Will the Floor Your Installing Today Hold Up Over Time? - Consider these 5 points.

When discussing the durability of a floor covering, it is best to start with testing. Is the floor tested for durability, by who, and what are the results? Also, how does the commercial kitchen environment impact durability? Can the floor handle heavy day-to-day use? Can installation impact durability – if so, how? And probably the most crucial durability question – what is the lifespan of the floor?

Quarry Tile


There are eight ASTM tests for durability. Metropolitan Ceramics’ quarry tile must meet or exceed them al to meet standard (ANSI A137.1). These include abrasion resistance, absorption, breaking strength, freeze/thaw, shear bond strength, chemical resistance, stain resistance and scratch hardness.

Seamless Epoxy / Urethan Floor


Standard durability testing for epoxy/urethane floor systems is hard to find, while durability tests for epoxy resin coatings, in general, may be available. One reason for no standard testing is the hundreds of different formulas and installation techniques used for this type of flooring. Thickness, additives, and sealers vary per system. When every floor is different, it is hard to standardize testing, even for something as important as durability. The variety of formulations and unique properties of each installation means data regarding durability may be deceiving.

Stained Concrete Floor


There are standards for concrete itself for durability, but at this time, there is not a standard for testing stained concrete for durability. Products and installation techniques vary. Concrete floors have a high compression strength, which is good. Concrete is, however, susceptible to cracking and chipping. While sealing may help with chipping, other issues with stains, sealers and waxes can occur.

Vinyl Floor


Vinyl floors are tested for abrasion resistance, heat resistance, chemical resistance, and other durability tests. With a variety of vinyl options, the standards vary. It is essential to be well informed when choosing the floor for a commercial kitchen. Is the most durable vinyl durable enough? How does the products’ durability testing compare with other flooring options?

Quarry Tile


Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is one of the most durable floor coverings available. The ½” thick tiles are extruded and fired in kilns at over 2,000° Fahrenheit, creating a hard body that resists impact and abrasion. The tiles are also unglazed with through-the-body color. The color will not wear off. Foot and cart traffic and daily cleaning should not affect durability. A correctly installed and well-maintained ceramic quarry tile floor should last the life of the building with little signs of wear.

Seamless Epoxy / Urethan Floor


A commercial kitchen epoxy floor will show wear-over time. Foot traffic, rolling carts and daily cleaning all affect durability. How soon the floor shows wear will depend on several variables; type of formula, installer, condition of the subfloor, thickness and  use of urethane topcoat to name a few. Even the best epoxy floor installed in perfect conditions with the best installer will show wear over time—the result, smelly repairs or replacement that could close your kitchen.

Stained Concrete Floor


The base product is very durable, but the surface product (the sealer) wears off quickly. Stained concrete floors are subject to wear over time from foot and cart traffic and harsh scrubbing. To prolong the floor’s life, manufacturers recommend sealing and even waxing the floor for added protection. While sealing the floor will help, scuffing and wear marks will begin to show and traffic patterns will develop over time. You will likely need to re-apply stain and sealer to the floor.

Vinyl Floor


Although “comfortable underfoot,” durability is an issue due to the softness of the product. With vinyl floors, the quality of the material you purchase and how it was manufactured will affect how the floor lasts over time. Some vinyl floors have a wear layer and some should be sealed. Protective layers will wear over time from foot and cart traffic and cleaning. The wax and or sealer will wear off. Seams may fail, and traffic patterns can begin to show. In as little as a few years, the floor could need to be replaced.

Quarry Tile


A commercial kitchen is a very difficult environment ranging from extreme heat to extreme cold. The kitchen floor is attacked daily by spills of all sorts. Foot and rolling traffic are non stop. Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is low absorption, resists mold and bacteria growth and is impact and stain-resistant. When combined with grout specified for commercial kitchens, the hard-fired tiles create a superior floor covering for this demanding space.

Seamless Epoxy / Urethan Floor


Epoxy floors can melt, often at temperatures much lower than those found in spills from hot pans, fryers, and ovens. Some epoxy floors promoted for commercial kitchens shows a melting point under 200º Fahrenheit. The minimum temperature for deep frying anything is 320º. When hot stuff is spilled, the floor can be compromised, creating a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Heavy foot and roller traffic will affect the durability of the floor, causing wear patterns and compromise.

Stained Concrete Floor


A stained concrete floor can crack from the thermal shock associated with temperature fluctuations in a commercial kitchen. Even small cracks can compromise durability allowing the floor to be susceptible to mold and bacteria growth. Costly and time-consuming repairs may be required. Concrete stains and sealants can also be compromised by hot spills, extreme heat, and heavy foot and cart traffic that will require additional maintenance to the floor. Once compromised, the sealer and or stain will need to be replaced.

Vinyl Floor


Vinyl melts. A commercial kitchen environment can have a negative impact on vinyl flooring. Extreme heat and vinyl don’t mix. When the flooring is exposed to high temperatures, it can melt, crack, discolor, and seams can loosen. When exposed to the extreme cold of a freezer, vinyl can contract and become brittle, causing cracking. Heavy foot and cart traffic can also take a toll.

Quarry Tile


If done improperly, installation can affect the durability of a Metropolitan Ceramics’ quarry tile floor. If done correctly, installation should not impact durability at all. Correct installation includes:

Placement over a proper substrate.

  • Using appropriate materials, following the Tile Council of North America guidelines for this type of installation.
  • Using a qualified ceramic tile installer.

Ceramic quarry tile installation has the advantage of having industry-wide standards, not dependent on individual manufacturer requirements.

Seamless Epoxy / Urethan Floor


Improper installation is a significant cause of failures for epoxy-coated floors. Too high humidity levels, poor surface prep, inadequate substrate, surface contamination and misuse of primer, are some of the concerns. Very often, extensive floor preparation is necessary. Inconsistencies in thickness can also have an adverse effect on the end product. With the variety of epoxy coating systems now available, each with its unique formula, finding qualified and experienced installers for the material you’re using may be a challenge.

Stained Concrete Floor


While the process of creating an acid-stained and sealed concrete floor appears less complicated than installing an epoxy floor coating, poor planning and execution will negatively affect durability. Inconsistencies within the stain can be an issue. Floor preparation and cleaning are essential, following the manufacturer’s instructions for each step of the application. Skimping on materials and labor will result in a poor outcome.

Vinyl Floor


Mistakes in installing vinyl floors can negatively affect durability. Extensive floor preparation is critical. If rolled goods, seam sealing using the correct method is vital to the product’s longevity- this varies with each manufacturer. Using the wrong adhesive or misapplication is a problem. Not flattening soft vinyl (with a roller if recommended) can affect durability and result in a trip hazard. Not allowing the vinyl to acclimate to room temperature before installation can also cause problems. Finding and using knowledgeable installers is vital.

Quarry Tile


A properly installed and maintained Metropolitan Ceramics’ floor will have a life span that exceeds 50 years. The ceramic quarry tile floor can – with proper care – last the life of the building. During its life span, a Metropolitan Ceramics floor should require minimal repairs or replacement of tiles. Accidents can be expected, but the time it takes to make small repairs, is minimal.

Seamless Epoxy / Urethan Floor


When appropriately installed, poured epoxy floors will likely have a life expectancy of anywhere from 2 to 5 years in a commercial kitchen environment. Since there are so many different formulas and installation practices, floor life will vary from one installation to another. Repairs will need to be made during the life of the floor. Whether repairs are due to melting, wear or failure, they will be necessary. When an epoxy floor is repaired or replaced, foul odors may make the workspace unusable for some time. These repairs often require special equipment, including protective gloves, suits, and respirators.

Stained Concrete Floor


The concrete floor itself should have a very long life span. Concrete floors can last for decades. While concrete is durable, it can chip and crack, requiring repairs during its use. Concrete stains will scratch and fade over time. The sealer will wear off and need repairing at some point. Depending on the sealer, special equipment may be necessary. Regular maintenance and repairs should be expected in the commercial kitchen environment – repairs that may close the kitchen because of fumes.

Vinyl Floor


The life span of a vinyl floor in a commercial kitchen will vary greatly. The quality of the material used and how it was manufactured will significantly impact the floor’s life. Solid vinyl and composite vinyl floors have color throughout and show fewer scratches, while printed vinyl is only as durable as the transparent wear layer that protects the surface. Maintenance for some vinyl products can involve applying waxes and sealers, which will need to be re-applied regularly. Rolled goods offer the most significant challenge with seams. They’re generally the weakest part of the installation. Inconsistencies with the seam sealing (sometimes heat welding) are the most critical issues.

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