In terms of interior design, the retail sector is a complex place. From the colour of the walls to the robustness of the floors, there are several factors to consider, especially when the interior can help to shape and influence the customer experience.
With shopping centres leaning more towards aesthetics, supermarkets blend the decorative with the durable, in order to maintain a safe and serviceable environment.
Regardless of the space, high footfall is a certainty and one that must be well thought out during the design of a facility.
Supermarkets don’t only need to withstand footfall however, but also wheeled trolley traffic, exposure to spillages and organic acids that can corrode the floor as well as scuffs and scratches from smashed packaging. The floor needs to withstand all of these challenges in order to maintain a sanitary, attractive finish.
Here’s the thing – when it comes to flooring, one size does not fit all, but it will actually save you money in the long run to choose flooring solutions fit for each specific area of a facility.
Luckily, there are several flooring systems on the market that are well suited to supermarket environments. Let’s take a look.
For the main concourse in a supermarket, hardwearing acrylic and epoxy resin floor finishes are ideal, thanks to the durability of such systems. There are several decorative options of resin flooring, including coloured flakes.
Checkout the floor!
For areas where customers are likely to stop and soak up the surroundings a little more, such as at the checkout, more decorative options can be used. Resin floor toppings made of colour stable aggregates encapsulated in clear acrylic resin binders are a great choice, as this adds colour, texture and durability – and having something nice to look at is sure to help pass the time in long checkout queues!
For a speedy checkout, such systems are also available with fast curing properties. The inclusion of methyl methacrylate (MMA) in systems such as Flowfast Terrosso, or the more decorative Flowfast Quartz from Flowcrete means that the flooring is fully cured in as little as two to three hours after application, meaning that you could have a brand new floor finish over night, ready to welcome early morning customers when you re-open.
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. Terrazzo flooring is a great choice for such areas.
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 from Flowcrete are a popular choice as 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.
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, the same measures need to be taken to reduce the risk of contamination as in any other food processing and packaging environment.
Cementitious polyurethane is ideal for areas like this, especially if they contain antibacterial additives!
Would you like to find out more about the ideal flooring solution for your supermarket? Feel free to get in touch with us, we’d be happy to help.