Why You Need To Replace Your Tile Flooring
Updated: Mar 26
We are often asked about the viability of covering old ceramic or quarry tile flooring with a new epoxy system. We get very excited when we are asked this question because we get to share our knowledge of commercial kitchen epoxy flooring system installation. A project like this isn't just viable, it's something we recommend.
Tile flooring used to offer many benefits to a commercial or restaurant kitchen. But, for a modern kitchen, they need to be replaced with a floor that is easier to clean and maintain. Urethane cement is now the go-to replacement because you don't need to remove the old tile floor, you can just cover it.
Why Were Tile Floors Used In The Past
As proud members of the industrial and food processing industries, we feel we would be remiss not to talk briefly about the evolution of the industrial flooring market.
In the '60s and early '70s, ceramic flooring became the floor of choice for the commercial marketplace as it was not only easier to clean but also offered an impermeable surface. That impermeable surface cut down on areas water could gather which means less room for bacteria to grow and spread. But, the major shortcoming was the material used to connect tile to tile because it required very laborious cleaning to properly account for food safety concerns and hazards.
The True Costs of Tile Flooring
The cost of installation and subsequent repairs were costly and, even more concerning, very time-consuming. This led to production loss, which, of course, eats into revenue.
The cost of a typical installation on a floor not requiring a great deal of machining can range from $9 to $24. The national average for spot repairs is $2,400 per visit, not to mention the financial impact from a loss in production time. Spot repairs can also make hazards to employees which can be more than costly.
Removing Ceramic Flooring Systems
Removing ceramic tile flooring can be, and usually is, a disaster. The process is laborious and time-consuming. Equipment needs to be brought in, the tile needs to be jackhammered away, and then the tile needs to be physically removed from the site, which can be dangerous due to how razor-sharp broken ceramic tile is. All of this has the potential to leave dust and contaminants in the surrounding area that would need to be addressed, especially for a commercial kitchen flooring project.
The Most Cost-Effective Long Term Solution
Removing ceramic tile is too costly and inefficient. The best method to get rid of tile floor is to actually cover it up. In the past, clients would attempt to just pour an epoxy system directly on top of the tile. The issue with this is epoxy is far too rigid. The epoxy floors would wind up fracturing at glue lines and would delaminate over time.
Today, urethane cement is the go-to solution for covering up tile flooring. Urethane cement is a long term solution that is strong, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. Urethane cement is a mixture comprised of urethane polymers and cement. It's easily pourable, chemical resistant, and wear-resistant. It's odor-free and fast setting. Urethane cement also has a 300lbs. bonding strength, meaning it won't delaminate from the tile.
How Is Urethane Cement Installed
The installation process for urethane cement flooring is rather simple. The existing tile floor is inspected for any loose tiles or other issues that need to be addressed. Then the tile is ground down to both remove the baked-on glaze and also create an even substrate. Then the urethane cement is poured over the tile to completely cover the area.
An added benefit of a urethane cement flooring being installed over existing tile is that it makes it very easy for contractors to add a cove base. A cove base creates a "bathtub" effect that helps prevent standing water from gathering. It makes it super easy to clean as well.
While at one point tile flooring offered several benefits, today they don't work in a commercial kitchen or restaurant kitchen. They're expensive to install and repair and they leave room for bacteria to grow and multiply. But, removing a tile floor is also expensive and dangerous.
The best solution is to hire a flooring installer to cover the tile flooring with urethane cement. It's easy to install and even easier to clean and maintain. Any modern commercial kitchen can benefit from a urethane cement floor installation replacing their tile flooring.
High Performance Systems is an epoxy flooring and urethane cement installer that services the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area. If you'd like to get your commercial kitchen flooring upgraded then please reach out to us.