How to make office renovations better - HR Future helps people prepare for the Future of Work and is South Africa's leading print, digital and online Human Resources magazine.

How to make office renovations better

Re-tiling is a great way to update the look and feel of an office, improving the general aesthetic appeal of the environment. But just like moving offices, a renovation can be a combination of stress and excitement, and often puts immense strain on employees who are expected to perform as usual despite disturbances.

It’s impossible to escape all the disruption that comes with a tiling renovation, but  what you can do is lay the foundation for a smoother, less stressful one.

While office tiling upgrades are inconvenient, time-consuming and messy, there are several steps that can be taken by office managers and business owners to manage and reduce potential stress and mess.

Tile over existing tiles

Let technology work for you and cut out the dust, noise and disruption that comes with chipping out tiles - the bane of any renovation project. When choosing your adhesive, find one that allows tiles to be laid directly onto existing tiles or substrates, preferably one that doesn’t require primer as this cuts out surface preparation work. Not only will this simplify the process, but it also ensures a cleaner, faster and cheaper renovation thanks to a reduction in labour and surface preparation material costs.

Opt for a quick setting adhesive

Contractors, workmen and the possibility of limited access to power and water add to the commotion of an upgrade. So the trick is to minimise downtime and renovate quickly. Traditionally, tile adhesives can take up to 48 hours to dry but modern developments are changing this. Lay your tiles last thing in the day, using a quick-setting adhesive and leave them to dry overnight, so that when staff arrive for work in the morning, this step is already out of the way. There are quality products available that not only set in six hours, but are primer-free too, saving you even more time and hassle.

Plan your colours, materials and shopping-list

One thing that can fall by the wayside is the colour of grout and adhesive. From the outset, match your materials and be sure you have sufficient quantities on site. Plan the process and clearly and concisely discuss what you want with your contractor upfront to avoid incurring unexpected costs and time delays. The rule of thumb for adhesive is to match your tile colour. Also make practical considerations like waterproofing early on and consider using an adhesive that doubles as a moisture barrier– it’s especially nifty for kitchen and bathroom upgrades in the office where moisture levels are higher.

Any renovation is about project management so ensure that you’re organised and plan in advance which will go a long way to making the project simpler, faster and more cost effective, and which can alleviate the pressure on your employees, while helping to maintain productivity levels and minimise downtime.

Tiisetso Mokotjo is the product manager at Saint-Gobain Weber.

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