Selecting the right commercial flooring for restaurants can improve productivity, minimize accidents and eliminate mess. Restaurants present a number of flooring challenges. Not only should the floor look good, it must be durable and slip-resistant, and be able to withstand spills and constant foot traffic.
When selecting flooring, there is much to consider beyond simple aesthetics. Safety concerns must play a role when considering installing commercial flooring for restaurants. Along with safety you need to consider durability, acoustics, ease of maintenance, comfort for both the staff and patrons, and ease of moving tables and chairs.
Flooring materials perform various functional roles. Choosing the right materials is very important and should be chosen based on the needs of each zone. For example, a bar area needs to be protected from spills while the dining area needs to protect patrons from slipping or falling. The kitchen requires durable, waterproof materials that help keep employees from slipping and falling.
There are plenty of options when it comes to selecting restaurant flooring. Vinyl is a popular choice. Available in a variety of patterns and colors, it’s one of the least expensive flooring coverings. Sheet vinyl is one of the most sanitary and easy-to-clean floor coverings on the market. Available in sheet or tile installations, it has no joints to trap dirt, and spills can be easily mopped up. Staff and customers will appreciate the comfortable, soft feel of these floors, as well as its clean, modern look. Vinyl is resistant to damage, but has a short lifespan, needing replacing anywhere from eight to 15 years.
Carpeting is the flooring of choice for acoustic control. Nylon and nylon-wool blend are practical because they are flame-retardant and stain resistant. Though it has great traction, the durability can be low for high-traffic areas. Keep in mind that carpet requires constant deep cleaning to keep build-up from contaminants at a minimum. A design trend seen in many restaurants is a combination of various flooring finishes, with carpet used in some areas for color and acoustical effect, and complementary wood finishes, tile or concrete used elsewhere.
Wood floors are often chosen for their warmth and appeal. But with hardwoods, long-term maintenance must be considered. Commercial-grade solid wood flooring should ideally be stripped and resealed with polyurethane once yearly as a basic maintenance practice. That could require a few days’ downtime – not a viable option for most restaurants. Other wood choices, such as bamboo, cork, polyurethane-impregnated wood or engineered wood, may be easier-to-maintain alternatives to natural hardwoods.
Ceramic and porcelain tile are widely used in restaurants because of their strength and durability. Ceramic tile can withstand heavy foot traffic, as well as scrapes from chairs and tables, and it’s unlikely to chip or crack. Tile that is properly installed is virtually waterproof, making it both sanitary and easy to clean. Because it is made from all-natural clay and sand, tile is also environmentally friendly and does not release harmful fumes or gases into the air. Tile is available in a large variety of styles, colors and textures, allowing restaurant owners to find a style to suit any decor.
Commercial flooring for restaurants does not have to be boring. When considering which covering to go with consider all areas of the venue.