Koury: Health departments can vary by location but basically they want a non-porous and scrubbable surface to prevent bacterial growth. Federal, state and local agencies usually require floors to be easily cleanable. Also it is important to follow any OSHA or safety codes pertaining to issues such as slippage or skid resistance. Coating requirements may vary in application. For example, departments may call for a cove and trowel applied epoxy in a kitchen space. Other requirements may be USDA and VOC compliance depending on the region.
CBB: Clearly selecting a proper coating system is important, but how do you explain the return on investment to your brewery clients?
Koury: The coatings are chemical resistant and help keep the brewer from damaging the concrete, thereby saving thousands of dollars in subsequent concrete resurfacing or worse, replacement. Many breweries are located in leased spaces that ultimately have to turn the space back over. If a suitable coating wasn’t installed, there could be very costly repairs, such as resurfacing that may be needed or, in extreme cases, replacement of existing substrate. In addition, a floor coating aids to the maintenance of a facility, saving labor costs during clean up and helps maintain a sterile environment. Another superficial benefit is design and aesthetics. A floor coating such as our Acid Stain Grind & Seal System can create interest and appeal to a space and can help define an environment or brewery’s theme.
CBB: So, let’s say that the brewery has selected its coating system and is ready to hit the floor. Explain the coating process: What goes into the prep and installation?
Koury: The coating process varies depending on the desired system and existing site conditions, but preparation is crucial to the success of a coating. Diamond grind and shot blasting using dustless means are common methods for surface preparation. These methods of mechanical surface preparation vary based on the desired thickness and finish of a coating or sealer. Installation methods vary as well, depending on the desired system and application. We offer detailed system specifications, training videos and product demonstrations. We also have a Qualified Contractor Applicator or QCA program that helps connect brewers/owners with licensed and qualified applicators who are capable of installing these types of floor coatings.
CBB: How much downtime should a product brewery expect during an installation?
Koury: Could be less than a day or two and up to a few weeks, depending on the scope.
CBB: What’s the price range for floor coating installation? We know this is probably a case-by-case basis, but is there a general ballpark a brewer can expect?
Koury: Most urethane cement floors are going in for $8 to $16 per square foot; most Grind Stain and Seal processes are in the $3 to $8 per square foot range, all depending on size of job, access and process details. In most cases smaller jobs, under 1,000 square feet, would cost more. Also consider that price varies around the country and from city to city, depending on local labor rates.
Most importantly, hire a flooring contractor with expertise and ideally a local contractor with a proven reputation, and ask other brewers for referrals if you know they love their floors. It’s also wise to get backing from the product manufacturer as well as specifications to suit the need of the project.
A big CBB “Cheers!” to Paul for shining a light on coating system selection. For more info, you can head over to the Westcoat Systems website or check out the company’s blog for more brewery-specific case studies.