We can't wait to get back to post-quarantine life: drinks with friends at our favorite rooftop bars downtown, exploring new places with a stay at a trendy hotel, being welcomed back to local restaurants - even going back to the office! We know many retailers and hospitality hot spots are just as eager for their guests to return - and soon they’ll be ready to welcome shoppers, diners, and employees back safely and in style!
The COVID-19 era has made many stores, bars, hotels, restaurants, and office buildings reexamine their space while customers and workers alike stay at home - now is the best time to consider making updates that will create a welcoming atmosphere once it’s safe to mingle in public!
Elevate your boutique hotel entrance with a stunning marble and brass arrowhead tile accent wall! We love how the colors tie into the chic white and gold hospitality decor.
What’s the most important factor when it comes to a successful commercial design? Creating a place that makes the right impression on potential clients, setting up a comfortable and stylish environment for the workers, or maximizing the utility of your expensive square footage? Choosing the right commercial tile design supports them all at the same time!
Tiles are not only durable wall and floor covering solutions for the retail and hospitality industries, but also an opportunity to create one-of-a-kind spaces that stand out! From a wide range of stunning appearances to easier maintenance than carpets and hardwood, ceramic, porcelain, glass and natural stone tile options have a lot to offer for office buildings, retail shops, cafes, and even hotels!
Whether you’re designing for a small office or luxury resort space, the key is to create the right blend of aesthetics and functionality for a successful tile design. Before we dive into some inspiring design ideas, there are a few factors we want to talk about for choosing flooring tiles in commercial design.
Factors to Consider for Commercial Tile Flooring
The technical performance of the flooring materials is critical in office, hospitality, and retail environments, as these areas are expected to receive high traffic. Flooring materials in commercial settings need to guarantee excellent resistance to high traffic while providing enhanced traction and slip resistance for an added measure of safety.
Varana Gris Natural Stone Look Porcelain Tile Floor for an Office Space
The durability of a tile is always an important consideration in commercial tiles, but it’s an absolute must for floor applications. Checking the manufacturer’s literature is the first step to make sure your tiles are suitable for commercial use. When it comes to ceramic and porcelain tile, the PEI rating should be your top consideration, which deals with the wear rating (or durability rating) of the tile.
Choosing the Right Hardness for your Tile
The PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating is the most important indicator of a tile’s durability. This rating ranges from one to five, where 1 is the least durable and 5 is the most resistant to cracks or breakage. The PEI rating helps us make sure that our commercial tile flooring is durable enough to withstand the wear and tear expected in a high-traffic area, so that the tiles stand up to heavy use.
This is primarily where the difference between commercial vs residential tile lies. Unlike residential tile, which can have a PEI rating as low as 1, a commercial grade tile needs to have a PEI of 3 or above.
A PEI rating of 3 is usually sufficient when choosing ceramic or porcelain tiles for small businesses – these tiles are durable enough to withstand light floor traffic such as in office spaces, conference rooms, and reception areas.
A PEI rating of 4 is more suited for the floors in hospitality and retail businesses, such as restaurants, bars, and hotels, as tiles must bear more pressure in these highly-visited areas.
The highest rating of PEI 5 can handle extreme commercial and institutional foot traffic in retail stores, malls, large hotels, and other industrial areas.
Making sure you select the right rating for your porcelain floor tile is key to ensuring a long life for your commercial tile installation!
Although surface wear durability is extremely important when it comes to picking the right tile for a business, it’s only one aspect to consider when choosing commercial tile flooring. The slip resistance of commercial tile should be taken into account as well, which can be evaluated by checking the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) and the finish of the tile.
The minimum acceptable DCOF value for surfaces that will be walked on when wet is 0.42, according to the American National Standards Institute. However, keep in mind that this is the minimum level of slip resistance for level interior floors that are expected to get wet with water. Other than water, there are an infinite number of other conditions that can cause wet floors, such as oil, grease, etc. Unfortunately, American National Standards Institute does not have a recommended DCOF value for all circumstances, but it’s better to consider higher DCOF values for floors that can be subject to other slippery substances such as in commercial restaurant kitchens or mechanics’ garages.
We recommend working closely with the contractor to evaluate expected conditions on these floor surfaces, and ensuring that your floor tiles have enough slip resistance for the intended use.
To ensure a higher friction rate, you can always opt for natural stone tiles with honed, textured, or matte finishes to make sure your commercial tile flooring doesn’t have a slippery surface especially when wet.
Commercial Tile Design Inspiration for Office Space, Retail, and Beyond
Can you believe this rustic coffee shop gets its look from porcelain tiles? A combination of brick wall tiles and wood look porcelain floor tiles creates a cozy look whether you’re sipping lattes in Brooklyn or the Bay Area!
Wood-look tile is taking commercial design trends by storm, and it’s easy to understand why! These tiles combine the warmth and charm of natural wood with high-performance and low maintenance – a combination that is ideal for a high-traffic retail store or an upscale boutique hotel. If you’re looking to bring the nature-inspired and timeless look of hardwood to a commercial space, wood-look tile is a reliable go-to for both interior and exterior designs! Unlike natural wood, it has a higher resistance to scratches and keeps a uniform appearance over time - cutting down on cleaning, repairs, and maintenance over time!
This restaurant space manages the perfect combination of rustic industrial style, thanks to the wood-effect porcelain tile floors, chalkboard accent wall, and hanging pendant lighting for a trendy Soho feel! Vancouver Gris is one of our wood-look porcelain tiles that’s an excellent complement for modern to traditional restaurant designs that benefit from a more comfortable, warm appearance. These tiles not only look impressive, but are a sturdy building material for low to high traffic dining area floors - you’ll reduce the risk of scratches from metal chairs or desks sliding against your floors!
There’s no doubt that real hardwood cannot compete with the performance of a wood-look tile, especially in outdoor environments where resistance to environmental factors is a necessity. Tribeca Aqua is one of our high-quality wood-looking porcelain tiles that comes with a frost-thaw and slip resistant surface - a perfect choice that not only stands up to harsh weather conditions but also to heavy pressure and high foot traffic stress in a commercial environment. Whether it's used in a restaurant, bar, or another highly-visited commercial area, you can skip the upkeep and maintenance of hardwood when you have wood-look commercial grade porcelain tile! We love the way the weathered wood look added to this rooftop resort bar with cosmopolitan style!
You can even use wall tiles to complete the restaurant aesthetic! This modern cafe enhances the natural feeling of the space with Vancouver Blanco wall tiles - the shiplap effect speaks to a rustic and welcoming sensibility, while the scratch-resistant wall covering is a great building material for a bustling restaurant as it offers a low-maintenance look with plenty of charm!
There’s an old saying that ‘You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!’. Customers get their first impression of your company and the way you do business from the moment they step foot into your lobby. Transforming your business’s entryway into an environment to impress should be your first priority in a retail or business space. In fact, designing lobbies with commercial tile is a simple way to create a spectacular look that will impress everyone upon their arrival!
The Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong is one of the most impressive hotel lobbies in the world, designed with luxury marble tiles to wow their guests upon the first minute of their arrival! Elegant white marble tiles on the floors and fascinating black and gold marble tiles going all the way up to the ceiling… Without the use of tiles in this design, would you actually feel the same ‘wow’ effect?
Marble has been an essential material used by designers and architects for hospitality decor where luxury and exclusivity is desired. Marble tile is a great fit for the hospitality sector and never goes out of date; it continues to be the most appreciated surface and can adapt to a variety of design tastes. Due to the natural characteristics of stone, each marble slab is unique - the stone brings one of a kind feeling to spaces like hotels and restaurants where customers want to feel wowed!
Whether designing a dramatic hotel interior or luxury restaurant, marble tile is the right choice to adorn lobbies that strive for an exceptional feel and look! With the wide range of colors and finishes offered in marble tile, it’s possible to find a style that will suit any business interior! Think luxurious Bianco Carrara or Calacatta Gold for a stunning hotel lobby, dramatic Nero Marquina or Bardiglio to add marble luster in darker shades to an office building entryway, or even Wooden Beige marble with the effect of rustic wood to accentuate upscale mountain lodge decor.
Inspired to create a marble tiled lobby area? Check out our full collection of marble tiles for more options!
Are you looking to create an ultramodern appearance instead? Large format porcelain tiles are a great muse when you’re looking for modern hotel lobby inspiration – we love the idea of Kasai Carta 10x60 Rectified Porcelain Tile on the walls as a visually striking introduction to a business!
Gone are the days when a reception area meant just a desk for the receptionist and a few chairs! Today, corporate lobbies are not only functional but also highlight the best of the company as the entrance area is the first physical representation of a company for its clients. A creative tile design can help create memorable business lobbies– you can create stunning entryways, feature walls or even unique, tiled reception desks such as the one below!
Go for the gold, like this Gold Glass Penny Round tiled lobby desk for an eye-catching movie theater entrance!
Restroom design, in any industry, plays a big part in customer perception. While customers want to avoid businesses with a dirty restroom, a luxurious one can have an extremely positive effect on how they perceive a business! For that reason, well-designed restaurant and hotel restrooms have become more important than ever. When it comes to hospitality bathroom design, aesthetics are just as important as performance!
This stunning hotel bathroom is designed with modern amenities in mind - the stunning marble mosaic tile backsplash adds a creative detail to the streamlined vanity and black and white color scheme.
Neutral color porcelain tiles are both practical and aesthetically pleasing – a muted color scheme is a great way to make a small bathroom feel larger, clean yet still high-end. Varana Morengo Decor is a high grade porcelain tile option that’s perfect for modern to contemporary style commercial bathrooms. As a bonus, it also requires minimum upkeep!
Inspiring Office Spaces
Designing a nice commercial space is not all about building fancy lobbies to attract your guests! In fact, creating environments that employees enjoy is key to boosting productivity in business - A study by the Harvard Business review shows there is a positive correlation between worker performance and a pleasing working environment.
Using commercial grade floor and wall tiles in boardrooms, office kitchens, or in other shared areas is a great way to decorate a corporate office - commercial tiles are not only wear-resistant but also add an elegant atmosphere to the working space. It’s a win=win for employers who want to keep costs down when renovating or designing their office, and for employees who enjoy coming to work every day!
In case you are keen on more neutral tones for your office, how about creating a professional yet modern space Fabric Grafito tiles that create a calming feeling? Larger tiles can create a more corporate look and make your office seem like it belongs to a high-rise in Manhattan!
The staff kitchen is an area that is often overlooked when it comes to designing the work environment. One way to boost the energy in an office is by designing a visually compelling kitchen or dining space and creating a spot for creatives to refill and recharge! Why not add a creative detail, like a patterned accent wall in our Japanese-inspired Kasai Fumo Kintsugi!
This modern industrial resort lounge is both efficient and welcoming thanks to the Ionic Copper Porcelain Tile statement wall!
Thinking of a grand building like a hotel lobby, relaunching a neighborhood restaurant and bar, or something smaller scale like a creative workspace? Which commercial tile design inspired you the most? Let us know in the comment section below!
If you have any specific questions about your commercial tile needs, please reach out so that we can discuss! Check out our full collection of commercial tiles for more inspiration!