Not All Kitchen Flooring is Created Equal

5 August 2011
By Russell Muller

Fitting out a commercial kitchen is not exactly the most affordable exercise. From the ovens to the dishwashers, to the knives, fridges and all the other accoutrements that go with a kitchen, the costs can run up very quickly. as such, when it comes to the flooring surface, we’ve found that many owners tend to go for the ‘lower-cost’ alternative. Too often this means that tiles or vinyl are laid in the kitchen.

Tiles and Vinyl: Inexpensive and Ineffective

What’s wrong with tiles and vinyl you may ask? People use them in their kitchens all the time and there are no problems. You may be right, people may use them in their HOME kitchens without any issues, but a home and a commercial kitchen floor are completely different in terms of what they are put through. At home vinyl and tiles have some great advantages, they wear well, they can add style to the house and they are easy to clean. However, a kitchen floor in a commercial setting has a totally different set of demands. Heavy foot traffic (often 6-7 people in a small area for more than 12 hours a day), people moving in a rush dropping hot oils or sharp objects, intense cleaning chemicals and high volumes of water, as well as animal fats, make commercial kitchens a different beast altogether.

Due to the demands of these elements, vinyl and tiles are some of the more ineffective options available. Both are easily damaged (a sharp knife will easily cut the vinyl surface and similarly, a dropped knife will damage a tile easily), both are slippery if hot oils or animal fats are spilled, grout in tiles is a breeding ground for bacteria and is easily eroded through washing and scrubbing and heavy foot traffic will cause scuffs and potential trip hazards. As a result, the surface becomes dangerous and a breeding ground for bacteria and neither of these are desirable in a working kitchen. A health inspection will find high bacteria levels and this can close your kitchen for days or weeks till it is rectified.

As a result, constant maintenance is required to keep the surface in a safe and good working condition. Over 5 years, it is not unusual to need to perform maintenance to the surface a number of times, escalating the cost of installation significantly. Sure the installation may have been cheaper, but long term the cost escalates due to maintenance.

Epoxy and MMA Floors offer resilience, safety and style

Whilst the initial cost may be slightly higher than the installation of tiles or vinyl, epoxy flooring surfaces and Methyl Methacrylate Acetate (or MMA) flooring offer a number of advantages which make them a better, safer and more affordable option in the medium term. These advantages include:

  • Resilience to animal fats and blood
  • Aesthetic designs and colours are available in nearly as many options as vinyl
  • The non-slip surface makes it safer
  • Can be laid in a much faster period than tiles
  • Floors can be seamless (no joins), eradicating the capture of bacteria and water
  • High resilience to dropped objects
  • We can lay floors overnight allowing other trades to work as normal or allowing you to operate during business hours without loss of trade
  • We can lay our floors over the top of your existing surface
  • We can create new levels on your floor
  • Easy to maintain

At the end of the day, we recognise that different decisions are made regarding what surface to put down due to different circumstances. However, we provide the above information so that you may, with new knowledge make a better-informed decision. We have a number of case studies which you can peruse at any time.