The Architect's Blog

What is the Best Choice for Flooring in Locker Rooms?

As a Long Beach architectural design firm we work on tenant improvement projects for local organization of all sizes, from small private companies to larger facilities, like John Wayne Airport.

We recently completed a tenant improvement project for a Community Center in Long Beach.  Part of the project included four locker rooms, both men’s and women’s, for use by the general membership, plus exclusive men’s and women’s locker rooms for members who pay an additional monthly fee. 

The client’s designated representative was a committee.  When it came to flooring, each member of the committee had their own idea about the qualities they wanted in a new floor.  Some wanted to use a material that was soft and warm underfoot, others wanted to eliminate grout lines to reduce maintenance costs while still keeping a smooth, cleanable surface. All of the committee members agreed the new flooring should be based on a budget-friendly product.

We investigated many of the latest products and examined similar case studies.  After much research, we came to the conclusion that the appropriate choice of material depends more upon the specific use of the space rather than the designation of the space.  So, the better question is not, which material is best for a locker room floor, but rather which material is best for the floor of a high use locker room and which is ideal for an exclusive locker room.

In a high use locker room space that is shared by both adults and children, materials that are slip resistant, easy to clean and perform best when constantly wet seem to be the most appropriate choice.  Materials such as stone or ceramic tile are natural choices. We presented several stone and ceramic options, but durable vinyl was ultimately selected by the client as it meets most of the qualities they wanted. But because vinyl is not porous it may trap moisture and prove to be an issue long term. Time will tell.

Wet carpet is perceived as a breeding ground for a variety of bacteria and is therefore undesirable.  Conversely, in an exclusive lower-use area that is mostly used by adults, carpet has a chance to dry out.  The softness and warmth that carpet adds to the floor gives the impression of luxury and is therefore appropriate for a more exclusive space.

M. Grisafe Architects approaches each project with a fresh look while leveraging both our experience and valuable information that’s available industry-wide. We work to strike a healthy balance that accounts for the desires of the client, the material and code compliance requirements often involved, and keeping to a reasonable budget.

Have a question about a project you’re considering or need to talk with an architect? Contact us today to learn more about the value we add to commercial tenant improvement projects in Long Beach and nearby.

Leave a Comment