Tile: A new aged tile floor is a great option. These are not your typical bathroom tiles. Most tiles in the industry these days are hexagon German tiles (many options) Although expensive to install, tile offers great service life and floor protection. A tile floor, properly installed using epoxy grouting should essentially never wear out, but will require periodic regrouting, especially around floor drain areas. The tile’s grout lines are where you will have issues and there are a lot of grout lines to keep track of. Some tile designs offer an engineered texture or slip resistant pattern cast into the ceramic. Homeowner-grade tiles are a nonstarter because they are light duty, slippery when wet, and can’t hold up to the severe loading, chemicals, and heat of the brewery environment.
High Traffic Areas: Quality coverings properly applied should hold up well under reasonable brewery forklift and other traffic, cheap or substandard covering will not last and will cost you more in the long run due to down time and reapplication costs.
Coating Systems: When laying out a brewery floor plan and calculating square footage, equipment positions, and drainage, don’t forget to figure in chemical resistant coatings for the walls and wood/floors as well.
Possible coating options:
Paintable urethanes – Cheap but very light duty, and best suited for areas subjected to nothing heavier than foot traffic. Expect to get 2 years of life or less
Polyester Resins – Work well and are available any color. The only real drawback is they are very smelly during application.
2 part Epoxies – Applied in multiple layers and hold up well. They’re also available in every color.
Urethane base with epoxy top coat – The best possible option. Larger scale production breweries often have these flooring systems installed over thousands of square feet.
All three recommended coating options above are great long lasting options for all scales of production. These coating options should be a liquid applied installation. Minimum of 1/4 inch – 3/8 thick floor coating is recommended. Liquid installation allows the materials to establish a Chemical and Mechanical bond to the concrete as well as each overcoat. ALSO any color or texture should be able to be achieved with an experienced installer.
Dry hard trowel installation tends to fall apart once the top coats fail, allowing the lower layers to be compromised by chemicals, water, etc.
Important keys to successful coating contractor selection.
#1 Find a good reputable company that’s well rooted in the industry with ready available satisfied clients.
#2 Make sure said companies have long term warranties and stand behind them
#3 Make sure said companies Prep concrete properly and liquid apply materials.