Ric Pleis headshotQ&A with Ric Pleis, national market segment manager-hospitality

Altro floors + walls have been in continuous operation for over 100 years and continue to develop and innovate flooring and wall cladding for the commercial kitchen and back-of-house environments. Since the pandemic began, restaurant and hospitality entities have had to adapt to a new version of normal. Altro has responded to these changes with new product innovations and additional technical adaptations.

One example of these changes is the introduction of ghost kitchens and temporary cooking kitchens to accommodate a take-out/delivery business model. Product innovations such as Altro’s adhesive-free commercial flooring make for a quick and easy flooring installation. New system accessories for self-coving and drain detailing also contribute to a fast-paced construction schedule.

Altro flooring in kitchen
Altro flooring in kitchenUnlike other floors with topically applied slip resistant particles, Altro’s safety flooring technology, with aggregate throughout, is designed to maintain its slip resistance throughout the life of the product.

Q: What creates a complete floor and wall solution for commercial kitchens? 

Ric Pleis: Simply put, it’s the entire system that Altro has created. Safety flooring was invented by Altro some 60+ years ago and has curated a vast array of complete system accessories for floor drains, equipment drains, trench drains, clean-outs, transitions, self-coving trims, water resistant adhesives and sanitary caulking. Additionally, our technical department continuously works to achieve the most watertight quality installations through testing and advanced training programs for our competent floor installation contractor partners. 

Q: What kind of drains and/or detailing is required for a successful quality commercial kitchens flooring install?

RP: As they say “the devil is in the details”. Altro has the answers with our system accessories for every detailed situation. Standard square drains and trench drains should be detailed with a product accessory called a Gulley Edge or a Gulley Angle, both of which are embedded and adhered into a cut in the concrete by the flooring installer and heat welded to the flooring. Round drains should be specified as a clamping style or if existing strainer covers are used, they can be modified to fasten the flooring material under the cover plate. Detailing for the transition between the flooring and wall cladding is equally important, Altro has product accessories for that, as well. The goal here is to again create a watertight joint where water cannot intrude in or behind the floor or wall material.

Q: How does correct detailing aid in a hygienic flooring application? 

RP: In addition to the system accessories, Altro requires that all seams and self-coved corners be heat welded. Unlike tile where grout lines collect dirt, germs and bacteria, the heat welding process hygienically seals out any moisture, germs or fungi from growing in or around the Altro safety flooring edges. When performed correctly heat welding creates a seamless watertight flooring installation.

Q: Can you use Altro flooring in a walk-in freezer? 

RP: Yes, Altro Stronghold 3.0mm safety flooring can be used in all commercial kitchen and back-of-house flooring applications including walk-in refrigerators/freezers, dishwashing stations, all food prep areas, food storage areas and restrooms with exception where unprotected ovens or steam kettles exist.