FLOORING FOR COMMERCIAL KITCHEN
The flooring in a commercial kitchen needs to withstand far more punishment than in a domestic setting. The heavy traffic created by the constant coming and going of kitchen and waiting staff can take a heavy toll over time, so commercial flooring needs to be hard-wearing. It must be able to withstand very high temperatures, and provide a non-slip surface for the safety of staff.
There are four commercial floor types currently being used by busy restaurant kitchens, and choosing the right one for your own business requires a little knowledge of what each one can deliver, as well as expert advice from a flooring specialist.
Vinyl commercial flooring
One of the most common types of safety flooring in commercial kitchens is made from vinyl. Strong, hard-wearing and low-maintenance, it is a relatively cost-effective solution for creating a safe working environment. Vinyl is soft and pliable, so it is easier on the feet of kitchen staff, and it takes on the properties of the underlying floor. There is also the option of adding soft underlay to further increase comfort for hard-working chefs.
Vinyl is usually bought in sheets or tiles, but most kitchen managers prefer to install sheets to minimize the number of joins required. Modern vinyl is resistant to extremely high temperatures, and it is completely impervious to water. Although it may not look as attractive as the other types of commercial kitchen flooring available, it is by far the cheapest.
Ceramic tiles are resistant to stains, intense heat and water, which makes them an ideal choice for commercial kitchens. They are usually more expensive than vinyl, but they create an interesting aesthetic that could be very important if your kitchen is on view to the public. They are created in huge kilns that are capable of reaching incredibly high temperatures – a process that creates a hard, water-tight surface that looks fantastic. Commercial ceramic tiles are usually treated with a glass glaze to give them added durability and a range of attractive design features. A kitchen floor with decorative ceramic tiles – treated with glass glazing – delivers vital safety and hygiene benefits and a stunning aesthetic.
There are several types of natural stone tile on the market, and each of them delivers a unique aesthetic that can become an integral part of an open kitchen’s design. Stone tiles for a commercial kitchen need to be relatively abrasive in order to prevent slipping. Some stone tiles are brushed or clefted in order to provide extra traction for feet. Slate and granite are popular choices, as they are highly resistant to staining and water whilst being incredibly easy to clean. Natural stone tiles are usually very expensive, however.
If you want to add some rich colours and textures to your kitchen, brick pavers may be the best option. They are particularly popular in cafes and delis – where the general public can see right into the food preparation area. Pavers can be fitted throughout an entire establishment and along walls to create a homely atmosphere, yet they are durable and highly resistant to heat and staining. Brick pavers must be sealed, however, as they are susceptible to moisture in their natural state. It is also possible to add a wax coating for extra protection.
If you need to fit flooring on a budget, and in a kitchen that is hidden from public view, vinyl is probably the most cost-effective option. It delivers all the practical benefits any food business could wish for – without a hefty price-tag. However, if your kitchen is an integral part of your business’ image, the premium options may be worth the added expense.