Green Products Hospitality

Four Factors to Consider When Choosing Restaurant Flooring

by Jason Brubaker

A restaurant’s décor can have nearly as great an impact on the establishment’s success as the menu. Décor is often the first experience customers have with your restaurant, and you want it to create the right impression.

Because the floors are such a large component of the overall décor, it is often the best place to start when planning the appearance of your restaurant. Of course, you should start by knowing the feeling you want to evoke, whether that’s cozy, elegant, hip, casual or something else entirely. Whatever vibe you want to project, there’s a wood floor that can help you achieve it.

Some people mistakenly believe that despite their decorative advantages, wood floors aren’t a good choice for a restaurant floor. Nothing could be further from the truth. Today, high quality infused wood flooring provides beauty, durability and resilience, making them an ideal choice for a restaurant.

Don’t confuse infused wood products with inexpensive laminated flooring. Laminated floors are often made with a thin veneer of wood attached to a backing. Sometimes, laminates are just a plastic image of wood grain applied to plywood, without any of the beauty or durability of real wood.

On the other hand, infused wood flooring products are real wood, with all its natural beauty and the unique grain. If the need ever arises, infused wood floors can be sanded and refinished to restore the natural luster.

Here are four things to consider as you choose flooring for your restaurant.

Ease of Cleaning

Your patrons expect the restaurant to be sparkling clean, and that’s not always easy to achieve. Spills, drips and dropped food or utensils are facts of life in the restaurant business, so you need flooring that is quick and easy to clean.

Acrylic infused wood floors are real wood floors finished with a liquid acrylic and a cured UV urethane/ceramic finish that is extremely durable and easy to clean. With moisture resistant substrates, these real wood floors can stand up to frequent spills without warping or twisting.

While it’s as easy to clean spills and sticky messes from wood floors as it is from tile, the grain pattern in the wood helps to hide small crumbs or tracked in dirt that may occur during the course of a busy evening. These floors can be easily cleaned with a damp mop or a squirt of a Bona floor cleaner to emerge shining and pristine, whether during peak hours or at the end of the day.


Restaurant floors take a beating, with heavy foot traffic as well as spills. You need flooring that can withstand the wear and tear of daily operations for many years to come. You may be surprised to know that real wood floors are extremely durable as well as beautiful. In fact, our infused wood floors are up to three times more durable than other flooring surfaces.

The high quality adhesives used provide moisture resistance, adhesion and no VOC emissions, making them ideal for restaurants and other high traffic areas. Firm marine grade plywood backings help to ensure that the floor stays level and firm, helping to prevent trips and slips while retaining the original beauty of the wood.

In fact, infused wood floors are ADA rated for safety and compliance. Additionally, all our wood floors have modified Rockwell hardness ratings and Janka hardness ratings so you can see for yourself that they are strong enough to stand up to dropped utensils or even larger items without denting or marring the finish. We provide comparisons of the Janka ratings of our infused wood floors to natural untreated wood so you can easily get a sense for how the infusion process helps improve performance without changing the beauty of the wood.

Our infused wood floors are up to 300 percent more dent resistant than standard wood. They can stand up to dropped trays, falling utensils and the slimmest stiletto heels without denting or dings. Our flooring has been rigorously tested for abrasion resistance to meet Taber abrasion resistance 4000+ ratings—the best in the industry. This scrupulous attention to quality helps ensure that that your beautiful infused wood flooring will stay beautiful for years to come.

If your floors ever become worn in high traffic areas, it’s a simple matter to recoat the worn areas using Bona recoat products, which simply mop on to the affected spots. This coating dries quickly, leaving your wood floors as beautiful as the day they were installed.


Nothing compares to the rich elegance and beauty of natural wood. The natural grain provides an understated pattern that enriches any décor, and there are colors and finishes to create any impression you want. Wood reflects light, creating warm and intimate areas that encourage dining and conversation.

Tile is sometimes considered a good surface for a restaurant floor because it is inexpensive and durable, but tile is also slippery and noisy. Tile has an ILC (impact insulation class) rating of 50, which is very low. This means that sound will likely echo and ricochet around a space with tile floors, making conversation uncomfortable or impossible.

Wood absorbs sound better than tile. Most wood or infused wood floors have an ILC rating of 65, meaning they absorb more sounds, and you can increase the sound absorption of wood floors even more by using a sound reduction underlayment. While your patrons may hear the murmur of nearby conversations, they will find it much easier to hear the people in their own parties. Since noise is one of the most frequent complaints from restaurant patrons, so whatever you can do to absorb sound rather than reflect it will help your customers enjoy their experience at your restaurant even more.

Wood flooring provides a rich, elegant feeling to any space, so patrons feel that they are enjoying a higher quality experience. Wood floors come in an almost infinite variety of species and finishes, so you can tailor the effect to reflect your own sensibilities. Light color finishes, for example, project an airy, modern and open feeling, while darker woods and finishes feel more intimate and formal. A simple white oak floor can be finished in a cool finish such as “slightly blue” or pacific gray” to a warmer natural finish. Pronounced wood grains make the floors a weightier design element, while fine grained woods such as maple provide a simple, understated elegance. Truly, wood floors are the chameleons of restaurant design—they can fit into any décor to create an impression of quality and comfort.

Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Most people are concerned about the sustainability of the products they buy and use in their day-to-day lives. They appreciate knowing that the businesses they patronize have the same regard for the environment that they do.

Our acrylic infused wood products are available as FSC Certified by request under license code FSC-C100512. This seal certifies that the wood has been sustainably sourced from ethical harvesters who avoid illegally harvested wood or the use of trees harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights. The wood used does not come from forests where conservation values are threatened by management activities or forests being converted to plantations or non- forest use. It also certifies avoidance of forests where genetically modified trees are planted. In short, it shows concern for the health of the forests and woodlands.

We also carry the PEFC 4 standard. PEFC is the world’s largest forest certification program, which helps to ensure that the entire forest product supply chain adheres to high standards of sustainability.

Infused wood flooring is healthier for the employees and patrons of your restaurant. Our products are certified to meet the stringent California emissions requirements covering VOCs and formaldehyde. LEED certification, governed by the U.S. Green Building Council, covers energy efficiency. It is a highly coveted designation, and one which we are proud to attach to our wood flooring. Our products a are also certified to meet the indoor air quality standards requirements of the Floor Score program of the RFCI (Resilient Floor Covering Institute).

Customers have fickle tastes, and you never want to give them as excuse to turn away from your restaurant. Proudly showing that you care about the environment as much as they do by using real wood flooring means you have one less thing to worry about.

Don’t confuse infused wood products with artificial wood, compressed wood products or cheap laminate that has only a thin layer of real wood. This is real solid wood flooring, infused with acrylics and ceramics to make it more suitable for high traffic areas such as restaurants.

Beauty, durability, sustainability and easy care—real everything you and your customers could want in a restaurant floor. When it’s time to remodel your restaurant, don’t dismiss real wood floors until you’ve considered all the advantages. The investment you make in real wood flooring will last for years, and pay you back in easy care, longevity and happier patrons for as long as you like.