Replacing a commercial kitchen ceilingBack
When you compare the lifetime cleaning costs of a busy commercial kitchen with the small extra capital expenditure for a high-performance finish, the cost is quickly justified.
Daily cooking vapours deposit fat and other airborne food residue on kitchen surfaces constantly. The build-up has to be regularly removed to meet food safety licences, which is difficult unless you have a hard, high-gloss surface.
A smooth versus a porous surface
Imagine cleaning grease off a white enamelled fridge door. Now imagine cleaning grease off painted plasterboard. The difference is clear. However, it’s surprising the number of commercial kitchens that have a poor-performing ceiling finish.
Waikato Hospital faced this problem with its commercial kitchen: the existing ceiling was an office mineral tile, which was very time-consuming and difficult to maintain to the required standard. Project manager Hatish Padharia researched suitable replacement tiles and settled on the Fenta Ceiling Tile – a UV-cured primed tile based on a 4.5mm James Hardie cement board. Shortly, Fenta will move to a 100% UV coating system.
Easy to clean and durable
The hard, non-scratch surface of the Fenta tile requires a simple cleaning routine ¬– approximately every two months, it is wiped down with a soft sponge and standard detergent to remove grease build-up. Not only easy to maintain and hygienic, the tiles will also look clean for years to come with their bright, gloss-white surface.
Going from a mineral tile to a hard fibre cement tile meant the space had more acoustic reverberation, a change the staff adjusted to over a few weeks.
Under the circumstances, installing a new ceiling might have proved difficult. After all, as Hatish explains, ‘it was an operating kitchen and had to be done after hours under strict controls.’ But the job went smoothly. ‘We reused the same grid, so it was an easy tile swap and also meant we could keep the kitchen in operation throughout. We didn’t change the lighting, but the space was instantly brighter due to the shiny white tiles. It’s been in for twelve months now, and has proved a very suitable finish.’
Fire retardant properties
Fenta Ceiling Tiles meet the maximum New Zealand Building Code Fire Safety Standard – Code 1-S. They also meet the New Zealand requirements for non-sprinkler environments.