Each state has its own Health Department specifications for food preparation areas. You will need to touch base with your local Health Department before starting your food preparation area to get approval for the materials and system you will use.
Your Health Department inspector will want a smooth, easy to clean surface which is continuous down your walls and curving on to your floor. Most departments want at least a 4 inch cove up the wall and with as small a lip at the top of your flooring as possible. The transition from the wall to the floor should have at least a ¼ inch concave curve but can be wider as needed. The floor and the cove should show no breaks and there should be no pockets for dirt to accumulate in. Epoxy is called for as a coating and most specifications do not call for a specific mil thickness. Be sure to read the code requirements, as many inspectors will ask for thickness that is more than specified and can become quite expensive. 100% solid epoxy floors usually go on at about 10 mils thick per coat while solvents or water based epoxies leave about 3 mil per coat.
Preparation is key to getting good value out of your floor. If done well your floor should last 10 or 12 years. However, if preparation problems occur your coating can be lifting and peeling in 6 months.
After preparation comes the exciting part which is making your walls and floor integrate together to encapsulate the surfaces with epoxy floor seal. For very rough surfaces with holes, craggy stone or cement, 100% epoxy may be needed. With a gloved hand mix the grout material to a peanut butter consistence. (About 4 to 1 with water) Press the grout into the corner where your wall meets your floor. Use a putty knife or paint stir stick to pack the grout into the corner making a 45 degree angle between the two with the grout. Next, pull your thumb or a curved tool along the grout to create a slight curve. Remove excess grout from above and below the new grout. You can do the same with the holes and cracks in your floor until the floor is basically level. Once the grout has been down for 30 minute to an hour use a broom to sweep off the excess. This brooming will help smooth it into shape and remove some of the grout crumbs that will be inevitable. Let the grout set for an hour or more depending on your schedule. Once the grout is dry enough that it can no longer be shaped by brooming then you can screen or brush your floor. Screening uses a 60 grit screen and a rotary scrubber to level the floor and remove excess material. A black pad or bristle brush could also be used. Sweep up the debris and then roll down your coatings. For a straight line above your cove apply at least 4 inch blue painters tape above the wall intersection with the floor. Be sure to pull the tape as you coat the area so the epoxy does not glue it to the wall and make it difficult to remove.
After your first coat cures re-apply grout to any areas that are not the shape you want them to be. You do not have to wait for the grout to fully dry. You can coat over the grout as soon as you wish without changing its shape with your roller and brush. For your second coat re-tape and screen the surface with a 60-grit screen before your second coat. Once screened be sure to sweep up all derbies that could get into your second coat. It often helps to vacuum the corners.
This is a two-coat process so don't be worried if you see your coating sinking out of sight or sagging on the first coat. Allow each coat to cure 15 hours.
Durall Industrial Flooring supplies kits of materials that are customized to owner specification and delivered directly to the job site. Kits include full directions and 24/7 help lines staffed by seasoned flooring experts, so professionals and amateurs alike can successfully install a quality floor.