When considering the many aspects of successful facility management, having the right high performance floor might be easily overlooked. However, a well-selected, quality flooring system is one of the most important investments a business can make.
Any industrial, commercial or institutional facility desiring a sanitary, low-maintenance flooring solution will appreciate the benefits of cementitious urethane. In many respects superior to quarry tile, which can be costly to maintain and repair, cementitious urethane is able to withstand a wide variety of environmental factors for an extended period of time – providing outstanding lifecycle value.
These extremely tough and resilient flooring systems are recommended for:
While cementitious urethane is certainly the better flooring alternative for these environments, it is worthwhile to compare the installation of the two flooring types. Following is a breakdown of the various advantages and disadvantages related to cementitious urethane and quarry tile.
In lighter duty circumstances, brick or tile flooring may be sufficient, but when faced with extreme temperature fluctuation, high pressure washing or ongoing wet/damp conditions, numerous expensive issues can arise. As water or chemicals soak through the porous grout, cracks and joints, the floor can become damaged, enabling pathogenic bacteria to proliferate, putting the entire facility at risk. Repairs can be time consuming and costly.
Quarry tile tends to be a very brittle material. Under impact, tile can crack, come loose or dislodge entirely. The primary culprit is the three-step installation system of leveling bed, tile and porous grout. Grouted joints easily accumulate grime, water runoff and bacteria. They are very difficult to clean, even with the use of bleach or other harsh chemicals.
Over time, it’s common for quarry tile grout joints to break down, inevitably allowing water to seep underneath to the leveling (setting) bed. Depending upon composition, the leveling bed can act as sponge—absorbing the liquid contamination that leaks through the cracked tiles and deteriorated grout. Oftentimes, leakage issues remain unnoticed until the damage has spread over large areas. Standard quarry tile can also be a fall risk, as it becomes quite slippery in wet conditions.
These and other problems can be avoided by installing a cementitious urethane flooring system in place of quarry tile. Also called “urethane mortar” or “urethane concrete”, cementitious urethane floors can be installed with an integral cove base and proper slope to drain – characteristics highly regarded by government inspectors. Additionally, true cementitious urethane is steam-cleanable, thermal shock resistant, moisture tolerant and easily withstands exposure to extreme pH and high concentration chemicals. The floors resist cracking even in the harshest of conditions, thanks partly to their unique ability to expand and contract at the same rate as their concrete substrate.
Cementitious urethane flooring systems are completely impermeable and often have special anti-microbial ingredients that further inhibit the growth of microbes throughout the depth of the floor material. Many food industry and other sensitive facilities select cementitious urethane floors, because they are very simple and inexpensive to maintain. And when sourced from the right manufacturer, they are made from a renewable plant-based oil, contain no formaldehyde, phthalates or heavy metals, and exhibit no outgassing after installation.
Cementitious urethane can be installed as a completely seamless floor. When concrete slab joints must be honored to ensure structural integrity, the floor surface is cleanly saw-cut and filled level with the appropriate impenetrable material, leaving no channels to collect dirt or harbor undesirable microorganisms. High performance urethane mortar flooring can easily tolerate extreme temperature fluctuations during service and cleaning. It is resistant to chemicals, grease, acids and alkalis. And unlike most quarry tile, cementitious urethane efficiently absorbs direct impact in heavy-duty environments by distributing weight loads throughout the system. Moreover, the flooring is solvent-free, has low-odor installation, is skid-resistant, and is USDA-, FDA- and OSHA-compliant.
Depending upon size and site conditions, typical installation can be accomplished in two to three days, and the rare repair can usually be completed within in a 24-hour window.
Florock technical representatives are available to answer questions and advise on the proper flooring systems for all facilities. Simply call 1-800-FLOROCK (356-7625), or 773-376-7132 from outside the U.S.