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Unread 03-28-2005, 03:34 PM   #1
Jason Farmer
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Restaurant kitchen tile help

I have done a fair bit of tile work for friends, everything from floors to backsplashes. Now a friend wants me to do his restaurant kitchen which is about 375 square feet. I need some advice before I can take this on though.

The floor is concrete right now with lots of grease stains. How do I prepare this for mortar, I am worried about the grease effecting adhesion?

Is there antislip tiles on the market or is there something I can do after the install to make the floors less slippery?

will I be fair at pricing this at materials x 2 ?

Thanks for any advice you can provide, anything else I should know about when doing restauarnt kitchens?
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Unread 03-28-2005, 06:52 PM   #2
Steven Hauser
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Hi Jason,

Not to sound caustic, but, don't do this job. The grease and conditions are truly troublesome. I pass on these as often as possible.

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Unread 03-28-2005, 06:53 PM   #3
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Hi Jason,

This one could get ugly and smelly. There are a few guys around here that have ventured into the food service remodeling and have never been the same since

I don't know how to address the grease on the floor issue w/o using an acidic wash as prep. Maybe the others have better ideas.

Your price of materials x2 is confusing me. I would be very careful to assess the entire job before making a bid. "Per sq ft" pricing on the floor plus prep work plus materials. Demolition separate if needed

Good..Fast..Cheap. Pick any 2...can't have all three
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Unread 03-28-2005, 07:44 PM   #4
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As far as prep, install, pricing, etc. the tile pros can offer insight. However, we have/had many years in the restaurant ownership business and can offer some tile product advice. We used a rough quarry tile (similar to a brick look) in our kitchen locations and made sure they were set in a pattern offering LOTS of offset grout lines (meaning, NOT a straight pattern).

Any tile in a professional kitchen environment is a slippery risk, but what else are you going to put there? We feel it needs to be viewed like a shower floor...what makes it the most safe first and what makes it the most effective? We also used slip resistant rubber grid mats in many areas over the tile. The mats can be easily cleaned/sanitized, as well as the tile underneath. Our Health Dept and OSHA inspections consistently validated the construction and maintenance. Just our two cents. But we have been there and we have seen some restaurant owners more interested in aesthetics than safety and practicality in the kitchen.

Sorry to be verbose, but it's a subject we care about. Who wants employees hurt and then Workers Comp rates go up? Duh?

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Unread 03-29-2005, 08:10 AM   #5
Jason Farmer
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Awesome info

Thanks guys this advice is awesome, does an acid wash require any special equipment or are we talking mop on squegee off?
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Unread 03-29-2005, 09:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jason Farmer
Thanks guys this advice is awesome, does an acid wash require any special equipment or are we talking mop on squegee off?
Muriatic Acid may be the best bet. Maybe something they can get one or two employees to prep this work for you (providing they wear safety goggles, rubber gloves and maybe some knee pads). This grease will more than likely have to be 'scrubbed' off with bristle brushes and then possibly even prepped again (I know something of preparing these type surfaces). A hot mop afterwards won't hurt as well.

My two pennies
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Unread 03-29-2005, 09:38 AM   #7
Chris the Rep
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I think I'd pass on this one Jason, it is fraught with perils. Sometimes bare concrete in a kitchen is impossible to get clean enough to take tile without scarifying or shotblasting. And I have to believe that there will be time constraints as well. Will he allot you enough time to do this job? Closed kitchens don't make money.

Having looked a more than a few failed commercial kitchen floors, I'm going to disagree with Jason B. and advise to you to go with something caustic, not acidic, to help cut the grease. Alkaline materials cut grease better than acids. You might consider having your friend be responsible for, or hire out, the cleaning of the slab. Once you think you have the slab clean, and water won't bead up on the surface, then you can try a test area with muratic acid to see if the concrete will etch. If it does, go back and rinse and neutralize the acid, and rinse again, and then once more for good measure.

When you're satisfied with the slab, then you can proceed with the tile work. I'd strongly consider using a premium setting material, not the cheap stuff. I like those that you mix with liquid latex instead of water for questionable substrates.You want every advantage possible here.

As for tile, It's hard to beat red quarry tile with abrasive in a kitchen. It's fairly inexpensive, easy to lay, and has a full complement of trims available. Grout it with black grout and your friend has a floor that will take the abuse, will be easy to clean, and will probably outlast the kitchen.

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