Functional Floors



Finding the right floor for your bakery



Proper prior planning prevents poor performance. By selecting and planning for the correct flooring solution from the word ‘go’, a facility is able to spare itself a number of serious headaches later.

In a bid to increase and ensure health safety within the food production sector more stringent standards apply when it comes to clean room design, materials of construction – such as flooring – and factory layout.

The old SABS standards required that floors and walls be tiled, which is no longer acceptable as tiles are prone to cracking and the grouting prone to coming loose. The result offers ample opportunity for bacteria to grow behind the tiles and within the cracks where it cannot be cleaned out, creating a health hazard where there should be none.

Building finishes are set to be emphasised in the new standards, ensuring application of coatings that are easy to clean and are more resistant, suggested solutions include epoxy-floors, polyurethane flooring and becoming increasingly popular is the steel floor option.


Consumers have also become highly sensitive to foreign body complaints or anything that might affect their individual health, calling for a good amount of funds to be invested in food safety equipment and measures, including flooring.

One of the main considerations in selecting a flooring option includes considering the volume and type of traffic that a floor is expected to carry. Bakery plant managers are compelled to consider skid-resistant floors to ensure personnel safety and potential liability issues by using textured or grit surfaces. The degree of texture is typically determined by the conditions of operation, frequency of cleaning and maintenance, and presence of oils, greases and other potentially slippery substances.

Environments are often damp or wet, either from cleaning agents or from the inherent exposure to oils and grease. A flexible membrane may be a viable option applied beneath floor coatings where high impact and heavy loads are part of the traffic pattern.

The floor, or subsequent floor coating, must be durable enough to handle vigorous cleaning procedures that typically incorporate the use of very hot water, steam and aggressive cleaning chemicals. Only high-performance floor coatings will withstand such punishing maintenance.

Differing plant areas have differing corrosive conditions, such as dry storage areas, cold storage rooms, and mixing areas.

Another deciding factor in floor and coating selection includes application conditions. While not so relevant in new facilities, it is indeed important when updating or refurbishing an existing facility.


Apart from limiting downtime, food processing areas are often damp, sometimes cool or even cold, and sometimes hot – all in a typical day. The selected coating must be able to be installed under any and all of these conditions. There are specialty coatings that have the ability to cure even under this unusually broad range of conditions.

Urethane modified cementitious flooring systems, for example, can perform in steam heat as well as freezing or below zero temperatures. Some of these systems also offer a rapid return to service which could be critical to plant operations.

A strong driver for food production hygiene standards is the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety management system. The HACCP principles require that throughout the various processes within a facility, all possible points of risk should be designed out of the system, and where the risk points cannot be excluded altogether, sufficient monitoring and control systems should be put in place to best manage the risk.

Consequently, the bakery environment calls for smooth, non-porous operating surfaces across a variety of plant areas that promote easy cleaning within a strict cleaning regime. Coatings should be durable enough and thick enough to create a protective barrier to prevent contaminants from permeating the concrete substrate and ensuring a hygienic surface.

Uncoated concrete floors may be perfectly acceptable in warehouses and light industrial areas, but cleanliness and purity are of paramount importance to hygiene and safety requirements, calling for seamless, hygienic floor coating systems.

Selecting the correct type of floor coating is therefore one of the most important product specifications a plant manager is likely to make and each product caters for a number of requirements and are available in several formulations.

Types of floor coating

Epoxies are available in a range of flooring systems including high-solids or 100% solids epoxy flooring products that provide outstanding protection against acids and alkalis. Key benefits include outstanding adhesion; an excellent ability to withstand abrasive cleaning procedures and chemicals; fast curing properties for minimized downtime of the area being treated; and compatibility with textured, anti-slip additives. Additionally, high-solids formulations are low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

100 % solids epoxies, on the other hand, are a wise choice for coating floors when a rapid return to service is required. Benefits include having strong bonding characteristics, resistance to thermal and mechanical shock, and the ability to endure frequent cleaning with hot water at high pressure.

In less demanding environments like food packaging, waterborne epoxies are a good fit since these areas don’t have the same high protection demands. In general, though, the use of waterborne epoxies for this industry is limited.

Urethanes are also a popular option in the food industry. Polyurethane coatings are generally supplied in slurry form and, although initially more costly, its service life often outlasts other product categories.

When compared to epoxy and vinyl coatings, urethane cement slurry and mortar systems provide better resistance to thermal cycling, as well as excellent long-lasting performance. They also have a very low odour during application and have a seamless, easy-to-clean surface when dry.

But without a doubt, the most significant benefit of some mortar systems is their quick drying capabilities as plants can be returned to service in a few hours. However, slurries are not recommended for floors that are sloped to drain.

Polyureas prove excellent when the environmental demand is for tough, flexible and impact resistant floors. They provide a seamless and flexible surface that has the ability to withstand temperatures as low as -20°F to 250°F. All polyureas are formulated with no VOCs, have no odour and dry tack free in as little as 45 seconds. Their elasticity makes them ideal for substrates such as concrete, which tends to crack. As an elastomer, these coatings have the ability to stretch and bridge gaps and are not limited by temperature extremes.


Good news is that there is a wealth of local suppliers that are just waiting to assist with your flooring needs such as Epoxy Flooring Systems, Floorshield, Floormaster, Flowcrete/Stoncor, Cape Industrial Flooring, Robex, and Verni – Speciality Construction Products to name but a few.

Epoxy Flooring Systems – are the industrial flooring specialists, dedicated to providing long-term, effective flooring solutions specifically tailored to suit all business requirements.

Epoxy Flooring Systems, started in the business of protective floor coatings in 2001 and today are one of the few, ISO 9001 certified companies, in the business, providing epoxy and polyurethane resin-based flooring solutions to both the industrial and commercial sectors.


Our suite of services is comprehensive and covers all specifications and requirements in industrial flooring systems. This includes for the design, manufacture and installation of specialist, stainless steel drainage systems.

We have a large team o permanently employed industrial flooring specialists, all on-hand to carry out the vital applications required when installing industrial flooring systems to the highest industry standards.

Our industrial flooring systems are world-class, and whether you are a large, medium or small enterprise, our highly-trained industrial flooring specialists will ensure you get the results you expect.

Epoxy Flooring Systems – delivering flooring you can depend on since 2001.

At Epoxy Flooring Systems, we are fully equipped to provide only the most expert service in epoxy floor installation.

For more info click here ….



Our expertise and industry knowledge has allowed Floorshield to attain the highest quality work and maintain its position at the highest level within the heavy duty flooring market.


Our culture, expertise and knowledge have allowed the company to focus on industry specific projects that require the highest levels of quality and professionalism. Floorshield is able to specify, support and expedite its objectives to completion, in a timely and efficient way to the benefits of all parties involved.

Floorshield takes pride in the fact that it provides quality floor finishes with a sound back-up and support infrastructure from our suppliers. Our back-to-back guarantee provides client piece of mind and results in the cost of ownership representing true value.

Listed below are the types of flooring systems that we offer. Each of these flooring systems is produced in one of our seven brands (Sika, Technical Finishes, Stoncor, BASF, Mapei, Flowcrete, Silikal):

• 4-12mm Urethane – heavy duty flooring both decorative and mono.
• 1-4mm Self -Levelling Epoxy – decorative as well as aesthetically looking
• Roll-down Coatings
• Chemical Resistant systems
• Quick set MMA systems – systems that cure in 1 hour and can be applied in areas as cold as -20 degrees
• Stonecarpet – seamless power-floated quartz flooring

The specific working requirements of the food and beverage industry are well understood by Floorshield and can advise accordingly as well as how and when the application can occur around the operational requirements.

Our References underlines and supports our claim as being one of the most efficient, reliable and professional companies in Southern Africa to undertake this project in terms of size, nature and specification. We service a number of food and beverage companies, where we are continuously upgrading their old plants to the specifications.

For more info click here …..

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