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Zoning is a technique often used by companies to help separate areas within a large space, or to create a focal point by utilising statement flooring options. And, with so many companies opting for open plan spaces these days, it’s becoming even more important to help break up a space. Zoning has become especially popular in hospitality, education and corporate office design in order to effectively utilise every part of an open plan space and help users navigate the space more effectively. For example, in educational spaces such as nurseries and primary schools, the flooring option for workstations will often be a very simple, wipe clean, wood effect floor, whilst the areas for reading or taking part in group activities such as learning from the whiteboard, are often lighter in colour to improve reading comprehension. Utilising a mix of flooring solutions helps pupils to understand which activities are undertaken in each space  as well as giving designers an opportunity to make the flooring more aesthetically appealing by utilising different colours and textures. There are many benefits to zoning out a space  - here are just some of the ways it could help to add interest to your next commercial project…

Manage space more effectively

Businesses are generally opting for larger, open plan spaces in order to encourage employee communication and collaboration. However, with so much space it can be hard to differentiate between departments and business functions, in fact, research found that 81% said that peer collaboration helped improve their productivity. By zoning the area, you have the ability to effectively manage your space. Utilise different products, textures, colours and laying patterns to allocate a set amount of space for different functions, such as separating teams, creating a designated dining area or even by marking out break out spaces.  

Creating individuality

You want to ensure that every part of your space is as individual as you, your company and your employees, and floor zoning is a great way to continue the practice to complement your decor and furnishing choices. Utilising varied laying patterns, product types and colours allows you to create individuality for each allocated area. Try featuring hearty colours and patterns in creative departments or areas like foyers - where you want to showcase brand personality, whilst opting for cooler toned wood effect flooring (like Coppice from our new Landscape Collection), in areas which promote focus and concentration, such as boardrooms and meeting spaces.


With customers and clients being regular visitors to your space, you want to ensure that they’re getting the best experience possible. One way to subtly create this is to utilise zoning to create visual signposts and paths. Corresponding colours and laying patterns can be used to create a path for them to follow, showcasing the best elements of your space as they follow it. For example, you may want to feature your visual pathway with a light toned flooring options such as Mocha from the new Urban Collection, whilst contrasting other sections of your space with a darker or more colourful option, such as Pavement from the same collection. Alternatively, depending on your space, you may prefer to flip this on its head and allow more prominent colours/styles to guide the end user through your space.

Creating a visual signpost

Zoning can help to create visual interest in your space, and draw attention to a particular area. For example, you could create a rug effect, checkerboard or contrasting colour section in order to showcase particular aspects within your space. Pair light toned flooring options such as Ripple from the Shoreline collection with a similar toned flooring choice such as Cobblestone from the same collection, for a great way to create a seamless and subtle look to your space, whilst highlighting the separate sections and creating visual interest across your space.

Creating visual interest

With a wide range of products to choose from, in different plank sizes and formats, the Distinctive Flooring portfolio has an option to suit every style and space, helping you to create a truly bespoke environment that works functionally as well as being stylish. The Distinctive Flooring portfolio is also available in a heavy duty 0.7mm wear layer, which allows designers to have a great looking flooring design that’s able to stand up to the high traffic commercial areas. Explore our complete product ranges here, or head to our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for some design inspiration.

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