Designing a restaurant is a grateful topic for an architect. There is a lot of room to demonstrate a sense of style, original ideas, and simultaneously show off your technical proficiency in the selection of optimal utility solutions, compliant with building standards and meeting the needs of guests, owners, and staff of the premises. The restaurant kitchen is like a laboratory of flavours. There must be a pristine order and unconditional hygiene of all surfaces. In addition, it has to be simply beautiful, cosy, and elegant!
How to choose the right floor and wall cladding for the restaurant kitchen? What factors must be taken into consideration to make this place clean and safe for chefs, assistances, and waiters? Here are a few aspects you need to consider to guarantee the right choice of cladding:
1. Resistance to staining
In the restaurant’s catering facilities, high stain resistance is one of the most important parameters to be met by both wall and floor cladding. The stain resistance test results for a given group of ceramic tiles should always be taken into account when selecting a specific collection. Resistance to staining with chemical and organic substances (including blood, in restaurants where meat dishes are served) makes the tiles clean for many years.
2. Resistance to chemical cleaning agents
Cleanliness and working conditions play the main role in the restaurant kitchen. The floor, as well as the walls, are usually cleaned with strong cleaning agents even several times a day. Therefore, ceramic tiles for the restaurant kitchen must be positively resistant to strong, chemical cleaning agents. Cleaning products often have fine mineral particles which cause mechanical scrubbing of the surface. Hence, in addition to chemical resistance, the tiles must also be resistant to their effects.
3. Resistance to abrasion
High resistance to abrasion is an absolute must in the case of tiles intended for the restaurant kitchen floor – and not only because of the frequency of cleaning treatments. Intensity of foot movement of the staff, in footwear with different soles, requires great resistance to abrasion – e.g. 4/2100, 4/6000, 4/12000 class or even top 5 class with over 12000 revolutions. You can also use unglazed stoneware tiles with the appropriate parameter of deep abrasion resistance.
4. Slip resistance
In every kitchen there are periodically changing conditions – it happens that oil or water will spill out here and there and grease will be splashed from industrial frying pans. The restaurant floor must be ready for it – in order to ensure the safety of the staff. The tiles must have excellent slip resistance to eliminate the risk of slips and falls. Special textures and tile structures increase traction.
The tile structure prevents slipping.
In the photo: Gammo Grey Glazed Stoneware Structure, 19,8×19,8 cm.
5. The round edges of the transitions between the planes of the tiles which facilitate cleaning
Gastronomy is subject to strict hygiene standards. That is why all transitions between the floor and the wall should allow for thorough cleaning, leaving no dirt in the joints. For this purpose, special fittings are produced which allow such thorough cleaning of floors and wall surfaces. Concave and convex fittings are adapted to finish all corners on floors and walls.
6. Aesthetics of ceramic tiles
Although all the above-described factors are of considerable importance, aesthetics also counts. In nice, neat interiors, you simply work better – and the well-being of kitchen service translates into customer satisfaction. In the kitchen facilities, you surely do not have to invest in the most expensive, the most fashionable ceramic collections, because this space is not as representative as the restaurant intended for guests. In the kitchen premises, tiles which are pleasing to the eye are enough. The ideal will be if the whole interior design of the place where the meals are prepared will correspond with the dining room.
7. Arrangement coherence in buffets and open kitchens
More and more often we meet places where dishes are made in front of the guests – behind a glass pane or directly in a common space, separated only symbolically, for instance by a counter. This is a great idea to stimulate the appetite of customers because delicious scents, inspiring sounds, and colourful, fresh ingredients of the dishes stimulate the senses. Impeccable cleanliness in the kitchen inspires trust and chef’s mastery – admiration.
In such open kitchens, arrangement consistency is obviously important, so that the workspace seamlessly connects with the consumer, without losing the mandatory requirements of use.
Each designer’s decision regarding the selection of a specific ceramic collection as a floor or wall cladding for a kitchen restaurant must have appropriate support in the documentation. Tiles must have a set of recognized attestations and approvals which allow for being used in a given place. The tests carried out regarding stain resistance, chemical resistance, slip resistance and abrasion resistance, as well as guarantees provided by the manufacturer, are a protection for both the architect and investor. Negligence in this matter may result in daily difficulties in terms of safety and cleanliness, lack of approval for use by building inspectors or problems with sanitary-epidemiological station.
9. Invisible facilities
The gastronomic facility of the restaurant is not only the kitchen itself – it is also a cold store and warehouses of products requiring different storage temperatures, trays of table textiles, dishwashers, locker rooms, and sanitary facilities for staff. There must also be a perfect order and security, and at the same time it should be an eye-friendly space.
- Well-designed floors and kitchen walls in the restaurant must ensure safety of use and hygiene.
- When choosing a specific ceramic collection, you need to be governed by the durability, ease of care, and parameters: resistance to staining and chemicals, anti-slip and abrasion resistance (PEI indicator for glazed tiles or deep abrasion for unglazed tiles), as well as completeness of the system (special fittings).
- All parameters of the tiles must be confirmed by valid attestations and approvals, guaranteeing safety and approval for use.
- Corners and all internal and external edges are best finished with special fittings which enable to maintain hygiene.
- Aesthetics of the kitchen facilities is important for the comfort of the work of the staff, that is why it should also be carefully planned.
- Opening the restaurant kitchen to the room in which guests eat meals requires rethinking every aspect of the functional and arrangement coherence.
- The facilities of the restaurant kitchen should be designed with the same diligence as the kitchen itself.
- When choosing tiles for the kitchen in a restaurant, it is worth starting from carefully following the most important points of the Handbook of Ceramic Tiles for an Architect: https://www.paradyz.com/blog/en/handbook-of-ceramic-tiles-for-an-architect-learn-the-most-important-terms-and-parameters/