Setting Up a Commercial Grow Room Floor

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Setting Up a Commercial Grow Room Floor

In the process of building out cannabis cultivation facilities, setting up the perfect grow room flooring is one of the first and most important steps toward creating an easy to clean, highly reflective, and sanitary environment that meets all of the building codes and state agency requirements. 

Even as a home grower, getting the perfect floor install done can do wonders for your indoor garden creating ideal conditions for moisture resistance, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, and UV resistance.

In today’s highly competitive cultivation industry, achieving high yields of high-quality cannabis plants is critical to success. Whether you want to optimize your at-home indoor garden or start your commercial grow room operation, our grow room floor tips can help any cannabis growing facility, big or small, create perfect indoor environments

Setting Up a Commercial Grow Room Floor - Growing Exposed

In the process of building out cannabis cultivation facilities, setting up the perfect grow room flooring is one of the first and most important steps toward creating an easy to clean, highly reflective, and sanitary environment that meets all of the building codes and state agency requirements. 

Why Grow Room Flooring Is So Important

 If you’re looking to optimize your production facilities, you need to overcome the common challenges of your facility’s subfloor, whether it’s concrete, wood, tile, or another construction material. Leaving your subfloor bare can pose many challenges to growing cannabis.

For instance, concrete, the most common substrate used, is naturally porous allowing for the absorption of moisture and liquids. Leaving the floors untreated can eventually seep through the floor and contaminate the soil and groundwater.

In addition, you have to worry about moisture vapor transmission (MVT) if the under-slab vapor barrier is damaged during construction. Moisture vapor under the concrete floor slab can naturally rise and cause the floor coating to bubble or blister.

The right floor room coating can protect the concrete underneath with its durable and abrasion and chemical resistant structure. In addition, it can provide slip resistance for better traction and help reduce the risk of spreading and growth of microbes, pathogens, and fungi.

In terms of commercial flooring needs, state and local guidelines for cannabis grow facilities may require them to meet similar industry standards to those in the food and beverage processing and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries.

Floors must be durable, smooth, and non-absorbent, so they are easy to clean. In addition, the floor should properly slope towards a drain for proper drainage and proper clean-up. A resinous floor coating system can provide the necessary wall base and seamless build to meet strict requirements.

Resinous floor coating provides a seamless flooring surface that is impenetrable for fluids and chemicals and easy to clean. During the installation, wall bases eliminate 90-degree angles to reduce puddling and leakage.

A floor coating with thermal shock resistance ensures the regular steam cleaning of floors doesn’t affect the integrity of the coat. Low thermal-shock-resistant floors may develop cracks leading to areas where microbes, bugs, and fungi can grow.

Finally, the right type of floor with a highly reflective surface can improve the lighting efficiency of your indoor garden and increase your yields over time. Completely white and highly reflective floor surfaces can help light bounce back to the underside of leaves and reach every angle of the canopy for deeper light penetration and reduced energy costs.

Grow Room Flooring Installation Timeline

One of the best and most exciting parts about installing a grow room floor is how fast the installation time can be.

Floor coatings can be installed in a single day.

For more complex coatings that require additional layers, installation can take 2 to 3 days max, primarily for the best dry time and bonding time.

Cannabis Grow room floors

Site Preparation

The first step of installing a floor room coating is evaluating the grow room facility.

Consider the following factors when planning out your renovation or new install in your grow space:

  • Square footage
  • Subfloor/substrate (cement, wood, tile, etc)
  • Budget
  • Desired growing environment

Based on these considerations, a professional installation contractor will recommend the ideal floor coating for you.

Floor Preparation

After the site evaluation, the work can begin.

The surface preparation requirements depend on the type of substrate used. The proper preparation ensures that the coating will bond efficiently.

Above all, the subfloor must be level to maintain its structural integrity.

During the process, installers will address any flooring imperfections and repairs such as cracks and moving joints. Addressing this first ensures the top coating doesn’t crack.

Concrete

Generally, most grow room renovations will deal with concrete floors. When working with concrete surfaces, however, you must consider the challenges of keeping them dry and clean. Concrete may require mechanical preparation involving light grinding or shot blasting before coating.

Wood 

Wood subfloors can also suffer from moisture problems since they can absorb humidity and kick up dust if not properly sealed. During its preparation, the seams must be caulked to avoid leaking of the coating.

 

Tile

A less common subfloor, tile, can be coated but first may require grinding down as much of the tile as possible. Without preparation, it can be too slippery when wet, which affects worker safety. Its grout lines can attract moisture, dirt, and mold.

 

Coating Material

Once the surface has been prepared, it’s time to apply the resin floor coating. Most resinous flooring systems are long-lasting and won’t emit any harsh chemicals that can affect the health of the plant and the workers.

 

In some cases, installers may broadcast chips or flakes onto the coating for slip-resistance and looks. Finally, a topcoat above the base coat provides the ultimate protection and seal.

 

Now, there are many floor coating systems to choose from, each with unique pros and cons and varying prices, functions, durability, and versatility.

Floor Coating Requirements

Generally, coatings must have the following characteristics for high industrial performance:

  • Waterproof
  • Antistatic
  • Non-absorbent
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antibacterial
  • Slip-resistant
  • Durable 
  • Impact-resistant
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Highly reflective
  • Thermal-shock resistant

Epoxy

 

Epoxy flooring is a type of resinous coating is made up of equal parts epoxide resin and polyamine hardener. After application over the substrate, the coating is left to dry for at least 24 hours. When properly bonded, it offers superior abrasion and impact resistance.

 

High-quality epoxy coating is non-porous so humidity, fertilizer mixtures, and other harsh solvents won’t seep through. Plus, it’s resistant to abrasion may also be topped with chips or colored sands for aesthetic purposes in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Urethane Cement

Urethane cement, also known as polymer concrete, is another popular option composed of a polymer binder (urethane) and fillers (cement) that can be applied over epoxy as a top layer for a superior seal against heat and moisture.

 

Urethane can also be installed without an epoxy base coat found in a hybrid floor coating right onto the concrete subfloor. These super hygienic coating systems are especially known for being resistant to high temperatures and chemicals, as well as heavy wear.

 

Polyurea

Polyurea is an organic polymer made from combining an isocyanate and resin blend components. While it may feel rubbery, it won’t feel like epoxy but it will be durable enough for your grow room. Polyurea is beloved for its high-gloss finish to reflect light. Its also resistant to chemicals, stains, and high heat.

 

Acrylic

Acrylic is a common polymer coating although not as popular or durable as epoxy. However, it can resist certain weak acids, solvents, alkalis, and minor abrasions. In addition, acrylic has a low-glare finish. On the downside, it is very flammable and smelly, so consider installing the proper ventilation and safety precautions.

 

Polyaspartic

Polyaspartic coatings are the newest coating types originally created in the 1990s to protect steel from corrosion. Today, they are found in many commercial flooring systems. They have been prized for their low or no VOC chemical off-gassing.

 

Polyaspartic resins offer some of the best protection and efficiency. They are extremely durable and resistant against impact, abrasions, scratches, chemicals, and UV. Best of all, they offer quicker drying times than epoxy or polyurethane coatings. They’re also resistant to higher temperatures compared to the most popular coatings.

finished product grow room flooring

Installation

Proper site evaluation and surface preparation are the most important parts of a complete application process. Allowing the coating to properly cure between layers will be the difference between a rushed and perfect finished floor that lasts for decades.

 

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