Commercial kitchens take a lot of beating. So, it is critical to pick high-quality tile for flooring. Think of changing temperatures, moisture, grease, regular splashes, and heavy industrial kitchen equipment. Those are all persistent threats to the substrate, sealing materials, mortar, tile, and grout.
The flooring in such an environment takes so much more damage than the flooring in your residential kitchen. This is because it houses bulky equipment, and there are more people navigating around it. The best tile for commercial kitchen should be capable of surviving the challenges of day-to-day operations.
And anyone knowledgeable about the installation process would tell you that it is a painstaking job.
Due to the many options on the market, deciding on the ideal tile for a commercial kitchen can get tricky. In this article, I’ll go over some of the best commercial kitchen tile options. I’ll also take you through the various selection criteria to make sure you get the right material for your budget and preferences.
Note: Before deciding on a commercial kitchen tile, you must first consult with a flooring professional. This way, you’ll get a better idea of various options. You can also discuss with them your design preferences.
Hiring a professional is worth it in the long run. It’s a better approach than making an expensive mistake because of bad choices.
Qualities of the Best Tile For Commercial Kitchen Kitchen
If you’re looking for the best tile for commercial kitchen, you should consider a material that has the following qualities:
As you know, commercial kitchens go through a lot. It is important that your kitchen flooring can tolerate a range of thermal shocks. The flooring should be able to withstand spills of boiling cooking oil, constant streams of water, and other liquids. It must also be resistant to moisture.
The best tile for commercial kitchen should be flawless. This prevents water or other liquids from soaking into crevices. It also protects your kitchen against microbes that tend to accumulate in little cracks. You may opt for a pre-treated material that minimizes microbial growth and disease.
The safety of your staff should always be a priority when it comes to picking a commercial kitchen tile. Good tile flooring should be slip-resistant. So, even when the floor is wet, your kitchen staff will still be able to maneuver around. Non-slip surfaces enhance foothold and limit slipping and falls.
Easy To Install
You’ll want a commercial kitchen tile that can be installed fast and easily, with as little downtime as possible.
It is considerably easier to lay ten big tiles since you just need to perform a little measuring and laying. If you wish to put smaller tiles, you need to repeat the same process for an extended period of time. Larger tiles require only four leveling, which can easily expand to 24 or 32 sides.
Easy To Maintain
The best commercial kitchen tile should be easy to clean and sanitize. Many tiles have waterproof sealing and non-porous surfaces. And these tile flooring can withstand regular scrubbing and cleaning. A floor that is easy to clean and should be capable of tolerating strong cleaning products on a daily basis.
Complements Your Kitchen Decor
If your commercial kitchen is visible to the rest of your restaurant, the flooring should match or complement the space. You’ll want something that accentuates your industrial spaces. And, if you can, try to find a design that sets up an atmosphere while supporting your brand image.
The Best Tiles for Commercial Kitchen
Now, which tile materials match the criteria above?
Ceramic and vinyl tile are the two most common types of flooring used in commercial kitchens. Natural and quarry stone tiles, on the other hand, are used in a few specialty applications. Keep reading to find out which tile is ideal for you.
Ceramic tile is made of a clay mixture that is shaped into tiles and heated in a kiln. This tile is available in both porcelain and non-porcelain composites and is common in many commercial kitchens. It’s timeless, durable, easy to clean, and needs little upkeep. Plus, it offers a low installation cost.
Ceramic tiles in commercial kitchens are treated with a melted glass coating that protects the surface from stains and water. I suggest staying away from unglazed ceramics since they are porous and cannot survive the demands of a professional kitchen.
This tile option also comes in a vast range of designs. In fact, they are more visually appealing than commercial vinyl but more expensive. You can choose from wood-look grains to patterned glaze. And if one of the tile breaks, it’s easy to replace.
Commercial vinyl flooring is made of a combination of natural and synthetic polymers that are designed to provide optimal durability. It’s known for being resilient. This means that it’s thin and can absorb the physical attributes of the subfloor upon which it is installed.
When you lay vinyl tiles on a hard surface such as concrete, it results in a floor that is sanitary and simple to maintain. However, it is only moderately robust and impervious to damage. If you want to improve comfort and reduce strain, you can put a cushioned underlayment layer underneath the vinyl.
That padding, however, renders the flooring more prone to wear and tear, making it unsuitable for many culinary purposes. You can get vinyl in both sheets and tiles.
Natural stone tile is also a great choice for commercial kitchen flooring. It’s particularly a viable option if the workstation is exposed to customers and aesthetics is important. Natural stone tile is manufactured from earth-sourced resources. Each stone has unique qualities, and some are more suited for commercial kitchens than others.
Just like ceramic tile and quarry tile, it is durable. However, it can get expensive upfront and require high maintenance.
Another drawback of natural stone is that it may require a professional installer which will be costly and can take a few days or even weeks to finish the installation. And unless sealed, they can retain stains.
You must also pick your stones with care since they might pose tripping hazards if they have substantial surface variations. It should also be slip-resistant even when wet. You should stay away from polished surface tiles as they get slippery when wet.
Quarry tile is a popular choice for commercial kitchens. It’s preferred for being water and stain-resistant. And it boasts great durability, making it ideal for restaurant kitchen flooring.
These tiles may require minor grinding to give extra grip for the soles. The goal here is to keep yourself from slipping. There are also quarry tiles with traction etched into them during fabrication.
The main drawback is the upfront cost. So, if you’re on a low budget for a commercial kitchen tile, quarry stone won’t be your best option.
Highly durable and strong, concrete tiles are also a wonderful option for commercial kitchen tile. Concrete boasts a hard, flat, and smooth surface that can withstand heat or most shocks.
If you wish to have a visually appealing floor, you can go for polished concrete. And, if you take good care of it, your kitchen floor can outlast some of your appliances. Concrete floors can also withstand the weight of large machines and cooking equipment.
But just like any tile options on the list, concrete comes with a few downsides. Due to its hardness, concrete may not be the most comfortable floor you could ever stand on for a long period of time. Which is why restaurant owners lay rubber mats to cushion the impact.
Concrete floors are also porous. This can lure germs and mildew to grow and may fail health department inspections unless it is coated with epoxy. It is also difficult to clean and might be slippery when wet.
What About Commercial Kitchen Backsplashes?
Most commercial kitchens don’t have tiled backsplashes. Instead, a well-made stainless steel backsplash would be ideal. A stainless steel backsplash is an essential component in a commercial kitchen. The material prevents potential damage and unpleasant traces that years of use can leave.
Stainless steel is a very strong metal that can survive a wide range of strikes. Which can sometimes cause serious damage. It’s incredibly durable and it can tolerate intense heat. As well as temperatures far below freezing point.
A stainless steel backsplash also provides an excellent modern polish. It also maintains the structural integrity of your kitchen.
One of the main drawbacks of stainless steel backsplashes is that they can retain fingerprints and water spots. But, unlike your home kitchen backsplash, stainless steel is so easy to clean.
Things To Consider for Materials and Installation
The selection of materials is simply one step along the way. Installation is equally crucial. Here are a few helpful tips:
– It can save you money to get your tiles through your tile installer rather than buying them directly from the manufacturer. Your installer will be wiser in selecting the most cost-effective materials and strike a better deal with manufacturers.
– You can request a tile installer to inspect your base concrete slab for any signs of moisture. If it has moisture in it, you need to have it treated first. Otherwise, it can harm your floor and void its warranty.
– Installation must be done correctly. You should use the appropriate sub-base and underlay materials recommended by the manufacturer. If there is an air bubble beneath, the tiles may crack or shatter.
– Certain custom flooring may necessitate professional installation not only to get it correctly but also to fulfill warranty requirements.
– You must collaborate with your installer to maintain additional tile on hand and to prepare for replacements and maintenance. Most manufacturers provide replacement and practical guides.
Best Tile for Commercial Kitchen FAQs
What type of tile is used in commercial kitchens?
Quarry tile, an unglazed clay tile with a naturally slip-resistant surface, is the most common form of tile used in commercial kitchens. This type of tile is available in a small set of tones, ranging from reddish-brown to tan to gray. And it is often square in shape.
Which flooring is best for commercial kitchens?
Vinyl floors are perhaps the most cost-effective alternative for commercial kitchen flooring. Commercial LVT or luxury vinyl tile is waterproof and sturdy. It’s a wonderful alternative to hardwood and laminate flooring. Vinyl floors also come in a range of colors. They are also available in various designs to suit any kitchen decor.
What is the benefit of epoxy flooring?
In comparison to other typical sealants sprayed over surfaces, epoxy floors have several advantages. They provide a dazzling high-gloss surface. And this can greatly brighten up a commercial kitchen. Epoxy also offers a tough, long-lasting surface. It can tolerate heavy, nonstop traffic.
Regardless of the tile you choose, you need flooring that’s sturdy enough to operate in demanding commercial kitchen settings. Just make sure that the tile you pick matches your business’ needs and budget.
If you wish to go fancy and want an exposed restaurant kitchen, I recommend quarry stone tiles. But if you are on a limited budget, vinyl flooring would be your best alternative.