Restaurant Development & Design

JAN-FEB 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • 6 3 an oak wood grain. "Wood-like floors warm it up," Payne says. Easy to maintain, porcelain tile requires daily mopping and that spills are wiped up immediately. At the Slim Chickens locations with porcelain tile floors, the chain contracts with an outside company that comes quarterly for a deeper cleaning. Another plus with porcelain tile: It has little to no wear from traffic patterns. Slim Chickens selected a dark grout because over time, lighter hues can darken. Instead of grout, Payne says, some chains opt for an epoxy, which is fairly impervious to water, "but it's expensive, and the installation can be difficult." Carpeting Carpeting is not the ideal floor covering for a restaurant due to potential spills, McCaul says. It does, however, provide a great acoustical advantage. "A restau- rant is all hard spaces, so bringing in the carpet really brings a level of soft- ness and a sophistication, especially for a higher-end fine-dining restaurant," she explains. An alternative to wall-to- wall carpet is accent rugs, which are easy to remove for cleaning. When selecting a carpet, McCaul suggests looking for those that have stain-resistant finishes and those that can be easily steam cleaned or wiped. Hardwood and Stone Hardwood floors are beautiful — but they're also pricey. And wood is not the easiest material to maintain because it can get nicks and show wear from traffic. Most hardwood floors need sanding or repairing and oiling, usually annually. They also don't provide a lot of traction. "But we love the look of a wooden floor since it ages as the restaurant ages, which gives the space character," says McCaul. "Ceramic tiles would take a long, long time to show any wear. Our go-to is to use something natural if we can so we get that change over time, but we understand clients would like something easy to maintain." Wood flooring also presents the choice of solid wood or engineered wood floors. "Engineered is usually more resilient and more stable, whereas solid wood might flex and wear a little bit," Ardoin says. Engineered wood consists of a thin layer of solid wood placed over plywood. As a result, eventually sanding and refinishing will wear away these floors. The floor's thin layer also makes it susceptible to chips or nicks. Compared with other options, this flooring has limited options from which to choose. On the plus side, engineered woods can be easy to install. Solid wood is the more durable option, and it usually comes in ¾-inch planks compared with ½ inch or less for engineered wood. Of course, some types of tiles can mimic the look of wood without replicating the wear pat- terns that appear over time. McCaul has worked on a number of restaurant projects with stone floors, and while they look beautiful and have a nice wear over time, they require upkeep. Stone floors require periodic treatments to prevent staining. How- ever, "stone brings an authentic nature to restaurants, and for some people, it can be reminiscent of travel," she adds. MMA Flooring For its kitchens, Slim Chickens uses methyl methacrylate (MMA) flooring, an acrylic and quartz product that looks like concrete that's been left rough in its finish. It comes in a variety of colors. The chain opted for a deep red, both for aesthetics because that hue doesn't change or yellow over time and because it functions well. Simple to maintain, MMA floor- ing requires daily brushing with a mild detergent and doesn't require any deep cleaning beyond that, Payne says. And due to its integrated base, water can't get between the floor and the wall or the subfloor. Flooring was an important element in creating three distinct zones at Proxi: dining room, lounge and bar. The engineered wood floor of the dining area gives way to concrete patterned tile in the bar area.

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