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Thread: tile in the brewhouse

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    United States
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    31

    Question tile in the brewhouse

    We are in the process of building a new facility and our architect is concerned with the fact that the tile flooring in the brewhouse inevitably will allow moisture to wick into the slab and ultimately collect and damage the slab. He was wondering if he should engineer in a drain in the slab to allow the moisture to drain out of the slab or is there another way to deal with this problem or is it really a problem at all?

    thanks in advance for any input

    brad farbstein
    real ale brewing co
    blanco, tx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Posts
    42

    tile will degrade

    your engineer is right. tile will degrade. even if you seal it initially, the seal likely will eventually break due to the weight and the hardness of stainless steel parts, and sometimes kegs, buckets of parts, etc., constantly hitting the floor.

    tile eventually becomes a never ending maintenance nightmare and expense. (it looks good, though)

    I suggest an epoxy covering on the floor. It's cost competitive, I believe, and very rugged, even if you apply it yourself. Ultimately in the long-run it will outlast tile and be more sanitary. It's also easier to repair and less subject to dings.

    - JOHN

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    99
    Hello,

    Just had a floor done here in Australia. The price for epoxy (supplied and professionally laid) was around A$56 per m2 for a total area of about 100 m2. Tile was going to cost $44/m2 to buy, $30/m2 to lay, plus the cost of epoxy joint sealant. The decision was a no-brainer, although I originally thought the epoxy would be the more pricy option. Check it out...

    Oh, and before I forget, make sure you tile or epoxy (whichever) MORE floor surface rather than LESS. I wish I had originally covered a little more than I did, since my layout plans changed after the floor was done and it would have been handy to have had a little more area done (maybe another 20%). Look into a few layout combinations/options before you finalise the floor surface just in case you change you mind... it might only cost you a fraction more, especially with the epoxy option
    Last edited by jipjanneke; 04-11-2005 at 02:09 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Stavanger Norway
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    318
    also you need to pay special attention around the drains, tile or epoxy. make sure nothing can get in around the frame of the drain or it wont last long. you'll end up redoing it over and over.

    taking from experience

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    United States
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    31
    I understand the advantages of the epoxy floor coverings and we will be installing them in the rest of the facility but we are suckers for the esthetics that tile brings to the brewhouse. Has anyone designed or installed some sort of drain system for the slab? or installed some type of liner system in the slab when it was poured to protect the slab??

    Thanks for all the replies so far and i agree the epoxy floor coverings are superior in every other aspect but esthetics.

    brad farbstein
    real ale brewing co
    blanco, tx

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Stavanger Norway
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    318
    I have seen some nice drains in some winerys here in Italy.
    on in particular was made with one sheet of SS, folded like a v and then refolded again at the floor level to close the gap to about 1" wide, it was not only attractive but functional.
    The winery floor was made from those 4" stone blocks laid in a semi circle fasion I believe its called European cobble.

    But then again here in Italy the winerys have lots of money to play with.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Dexter, MI USA
    Posts
    203
    Hello all!

    Some of the brewhouses I've put in have been tiled. Some over concrete, and some over a wood. About the only thing in common was the use of a type of rubber sheeting underneath the tile, similar to what you would use were you to tile your shower at home. The idea being that the sheeting would catch water seeping through the tilework and direct it into the floor drains. I would think a good tile guy would know of such techniques.

    Cheers,
    Ron

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    99
    We got our epoxy floor in a great light grey-blue colour... looks great against the stainless steel and copper. Food grade, non slip. I also hear the latest thing is to get it impregnated with a type of bactericide, which resists growths. So, a lot of neat possibilities.

    For our drain, we got it installed when they laid the slab. Then the slab was acid etched to give a key to the epoxy. The drain-to-floor joint was selaed with a flexible epoxy-based material in the same colour as the floor.

    The drain was a modular pre-cast polycrete material with stainless steel grating. Very easy.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    407

    reverse the fall?

    Something else to consider if you're starting from scratch is the direction of "fall" for the floor. The common practice is to have the room drain toward the center. I was wondering if anyone took the opposite approach, and ran trench drains around the wall - or at least behind the brewhouse along the wall.

    It seems to me that standing in the center of the room washing things down, hose in hand, you'd be more effective will a drain along the wall, and the drain itself might see a little less abuse. It seems to me, near the drain is where the floor is most likely to fail.

    Thoughts?
    Scott

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Tadcaster, Yorkshire, UK
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    1,038
    I don't think it really matters where the drains are, though gullys are better than point drains. If you have a really good fall down to the drain, say 5 degrees, not the typical 1 or 2 degree builders seem to like, and not up to the drain as we seem to manage to do so often, then should any cracks appear in the epoxy or between the tiles, as they inevitably will, not much will soak into the main concrete slab. Just make sure any drains are easily accessible for cleaning out the inevitable solids that get swept into them, and fit removeable solids traps.
    dick

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Gorham, Maine
    Posts
    66

    Flooring

    Please pay close attention to the posts as they are correct. The brewery flooring is the most important desicion you can make. Epoxy is probably the best thing going. Great washdown and grip.

    A Great Company is ICS (Industrial Concrete Services) in Gorham, ME. Talk to Bob LaBlanc and tell him I told you. They are excellant at refinishing surfuces and have a ton of options. I have some pictures of the floor as it was being laid if you want to see them. Remember that new concrete must cure. I had to wait 57 days to apply and remember to make sure they cut the floor for structural swelling!

    I like the idea of trench drains on the outer perimeter of the brewhouse. It would save on having to climb behind fermenters to spray the floor down and it would be better to stand in the high spot.

    Cheers!
    Kai Adams
    Sebago Brewing Company
    www.sebagobrewing.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Berlin, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    351

    Re: reverse the fall?

    Originally posted by Sir Brewsalot
    Something else to consider if you're starting from scratch is the direction of "fall" for the floor. The common practice is to have the room drain toward the center. I was wondering if anyone took the opposite approach, and ran trench drains around the wall - or at least behind the brewhouse along the wall.
    I've worked with both kinds of drains, and I definitely like trench drains along the outside edges of the room. Definitely easier to rinse things towards the walls. It's important to be able to get to the drains easily to clean them, though!

    Something else not mentioned yet is how VITAL it is to have the walls sealed from the floors upwards at least a few feet (more is better)! The best waterproof floor, with the best pitch and the best drains aren't worth all that much if water (and wort) get into the walls! I speak from bitter experience!

    Cheers, Tim

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