The retail sector is a complex world, with each outlet often having different flooring requirements. Whilst shopping centres may lean more towards aesthetics, supermarkets need to blend the decorative with the durable.
One criterion that remains consistent across the sector is the need for the flooring to meet the challenge of the high footfall expected in these areas.
For supermarket environments, it is not just footfall that the flooring would need to withstand, but wheeled trolley traffic too, as well as exposure to spillages and organic acids that threaten the sanitation of a space.
Whilst protecting against possible abrasions and the chemicals from dropped foodstuffs, supermarkets also need to provide a safe and slip resistant profile with an easy to clean and maintain finish.Speedy Checkout
Whether undertaking a flooring installation as part of a new-build or refurbishment project, time is always of the essence. Retail outlets cannot afford long periods of unprofitable downtime and so often need a new floor overnight to avoid losing business and inconveniencing customers.
Luckily, there are several systems within the market that allow for a quick installation. Resins that incorporate methyl methacrylate (MMA), a catalyst for speeding up the rate of cure are particularly ideal, with some systems taking just two to three hours to fully cure.
Finding fast curing systems that can also endure the daily challenges inherent in supermarkets may seem like no easy task, but Flowcrete UK offer a range of flooring systems that deliver an attractive finish underfoot and can be installed under a quick turnaround.
MMA systems do release a strong odour and good ventilation is needed as well as smart working practices to ensure that the odour is dispersed sensibly, away from foodstuffs.Product Suitability
One such system that is ideally suited to the main concourse of supermarkets is the decorative Flowfast TR. This seamless, hardwearing acrylic resin floor finish was developed for high traffic retail environments. Available in a range of classic colours, this system can tolerate full traffic after a curing time of two to three hours.
In contrast, back of house areas, such as warehouses, will require all the durability of epoxy, but not necessarily all of the decorative aspects. Systems such as Flowcoat SF41, the high performance, chemical resistant epoxy resin coating is ideal for storage areas thanks to its wear resistance and ability to endure footfall and wheeled equipment such as forklifts.
For areas where customers are likely to stop and take in the surroundings slightly more, such as at the checkout, more decorative options could be used such as Flowfast Quartz Classic from Flowcrete UK. This resin floor topping is made up of colour stable aggregates encapsulated in clear acrylic resin binder, and again has a quick cure time of two to three hours.
In the same vein, flooring that is more decorative still can be specified for areas such as supermarket cafes, where customers go to relax with a spot of lunch or a post-shop coffee. Here, the flooring would need to be durable to withstand the regular movement of chairs and tables and resistant to sugary food and drink spillages. Flowcrete UK’s fast curing seamless resin terrazzo range Mondéco Rapide is a fantastic choice for such areas.Clean Up in Aisle Three
Seamlessness is a key requirement for supermarket flooring as dirt and bacteria have no joints or gaps to hide in, and can therefore be easily cleaned away.
This becomes even more paramount in food-handling areas, such as supermarket butchers, fishmongers and bakeries. For these areas, antibacterial flooring can be specified to further reduce the risk of contamination.
The Flowfresh range combines performance with the natural cleaning power of Polygiene, an antibacterial additive that is proven to inhibit the growth of most types of harmful bacteria on a floor’s surface, when teamed with a regular cleaning regime. This cementitious polyurethane system was designed for use in food and beverage facilities, and so is a great choice for areas of this nature.
If you would like to find out more about flooring solutions for the retail sector, contact Flowcrete UK’s resin flooring experts today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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