Surface preparation for commercial kitchens

Surface preparation for commercial kitchens

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In 2015, it emerged that the beard of one of the most well-known works of art in the world, the 3000 year old mask of Tutankhamun, had been accidentally broken off. What made matters worse was that it had been stuck back on with the wrong type of glue and was damaged as a result. The patch-up job was fixed by reattaching the beard using a more appropriate adhesive. Just like using the right glue was important to correctly fix the requirements of the ancient mask, tricky floor renovation jobs require the right surface preparation equipment.  
Here, Scott Coffey, territory sales manager at National Flooring Equipment discusses what contractors should keep in mind when performing commercial kitchen surface preparation. 
Surface preparation for commercial flooring can be a challenging job and it is certainly not one to be underestimated. Proper surface preparation is essential for a flooring renovation project to be successful in the long term. However, not all surface preparation jobs are created equal. Particular care must be taken in locations with limited square footage, existing equipment and fixtures such as the commercial kitchen. 
Protecting equipment
When undertaking a project in commercial environments, such as laboratories and kitchens, the contractor faces a unique set of challenges. One such challenge is that it is not always possible to move expensive equipment out of the room while the surface preparation project is underway. This means that the contractor needs to find a way to protect equipment throughout the duration of the project. 
Careful analysis of the area by an experienced contractor is necessary at this stage to assess what surface preparation equipment will be most appropriate for the space limitations and the type of flooring that is to be laid down. This way, the contractor can recommend the machinery that meets the requirements of the size and complexity of the space. 
The best way to approach environments filled with existing equipment is to first eliminate all the obstacles that can be removed. The remaining equipment can then be covered up to prevent damage during renovation. Proper dust collection should be in place, because a dusty environment increases the risks of damaging specialty equipment, such as cookers or fridges. An important part of this is pairing the chosen equipment with the corresponding dust collector. 
Managing difficult spaces
In larger spaces, a high capacity shot blaster, like the 3397 10.5 inch shot blaster could be suitable, but larger equipment is unlikely to be the best choice. In a small space where it is difficult to maneuver equipment, it is best to use a smaller machine. 
For the difficult to reach areas, such as under built-in cabinets, hand grinding might be necessary. This should be assessed early on as it can be time consuming, particularly if there is a thick mil floor to remove or if a larger area requires hand grinding.  
To reach directly into difficult corners, the contractor can use a corner preparation and polishing tool, such as National Flooring Equipment’s 3535. This tool allows them to completely grind the floor to ensure preparation is correct. 
Safety and hygiene
Safety and hygiene are essential in a commercial kitchen. The finished kitchen floor must be hygienic, offering easy cleaning and be non absorbent to food grease or water.
It is also important that kitchen floors are non-slip to minimize the risks of accidents.  
A popular low cost flooring choice for kitchens is vinyl. For vinyl flooring to last, good surface preparation is essential, because vinyl has a tendency to stick to uneven surfaces and to rip. Thorough grinding or shot blasting ensures vinyl flooring lasts for longer. Other popular flooring choices include high build epoxy with a non-skid factor, or for commercial kitchens on display to the public, tile may be a more aesthetically pleasing choice. Different floor covering will require different surface preparation, so it is important to understand the specific requirements of every flooring project you work on.      
If the client has concerns about the project timeline, careful scheduling is the best option. In some projects it is possible to shut down one area at a time, but if this is not possible, careful planning becomes even more important. No matter the schedule, floor preparation in commercial kitchens should never be rushed, as it is important for it to be done using the correct equipment and materials – just like reattaching Tutankhamun’s beard.
About National Flooring Equipment: Founded in 1968, National Flooring Equipment designs and manufactures quality flooring equipment and supports it with unparalleled customer service. Almost five decades later, National’s commitment to these key principles remains as strong as the day the company began. 
With dozens of patents, National Flooring Equipment boasts the most extensive product offering currently available in the surface preparation industry. National Flooring Equipment engineers and manufactures equipment based on finding solutions to industry inefficiencies. Increasing production, reducing labour and enhancing the standard of quality are the technical benchmarks from which the company designs, builds and services. Working with its most valuable asset, the customer, National’s commitment reaches beyond expectation and it’s proven in the company’s technology, innovation and customer service. 
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