March 9, 2016

What’s in store for the future of supermarket flooring?

Peeling vinyl flooring has become a hygiene headache throughout the seafood sections of major Australian supermarket chains. Not only is it a health and safety hazard, aesthetics of the flooring have been dragging down the look and feel of the space. With a brand new supermarket soon to be built, the developer was in hot pursuit of a better solution that could solve these problems from the get-go, and potentially be rolled-out as a replacement solution throughout Australia.

Developers of the new supermarket in western Sydney were aware of condensation and hygiene issues being noted at other stores. Condensation from refrigerators and water from melted ice was seeping between the seams of vinyl, causing the vinyl glue to erode and the flooring to bubble and lift.  

According to Ludvik Kovacic, Managing Director at Hychem, this is a common problem and over time can result in a trip hazard, and become a breeding ground for bacteria.

“The seams created when installing vinyl flooring cannot be effectively cleaned so over time liquid will begin to seep through.

“Bacteria then grows in moist seams, creating a significant hygiene issue, especially within the food industry.

“Vinyl peeling away creates an uneven surface, which is a trip hazard for customers and workers passing through the store.

“Condensation from freezers dripping onto the vinyl also reduces its slip resistance.

“Aesthetically, a peeling floor is also not something you want to see while you stand at the seafood counter, ready to purchase a fresh piece of fish,” said Mr Kovacic, “so this was another major consideration for the supermarket.”

The solution

Hychem’s Viasol Elastic SKY flooring solution was chosen for the new site, as it provides a seamless finish, can be used around fall downs to drains and has a high R11 slip resistance rating when wet.

“Hychem’s Viasol Elastic SKY is trowel applied meaning that there are no joins present to harbour bacteria. This makes it easy to clean and resilient to peeling or damage beneath the surface.

“With no need to source additional materials to create fall downs to drains, cost savings are an additional bonus.

“Coming in a range of colours, it gets the tick of approval in terms of flooring aesthetics.”

According to Mr Kovacic, the applicators working to install the new product were impressed with its benefits and found it very easy to apply. They were also pleased with its fast, yet effective cure time, with the project completed within three days.

The possibility of a future rollout

According to Mr Kovacic, following the expected success of the flooring holding up to the tough environment in the new supermarket, the supermarket is highly likely to roll the new material out throughout their seafood sections of stores across NSW.

Mr Kovacic said although the product was new on the Australian market, as a German created product, it had been successfully used for the past decade throughout Western Europe.

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