Everything You Need to Know About Trade Show Flooring

Custom Exhibits | Trade Show Rentals
July 9, 2021

Small changes can often make a huge difference in life. Like mirrors in small rooms, a pinch of garlic in any dish, and a simple heartfelt thank you.  

Trade show flooring is one of those small, often overlooked changes that can transform a ho-hum display into a mesmerizing exhibit. Considering 82% of trade show attendees have buying authority it’s absolutely important to make every detail count.

It’s often easy to overlook trade show flooring and many exhibitors settle for beige, tan, or gray carpet with basic padding. And that’s fine. However, if you view the floor as another branding and design surface, the creative opportunities expand exponentially. 

Getting Started with Trade Show Flooring

Trade show flooring specifically designed for your booth should be both functional and beautiful. It should tell any attendee strolling by your booth that you really own that space, as opposed to the other exhibitors who are just renting theirs. 

What kind of trade show flooring is best for your booth depends on your display. Making the right choice will save you money and improve the appearance of your booth. An experienced exhibit professional understands how to tailor the flooring to meet the varying budgets and marketing goals of their clients. 

The best way to begin looking into trade show flooring is to consult with a custom trade show design company. They will know the right sources and material to use and how to stay on-brand with your particular booth.

There are many types of trade show flooring, and the choices can become overwhelming. Often, it’s easiest to start eliminating ones you know wouldn’t work and see what you’re left with.

Wood Trade Show Flooring

Outside of North America, wood flooring is the standard for most trade show floors, particularly in island exhibits. No other flooring has the same upscale look. Most wood floors are raised for wire management and include ramps for disability access. The wood flooring assembles in sections and requires labor familiar with the installation. 

Because wood flooring costs considerably more than carpeting, vinyl, or tiles, exhibitors nearly always rent rather than purchase it. 

One design option, particularly for larger islands, is to add a raised wood floor in one section of the booth. This could work well for a seating or conference area or a dining room or bar. This adds elegance to the overall design without the expense of a wood floor throughout the booth. 

Learn About Virtual Exhibits

In the digital era, it’s important to adapt and embrace new technologies. Learn about how virtual trade shows can help you reach and engage new customers.

Carpet Trade Show Flooring

Traditional carpet is an easy choice for most exhibitors. It can be rented or purchased. It comes in a variety of colors and weights and allows for basic wire management when combined with foam padding. Options include custom printing or inlays for a more upscale appearance. 

For many exhibitors, especially those with portable inline booths, a rental carpet is a good choice.  However, carpet can be costly to ship if purchased and requires daily vacuuming either by the booth staff or by the show contractor. 

Interlocking Tiles for Trade Show Flooring

Unlike carpeting, interlocking tiles are easy to ship and store and are more durable. They can be ordered in a variety of colors and textures, including fabric, woodgrain, and foam. They’re easy to install, comfortable, and replacing damaged tiles is relatively inexpensive. For a more finished look, exhibitors should always order tiles with an angled edge along the front or side of the booth. 

Some interlocking tiles (or even tiles that connect without the puzzle piece edges) are more seamless and attractive. Those come close to mimicking carpeting or vinyl flooring. When convenience is a top priority for an exhibitor, then interlocking tiles are hard to beat.

Vinyl or Flex Flooring 

Rollable vinyl flooring, often called flex flooring, is an excellent alternative to carpeting. Flex flooring comes in rolls like carpet, includes an attached thin padding, and comes in a variety of styles that mimic the look of wood or stone, like grey wood, medium oak, or light slate. It’s comparable in price to carpet and easy to clean. However, like carpet, it can be expensive to ship and must be replaced if damaged.  


vinyl trade show flooring

Custom Trade Show Flooring

Custom trade show floor includes modifying all the above along with another recent trend. Carpet can be inlayed to create a logo or graphic in the booth. Specific areas can be designated by colors. And, of course, colors can reinforce the overall visual booth design and graphics. Exhibitors have combined carpet with vinyl flooring, using the vinyl to show a pathway(s) to specific products, meeting rooms, or presentation areas. Printed rollable vinyl is another option such as repeating logos or flooring that looks like bricks, stones, or sand. When you choose a graphic for your floor, anything is possible. 

Finally, choosing none of the above is also an option if you are creative. For example, one company wanted their exhibit to be a quiet space where attendees could relax and have a beer. Their booth resembled a pub and included a long bar, tables and chairs, and a truss ceiling with a ceiling fan. The floor… the existing concrete but with strategically placed adhesive stickers with the bar name and the company’s unique services.  


custom trade show flooring

More Questions on Trade Show Booth Flooring?

Contact us! Our business is innovating trade show displays and trade show flooring is one of the best (and easiest) ways to do that. Of course, flooring isn’t the most important thing for everyone; everything still depends on what the rest of your booth looks like and what your goals are. But it’s certainly always worth considering.

Do you have a vision of what your next trade show booth could look like? We love talking shop. Show and tell us what you’ve got and we’ll help take it to the next level to make your next trade show experience the best one yet.

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If you’re ready to take your trade show exhibits to new heights, fill out this form, and we’ll contact you shortly.

Schedule a Call
If you’re ready to take your trade show exhibits to new heights, fill out this form and we’ll contact you shortly.