Restaurant kitchen floors go through a lot on a daily basis: constant spills, steady streams of water, heavy industrial cooking equipment, to name a few…
It’s safe to say that when specifying flooring for your restaurant kitchen project, it needs to tick many boxes to ensure it maintains optimal performance.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the key objectives your floor must achieve:
- Slip resistance – Ensuring minimal slip hazards in a kitchen is crucial.
- Sanitation – A flooring solution that’s easy to clean.
- Bacterial control – A flooring material that limits the growth of bacteria.
- Efficiency – A solution that is both effective and quick to install.
- Aesthetics – Restaurants have design standards to uphold, and this applies to the kitchen area, too.
In this post, we take a close look at resin floors for restaurant kitchens and how Acrylicon resin can help you overcome a multitude of challenges that users face on a daily basis.
We will cover:
- How you can minimise shutdown to help reduce cost to businesses.
- The difference between a variety of resin flooring options.
- Signs to look out for if your flooring needs replacing.
- The cost of a restaurant kitchen resin floor.
- The importance of hygiene.
Minimising Shutdown with your Resin Kitchen Floor
Restaurants are businesses that require a consistent and steady stream of customers in order to maintain a profit. This has been exacerbated in recent times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen catastrophic upheaval for the restaurant industry.
The bottom line: restaurants can’t afford to close for too long.
When discussing how one can minimise shutdown, what we’re really asking is,
How long does it take to replace a resin floor?
And as you might have guessed, this answer isn’t a simple one. Completion time will vary depending on the size of the kitchen and other unique requirements.
However, one of the main impacts on time is the type of resin you use.
If you choose a Polyurethane (PU) resin – which comes from the thermoset family of plastics – it can usually take around 3-5 hours to dry and a further 3-5 days to fully cure, depending on the temperature. In lower temperatures, this could take even longer.
Interestingly, PU resin is one of the most widely used resins for a range of applications, including restaurant kitchens, despite the lengthy shutdown time it brings with it.
Shutdown Time With PU Resin
We’ve discussed how long PU can take to cure, but preparation time should be factored in, too.
PU is applied in two layers in the form of a primer and a body coat or screed. When you consider the removal of current flooring, drying out the area, preparing the substrate for priming and then waiting for the primer to dry before installing the screed or body coat, we’re talking nearly a week before the floor will be ready to use.
Acrylicon Cure Time
One of the key benefits to Acrylicon resin floors is its cure time. As it is a Thermoset plastic, it only needs to cure once, meaning shutdown time is greatly reduced.
To put this into context, you can read our case study, where we completed an Acrylic resin floor in the kitchen at the prestigious Shangri-La at The Shard. Within 2 hours of this final coat being applied, the equipment was returned to the kitchen and re-commissioned for immediate use. Also, as we divided the kitchen into 4 areas and structured shifts so that we were working 24 hours a day, the kitchen was able to remain operating throughout the works with minimal disruption.
To read the full article on how you can minimise shutdown with your restaurant kitchen project, click here.
Resin Kitchen Flooring: The Difference Between PU, Epoxy & Acrylic Resins
We’ve touched briefly on the difference in cure time between Arcylicon and PU resins. Now, we will explore further differences that should help to provide a comparison when weighing up your options.
Epoxy & Polyurethane (PU) Floor Resins
Both Epoxy and Polyurethane resins have a decent compressive strength, which is why you’ll often see them in high-traffic areas, such as multi-storey carparks. They also cope well in extreme temperatures, as the material can expand and contract, making them less susceptible to cracks.
As we previously mentioned, however, PU does take longer to cure when compared to Acrylic resins, which can have costly implications for restaurant business.
And Epoxy resins take even longer to cure – up to seven days! Even longer shutdown times…
Hygiene Issues with Epoxy & PU Resin
If you’re specifying Thermoset plastics for your resin flooring – such as Epoxy and PU – it’s important to note that as they only cure once, each layer is only mechanically bonded (stuck) to the dried layer below. This leaves bond lines.
Bond lines can be a huge issue in kitchen environments. When exposed to a crack or an impact damage, these layers can delaminate, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and germs.
Ideally, you’d want a resin that has no risk of delamination. This can be found in acrylic resin floorings such as Acrylicon. These resins can cure and un-cure, as they are reactivated by uncured resin. There is, therefore, no risk of delamination within the flooring system, as there are no joints; excellent for working in a bacteria-free kitchen.
To get the full run down of the differences between Epoxy, PU and Acrylicon, click here.
How Do You Know Your Restaurant Kitchen Floor Needs Replacing?
There are three signs to look out for when determining whether or not your restaurant kitchen flooring needs replacing. They are:
- You struggle to clean your resin flooring.
- You’re constantly needing repairs.
- Slip resistance has worn away.
We will now explore each sign briefly, but to read the full rundown, click here.
You Struggle To Clean Your Resin Flooring
If your current floor coating is a PU resin, you may notice small pin holes from where gas bubbles escaped during curing.
These ‘pinholes’ are formed throughout the surface of the floor and will get penetrated through general activity. When this happens, dirt and bacteria can get into them and reside underneath the surface of the floor, making it impossible to clean.
The result? Despite your best cleaning efforts, the floor will always look dirty.
Constant Floor Repairs
Sadly, if you’ve had to repair your floor once, it’s likely that’ll be the start of a very long journey of resin floor repairs. This is down to the mechanical bond between the layers of the floor and the delamination caused through damage.
Slip Resistance Has Worn Away
Constant traffic can wear the floor down over time and result in reduced slip-resistance – something which is likely in kitchen environments.
That’s why it’s important to seek advice from a specialist about which slip resistance specification and cleaning methods are best suited to your flooring application.
How Much Does A Resin Restaurant Floor Cost?
It’s impossible to say exactly how much a resin floor will cost as everyone’s circumstances are different. Below are some of the common factors that will affect overall cost.
- Size & layout of the area
- Any obstructions that need to be moved
- How modern the space is
- The type of resin flooring you specify
Different Types Of Resin Will Affect Cost
Whilst several of the above factors are out of our control, the type of resin you specify will have quite a substantial impact on the cost of your flooring.
One thing we advise our clients is to not be put off by the upfront cost because you’ll find that a larger upfront cost means less downtime in the first instance (saving businesses money) and fewer repairs and disruption costs in the long–run.
To understand how much your resin flooring is currently costing, you can use this equation to help:
The cost of your restaurant kitchen resin floor will vary depending on a range of different factors, but most crucially, the type of flooring you specify will have the greatest bearing on long-term expenditure. To view the full blog post, click here.
The Importance Of Hygienic Flooring In Restaurant Kitchens
Whilst food preparation areas are at the top of everyone’s mind when it comes to restaurant kitchen hygiene, the flooring areas is one of the most commonly used surfaces and as such, should not go unnoticed.
In fact, a poorly cleaned resin floor is not only unhygienic, but it can affect the longevity of the floor, as a build up of dirt and bacteria will lead to repairs and replacement over time.
As kitchen floors undergo a strict cleaning regime, it can be easy to think that a floor is perfectly clean, when in fact, it’s the bacteria that builds up in delamination and pinholes in the floor that can cause issues.
Earlier on in this post, we spoke about the gas bubbles that are formed during the curing process of PU resin. These gas bubbles, when penetrated, will cause dirt and bacteria to build up below the top layer of the floor.
How To Optimise Your Kitchen Floors Hygiene With Acrylicon
Unlike a PU floor, when cured, an Acrylicon floor doesn’t leave pinholes or have mechanical bonding between the layers. As part of its unique formulation, the layers chemically bond, creating a monolithic floor. It also has the highest compressive strength, meaning it is the most easily cleanable.
As a result, the floors are more hygienic as bacteria and moisture can’t get in between layers, as there are no mechanical joints.
The Hygiene of your kitchen floor is very important to your restaurant and not maintaining it properly can have consequences, leaving you or your client out of pocket and potentially out of business.
The Aesthetics of your Restaurant Resin Floor
Last, but not least, we arrive at the aesthetics of your restaurant kitchen floor. Whilst, ultimately, you’ll be specifying for performance, many businesses will want a solution that looks good, too.
Restaurants are businesses, and as such, have a strong reputation to uphold. Whilst the kitchen area is unlikely to be seen by customers, it’s still a place of work and many argue that design is key to maintaining high standards. A good looking, cleanable floor fulfils this.
There are many things to consider when choosing a resin flooring system for your restaurant kitchen project.
We strongly advise our clients to closely consider the cost of a resin flooring in the long-term, as frequent repairs and shutdown time will quickly add up. It’s therefore crucial that you choose a system that is less likely to require constant repairs and disruptions to business.
Acrylicon provides clients in the kitchen and food service industry with tailored resin flooring systems ideal for all areas of their premises. Both kitchen and front of house solutions come with a hygiene and performance warranty.
We recognise that any form of renovation work can impact daily trade, particularly in a customer-facing industry. With this in mind, Acrylicon creates a bespoke installation plan that is not only outside of opening hours but also to suit you, to cause as little disruption as possible. Thanks to our minimal flooring downtime, even when opting for kitchen and food service resin flooring repairs, you will not have to close your premises.