section can make a significant difference because your customers will spend most of their time here and the impression it gives can be impactful.
You’ll want a low-maintenance floor to keep a clean appearance. A shiny waiting room floor can provide a cheerful look to your customers. Because of the water impact, you’ll also want to finish the flooring with anti-slip protection.
Durable flooring for your carwash
Whether opening a new business or renovating the current one, your carwash or detailing business is your pride and joy. You take pride in the service you provide for your customers and the environment you create for your employees.
One way to foster a safe environment is to select the right flooring, so consider the eight factors in this guide before deciding.
Oscar Collins is the founder and editor-in-chief of Modded, where he writes about cars, car trends and auto news. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates on his work.