Flooring advice please...
So they say a floor is like a guy... if laid right it can be walked on (used) it for life...
We are about to start the renovation of an old building for a brewery. The Brewery equipment consists of:
- the brewhouse (20HL mash, 20 HL Lauter, 20HL whirlpool kettle and 35HL Hot liquor)
- the Fermentation room (5 X 40HL Fermentors) and (6 X 20 HL Fermentor/Unitanks)
- small (2,000bph) bottling line including a tunnel pasteurizer
The boiler, cold water tanks, and glycol chillers are going into a small adjacent new building.
The rest is going into an area with an uneven existing concrete floor with approximately 10 7X9m separate slabs. I am going to get core samples done but here is my question:
We are on a budget and I would like to do it inexpensively (less to have to beg from the bank later for working cap). The builder I am thinking of using reckons he can do the concrete floor no problem, with the falls, drainage and appropriate concrete sealant etc.
We are probably going to lay minimum 4 inch 35mpa concrete on top of the existing floor and cut floor drains into the existing slabs for most of it with appropriate steel rebar etc. Given the expense and PITA of having to do it again later if this is a mistake, should I trust a "builder" or should this go to a concrete flooring specialist? I do realize this is rather subjective.
And is epoxy really necessary? Or is there a cheaper form of sealant that can be used in the concrete. Areas generally are 1. Brewhouse, 2. Fermentation and 3. Bottling. There is also a forklift passage. 2 ton Forklift planned.
Thanks in advance and seasons greetings!
For everywhere other than the forklift run, how about tiles? Most of the breweries I've worked in have had them in similar areas.
The benefit over a continuous, sealed surface is that if there's any damage you need only lift and replace, whereas re-bonding an infilled area can be difficult to make fully non-porous I believe.
Epoxy is great but I can think of a few situations where it has become extremely slippery - one of which was in a bottling area where slat lube would get washed from the conveyors onto the floor.
In one floor I had done we built the trench drain forms ourselves with welded and painted angle iron as the support edge for the grating, saved some money, but it took mad skills to get the design, fabrication and form work right, but it can be done. The preformed drains are much easier to install. What I suggest is that a concrete crew should be hired to place and finish the slab and should be quite good at grade and slope. Crack control is good and should be done at the corners of the trench, we used fiber in 6 1/2 sack concrete for strength, so installer needs to know to get the right mix for strength and the fiber helps with cracking. If you let them apply the quick seal right after the set you will have to scarify or acid etch the surface again to get epoxy to stick and probably tile as well. Epoxy: paint-on lasts about a year and kegging is especially rough on it. Repainting every 1-2 years is expensive, we added silica sand to the second coat for non-slip. Trowel-on epoxy is great for a number of reasons but is very expensive, advantages: cove base integral with floor surface and good traction with sand in the top coat and spot repairable. Tile sounds like a great option, but I don't have any long term experience with it in the brewery. If you choose epoxy, to get the best adhesion the moisture content of the slab needs to be way down, normally a 30-60day cure, with all moisture needing to come up and out due to the under-laying older slab. Tile may allow you a quicker timeline. What you want is a floor that can stand up to caustic and acid and rough duty and not have a high annual cost to maintain. I don't know what kind of grout sealers are being used in breweries but that info is critical if you go tile. My vote is for trowel-on epoxy if you can afford it time and money wise. A good floor pays for itself. Hope that helps and good luck.