Bar floors typically have to endure huge amounts of foot traffic and, as anyone who has visited a bar will testify, are not treated with any great respect by the clientele. They are subject to spillages of food and drink and possibly breakages of glass, so must, in the first instance, be hard-wearing and easy to clean. Above and beyond that, they should be resistant to stains, slip resistant and comfortable for bars staff and customers to stand, or walk, on for prolonged periods of time. Popular bar floor materials therefore include stone, ceramic tiling, reclaimed timber, such as oak and rubber.
Bar Floors & Under Floor Heating
From an economic point of view, it is important that the heating system in a bar occupies as little space as possible. After all, the more space that is occupied by, say, central heating radiators, the less there is for customers and staff. Traditional central heating radiators are not only bulky, but aesthetically unpleasing and can present a burn hazard if operated incorrectly.
Under floor heating, on the other hand, is completely hidden beneath the surface of the floor and takes up no floor or wall space. It also operates at a lower temperature than radiator systems and so can produce energy savings of between 15% and 40%, with no loss of comfort and without risk to customers or staff. The fact that under floor heating heats a room from beneath, by radiation and convection, rather than heating the air at the sides of the room, which then rises to heat ceiling void first, means that the temperature gradient created is likely to be far more amenable, as far as customers are concerned.
Electric under floor heating, in the form of loose heating cables, or heating mats, where heating cable is woven into a tough, fibreglass mesh, is ideal for installation beneath bar floors. It can be installed, unobtrusively, beneath a variety of floor coverings without digging up the existing floor, making it suitable for renovation, or retrofit, projects.
Heating mats can be rolled out onto the subfloor of large areas, while heating cables can be used in smaller, or irregularly-shaped, areas. Stone or ceramic are naturally the best thermal conductors, but heating mats and cables are available in a range of output wattages, typically between 100W/m2 ("Watts per square metre") and 200W/m2, so that under floor heating can be installed successfully and safely, beneath vinyl or rubber flooring, wood, or even carpet.