Will It Last? How To Choose The Right Flooring and Seating Materials For Your Bar, Restaurant, or Nightclub – Gaslamp, San Diego

RMD Consulting Choosing Materials That Will Last In Your Hospitality Venue

Will It Last? How To Choose The Right Flooring and Seating Materials For Your Bar, Restaurant, or Nightclub – Gaslamp, San Diego

As the leading hospitality consultant in San Diego, we work with clients who either already own a business, who own a space they’d like to turn into a hospitality venue, or who are looking to start development on a new project from the ground up. We consider ourselves experts in our industry because we have been through it all. From pizzeria to mega-club, we have renovated, built, redesigned, and reinvigorated some of San Diego’s best nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. There are rules, hoops, steps, and unpaved paths you have to travel through when opening or re-opening a venue. And it’s helpful to have someone who has done it all before, and can walk beside you while you navigate the ins and outs of designing or redesigning a new venue.

While choosing the right location, obtaining the correct permits and licenses, and developing a well-thought-out floor plan can make or break your business…so can your interior design choices. First let me say…we are not interior designers. We work with teams of professionals who help us create a visually appealing space that fits the vibe and personalities of our brands. However, we stand firm in the idea that form follows function, and in the end, this has saved us a lot of money.

Too often we’ve seen bar, restaurant, and nightclub owners overspend on fancy furniture, extravagant décor, and unique materials, just to have their guests ruin it with spilled drinks, high heels, and other hospitality related accidents. If you really want to design a money maker, choose your materials wisely.


Hardwood, cork, vinyl, cement, carpet…there are so many flooring options to choose from. In our homes, flooring can make a huge difference in aesthetics.  In our businesses, it needs to be durable above all else! A few things to consider when choosing your flooring materials:

  • Cost
  • Safety
  • Durability
  • Look

Flooring Options: Carpet

Looking for something cost effective, warm, and inviting? Carpet can be a great options for certain areas of your venue. There are a lot of colors and textures to choose from, nowadays there are stain-resistant fibers available, and it’s soft and quiet. Carpet is great for acoustics and it usually has a short lead time. The cons – carpet can stain, absorb odors, and is susceptible to mildew, which makes it less than ideal for areas where people will be eating and drinking. It can also show wear pretty quickly if it’s in a high traffic areas. You’ll most likely need to replace carpet sooner than other flooring options.

Flooring Options: Cork

Cork is great for hospitality venues whose design includes more natural elements. It’s soft and warm, resists mildew, and is easy to clean. It’s also stain and water resistant, so it works well in restaurants and dining areas. It’s usually coated with polyurethane which typically lasts seven years before it needs to be refinished. However, if it has a wax finish, it may need to be reapplied every six to twelve months. It also needs a good subfloor in order for it to be installed correctly, and the look doesn’t fit every design. It’s also not the most durable…it tends to get indented if someone is wearing heels, or if something heavy is dropped on it.

Flooring Options: Linoleum

Linoleum is definitely the most cost-effective flooring option. It’s reasonably durable, comes in tons of different colors, and can be hand-cut into intricate patterns and designs. However, it can also very slippery when wet. It can also get scuffed from shoes or moving furniture and can often look cheap.

Flooring Options: Concrete

Concrete is pretty easy because it’s typically the sub floor in many venues, so your only cost is the finish. It’s extremely durable, easy to maintain, lasts forever, and is waterproof. However, like linoleum, it can be very slippery. It doesn’t fit every design and it’s not good for acoustics.

Flooring Options: Engineered Wood

This is a great option if you need something quick, durable, and easy to clean. It comes in a variety of colors, looks just like real wood, and can be installed over most sub floors. It works well in damp environments. But it can’t be repaired if it gets scratched or if the finish comes off.

Seating Materials – Booths, Couches, and Chairs

If you’re working with an interior designer, it’s their job to find pieces and materials that look good. It’s your job to make sure those pieces and materials last.


Vinyl is an affordable option for booths and other seating areas. It’s easy to clean, won’t absorb liquid or odors, comes in a variety of colors, is easy to get, and has a long life span. It’s also a good outdoor seating material. Unfortunately, it rips and tears more easily than other materials, it’s difficult to repair, and it doesn’t have a very high-end look.


Leather is pretty luxurious! It has all the pros of Vinyl, but has a richer appearance. With appearance also comes a higher price-tag, and it tends to scratch and crack more than vinyl. There’s limited colors and it’s not great for the outdoors.


Fabric ranges in price from affordable to expensive and comes in many different textures, colors, and styles. However, it is difficult to remove stains, it absorbs liquid and odors, and it ears out pretty quickly.

Our advice – When choosing materials for flooring or seating, pick one based on what it’s going to look like after the first year, NOT what it looks like the day you purchase it!


Find out more about RMD Group’s bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Find out how you can improve your existing venue, or to turn your bar, restaurant, or nightclub dream into a reality with RMD Consulting.


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