Commercial kitchens are never idle and it is this constant use that is extremely rough on flooring surfaces. So it was no surprise to Tnemec coating consultant Tony Hobbs when the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles called him to see if he had any advice for renovating the floor in their kitchen where hundreds of meals are prepared daily.
Most of the existing floor coatings were failing, especially those in the interior of the kitchen around the large commercial ovens, fat fryers and cooking areas. Severe thermal cycling – when temperatures rapidly increase and decrease – can stress the bond between coating and concrete resulting in failure of the system, which appeared to be the cause of the failure at the mission. However, the spillage of grease from the fryers exacerbated the problem by further attacking the flooring’s topcoat.
Hobbs recommended cutting out the failed coating material in the center of the floor and then suggested using Ultra-Tread, a polyurethane modified concrete floor topping that is part of Tnemec’s StrataShield flooring line. Ultra-Tread is resistant to thermal cycling and the organic acids found in grease and cooking oils, as well as shares many physical attributes to regular Portland cement. However, it cures very quickly allowing return to full service in only a few hours.
After the old coating had been removed and the concrete properly prepared, the flooring applicators trowel applied Series 244, a mortar version of Ultra-Tread, in the center cooking areas. The existing flooring on the outlining perimeter of the room was still sound and in good shape, so in order to help minimize costs, Hobbs suggested cleaning, scarifying and then overcoating this area using a prime coat of Series 237 Power-Tread, a polyamine epoxy, followed by a topcoat of a waterborne polyurethane called Series 297 Enviro-Glaze. Coving around the perimeter of the floor was created using Series 243, a thicker mortar version of Ultra-Tread that can be troweled vertically to create a transition between floor and wall. A two-tone color scheme was selected using red Series 244 in the center of the floor and gray Series 297 around the edge that visually separated the different areas within the room.
With Ultra-Tread’s rapid cure, the mission’s kitchen was able to quickly get back to its important work. “We have been supplying coatings to this facility since it was built over 10 years ago,” Hobbs said. “I’m delighted that we were able to supply a floor coating ideally suited for this type of environment.”