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Best Flooring for Commercial Kitchens
Commercial kitchens are a busy and demanding environment where safety is paramount. In addition to being slip-resistant, the flooring in a commercial kitchen must also be easy to clean and maintain and be heard-wearing. Here are some of the best flooring options for commercial kitchens.
Commercial Kitchen Flooring Options:
Resin flooring is an excellent choice for commercial kitchens because it is incredibly durable and can withstand heavy traffic. In addition, it is easy to clean and requires very little maintenance over its lifetime. Resin flooring is also non-slip, anti-static, hygienic, and non-toxic, making it a safe choice for commercial kitchens.
It is available in various colours and can be customised to match your kitchen’s décor. In addition, resin flooring is comparatively affordable, making it a cost-effective option for businesses. The three types of resin floors are Epoxy, Polyurethane and PMMA.
Ceramic Tile Flooring
Ceramic tiles are durable and resistant to heat and stains, which is advantageous in a commercial kitchen environment. However, they are time-consuming to install, lack resistance to shock impacts, and are slippery when wet. Ceramic tiles also generally require much more maintenance than other commercial flooring options.
Over time grout between tiles can wear, crack or chip, leading to areas where moisture, dirt and bacteria can accumulate. In addition, ceramic tiles can be difficult to easily clean to the standards demanded by a commercial kitchen, especially if they have an unglazed finish.
Concrete flooring is a popular option for commercial kitchens due to its durability and low cost. However, water or other liquid spills easily penetrate its porous surface if not correctly sealed and can assist in mould, mildew, and bacteria growth.
In addition, concrete can be prone to staining and doesn’t always look the best in a stylish commercial kitchen. In addition, while concrete is known for its toughness and resistance to heavy impacts and heat, it can also be challenging to repair or replace if it becomes damaged.
Vinyl flooring is not generally recommended for use in commercial kitchens. While it is more comfortable for staff to stand on than some other flooring options, it can be easily damaged by heat, moisture and sharp objects. In addition, vinyl can become slippery when wet and can conceal dirt and germs between its seams.
Commercial Kitchen Floor Qualities
So, which is the best commercial kitchen flooring? When choosing flooring for a commercial kitchen, it is crucial to consider the qualities and features that best meet your needs.
Ease Of Installation & Repair
Two of the most important considerations are how easy the initial installation is and whether repairs are straightforward.
Resin flooring can be quickly and easily installed over most existing flooring surfaces, although polyurethane is usually the more difficult resin to work with.
The cure times for the different resin flooring options vary, with epoxy taking the longest to harden completely. On the other hand, PMMA resin flooring is easy to repair and has a rapid cure time of only 1 hour, so if there is any damage or wear and tear, it can be swiftly rectified.
Ceramic Tile Flooring:
Installing ceramic tile flooring is a time-consuming and difficult process that requires many different tools. In addition, hiring specialised tiling contractors can increase installation costs by 50% – making this solution less competitive than other flooring options. Repairing a broken tile can be a laborious process of chiselling away at it to fit a new tile.
It can be challenging to install a concrete floor to a high standard as it can be tricky to work with. In addition, if any repairs need to be carried out on a concrete floor, it can be an arduous and time-consuming process.
Vinyl flooring needs careful installation, as even the slightest piece of debris or uneven section can cause it to wear down faster or cause rips and tears. Repairs to vinyl flooring are next to impossible and usually require the whole floor to be taken up and replaced.
Ease Of Cleaning
When you need to install flooring in your commercial kitchen, the surface must be easy to clean and offer excellent hygiene standards.
The seamless nature of resin flooring is straightforward to clean and maintain. There are no joins or seams in which dirt and bacteria can accumulate, so they are perfect for use in high-traffic areas like commercial kitchens. In addition, resin floors are also durable and tough enough to withstand harsher cleaning treatments such as pressure and steam cleaning without compromising their longevity.
Ceramic Tile Flooring:
Ceramic tiles themselves are relatively easy to clean as their smooth surface doesn’t tend to have crevices in which dust and dirt can gather. However, the grout between tiles can quickly wear and crack, causing germs and grime to collect. Grout is also prone to staining, which can look unsightly and requires heavy-duty chemical cleaners to correct.
One downside to concrete flooring is that it is not particularly easy to clean. Concrete is porous and can quickly become stained and dirtied, so it needs to be regularly swept and mopped to keep it looking its best. Its permeable surface is also a concern in settings such as commercial kitchens, as moisture can seep through and cause bacteria to flourish.
Although vinyl flooring is relatively easy to clean in the short term, it does have some long term disadvantages. Specialised cleaning products should be used to keep vinyl floors looking their best for as long as possible, but many will still discolour after repeated cleaning. Vinyl is also easily marked by rubber, so matting, furniture feet and employees’ shoes can all lead to permanent marks.
A top priority for any business is safety, and this is especially important for a commercial kitchen. In these environments, it’s crucial that the flooring is slip-resistant to prevent severe accidents from happening.
Resin flooring is known for having excellent anti-slip properties. PMMA resin, in particular, is one of the best commercial kitchen flooring options available for this and is certified to the highest standards of Slip Resistance (BS7976-2:2002).
Anti-slip topcoats can also be quickly reapplied as and when required to ensure employees’ safety is never jeopardised.
Ceramic Tile Flooring:
Ceramic tile flooring is not particularly slip-resistant, especially when wet. Ceramic tiles are sometimes produced with textures such as ridges to assist with traction; however, this can cause cleaning and hygiene issues.
Concrete flooring possesses good slip resistance due to its rougher finished surface, which helps grip shoes and prevents people from slipping. Even polished concrete is remarkably slip-resistant when maintained correctly.
While vinyl flooring does have anti-slip qualities when first installed, constant cleaning can strip it of the transparent wax layer over time. Once this coating is gone, vinyl floors can become slippy when wet. In addition, as previously mentioned, it is not possible to replace just a section of vinyl, so the whole floor would need replacing to renew any anti-slip benefits.
Bacteria and other microbes can quickly spread in a commercial kitchen, so it’s vital that the flooring can resist their development. In addition, any flooring in a commercial kitchen should be easy to clean and disinfect to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
Resin flooring is a popular choice for its antimicrobial properties. The seamless surface means there are no joins or cracks to harbour bacteria, dirt or mildew, making it a hygienic option. PMMA resin is certified as hygienic to the highest level of Food Conformity (EN1186) and can be easily maintained with regular cleaning and disinfecting.
Ceramic Tile Flooring:
Again, the problem with ceramic tile flooring is not the tiles themselves but the grout between them. Grout wears down over time and with cleaning, leaving gaps and fissures, providing an environment where germs and bacteria can multiply.
As previously mentioned, without proper sealants and maintenance, concrete flooring can absorb liquids which can cause issues with mould and other microbial growth. It’s not only spilling onto the top of the concrete surface that can cause these problems, but moisture seeping from the ground upwards when correct care and preparation has not been followed before installing the concrete floor.
It is possible to choose to install a vinyl floor with antibacterial attributes, which can help decrease the number of microorganisms that can adhere to its surface. However, the materials used in manufacturing this type of flooring may let off other toxic allergens into the environment, so it is worth weighing up the pros and cons.
A restaurant kitchen floor is constantly subjected to heavy wear and tear, so it must be highly durable. Foot traffic, spills, dropped objects, and general wear and tear can quickly take their toll on a floor if it cannot withstand them.
In addition, a commercial kitchen floor needs to be able to resist heat. The constant exposure to cooking appliances, ovens and hot surfaces can quickly damage a floor if it is not made from a heat-resistant material.
Resin flooring is a very durable type of flooring that is perfect for use in a commercial kitchen. It is resistant to extreme temperatures, heavy impact, and moisture without cracking, chipping or peeling.
While PMMA is the hardest wearing of the three resin flooring systems, epoxy and polyurethane can still easily last for between 5 and 10 years, with little to no maintenance required during that time.
Ceramic Tile Flooring:
While ceramic tiles are tough, severe impacts can still cause cracks in the flooring surface, which causes a hygiene risk and a tripping hazard. In addition, the weakest part of ceramic tiled floors is the grout, which, when compromised, can lead to water seepage. This can cause a floor’s structural integrity to rapidly diminish with potentially costly repairs.
A concrete floor is solid and hard-wearing and can last many years with the correct maintenance. However, its durability also means that concrete is extremely hard and can cause injury if people fall onto it.
The way the vinyl is manufactured and the quality and finish of the product will impact how long it will last. The base substrate vinyl is laid onto will also affect its longevity. Imperfections and an irregular surface can cause vinyl to wear unevenly, and pieces of debris can tear the vinyl.
Vinyl is not usually advised for areas like commercial kitchens, as they cannot withstand the heavy traffic, even over a short period.
What it Boils Down to
The right flooring for your commercial kitchen is essential. It has to offer optimum hygiene, safety, and durability performance while also being long-lasting to get the most from your investment. This article has looked at the best flooring options for a commercial kitchen and highlighted the advantages and disadvantages.
So, whether you are looking for a highly durable floor that can withstand heat and spills, or a surface that is easy to clean and maintain, there is sure to be a perfect option for you.
If you would like more information on restaurant kitchen floors, or you would like help and advice on the type of resin floors best suited to your needs, please get in touch!