Kitchen floors have a lot to contend with, and when it’s a commercial kitchen the potential perils are compounded. That’s why you have to find a material that is durable, water and stain resistant, and able to be easily cleaned and sanitized. At the same time, it has to match the look and feel of any public retail flooring that you have in your restaurant, bakery, catering hall, or diner.
Ceramic Tile In Commercial Kitchens
Ceramic is a highly durable, stain-resistant, easy to clean flooring material that is an excellent choice for busy commercial kitchens. Made from clay and sediments fired at high temperatures in an industrial kiln, these tiles are very hard and durable. They are also usually treated with a melted glass glaze that spreads over the surface, making it impervious to water penetration, stains, and most damage. This combination of strength and resistance allows ceramics to endure the worst rigors a kitchen can throw at them.
The melted glaze that goes over ceramic also gives this material a wide variety of decorative options, as manufacturers can print this to look like almost anything. When shopping, you will often find tiles that are made to look like natural materials such as hardwood and various types of stone. Ceramics can also be printed with patterns, or in solid colors to create larger layout designs. There are even some companies that will allow you to design your own surface look, though you will have to pay a premium for those.
Note: Unglazed ceramic is porous and therefore generally not suitable for high-stress kitchen environments.
Commercial Vinyl Kitchen Floors
Vinyl is a resilient material, which means that it is thin and will take on the physical properties of the subfloor it is laid on. If it is installed over something hard like concrete, you will get a floor that is durable and resistant to damage. However, if a padded underlayment layer is used then the floor will have the soft, cushiony feel of a plush material, which can be important for the health and comfort of chefs who will be on their feet for long periods of time.
A chemically manufactured material, vinyl is built to be resistant to staining damage, and impervious to water penetration, making it a great choice for kitchens where spills and splats are sure to occur. Available in sheets or tiles, it is often quite simple to install, and maintenance can consist of simple wet mopping. Most detergents even harsh ones won’t harm the surface making it easy to disinfect food and stains periodically.
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Natural Stone Tile Commercial Kitchen Floors
Natural stone is a term used to refer to any of a wide variety of materials which are quarried from the mountains of the earth. Each type has its own unique characteristics, and some will be more appropriate than others in a commercial kitchen setting. You want to avoid any polished surface tiles, as these can be slippery when wet; while honed, brushed, or slightly clefted materials can actually provide traction. Denser stones such as slate and granite will also be more resistant to stains and easier to maintain.
With stone flooring, you get the beauty and power of the earth's natural colors, which can help to infuse a commercial setting with energy and inspiration. These materials are popular in restaurants as the warm tones often found in their surface can set people at ease while creating a beautiful facade of hue and pattern which stretches across the space. However all natural stones are porous, and so use in a commercial kitchen setting will require them to be sealed with a protective coat periodically.
Brick Pavers In Commercial Kitchens
Brick is another popular hard surface flooring material in restaurants, delis, cafes, and other public eating spaces. The warm earth tone colors can help to create a sense of hearth and home through the atmosphere of a room, while the often red-tinged hues can actually subconsciously contribute to the hunger of patrons. This flooring can then extend through to the kitchen, where the durable nature of the bricks will resist the worst stains that the room can fling at them.
In their natural state brick pavers are porous and susceptible to stains and liquid penetration. However, there are a number of commercial sealers which can be applied once or twice a year to maintain and protect your commercial kitchen floor from acidic spills and splatters. A wax treatment can also be used to create an even more imperious layer of cover, but this will need to be stripped and reapplied periodically to stop buildup from occurring.