Shipping container conversions are stealing headlines all over the world especially in UAE. From being bulky boxes of steel to transforming into dainty looking boutiques, cafes, shops and homes, the shipping container is taking on one avatar after another.
There is no question about the sturdiness of shipping containers. But it pays to put in extra effort to reinforce its robustness, especially when it comes to dealing with the container floor. The floor is the only part of the container that takes the real beating. That is why shipping container cafe conversion and other conversions need a bit more revamping.
A little background about shipping container floors
It’s time to get acquainted with the lesser-known part of the shipping container- its floor. The base of the floor is made of ultra-strong steel beams that are connected to the container’s sidewalls. 90% of shipping containers have heavily-treated plywood floors. Measuring around 25mm to 30mm thickness, these marine plywoods are made from tropical hardwoods such as Keruing or Apitong. The plywood planks are placed over the steel beams and manually drilled together.
Why plywood instead of steel? The cargo placed inside the container can dent the steel floor in course of time. Wood is resilient, replaceable and a reasonably affordable option to steel and other metals. After the assembling is done, the entire container is subjected to strict quality examination to pass the ISO standards and specifications. The floor is scrutinized for minute flaws that can actually cause major damage. A small, insignificant crack in the sealing can cause water seepage or encourage pests to make their way inside the container. The flooring has to be flawless or it can compromise the structural safety of the container.
Why do shipping containers require a new floor?
When a retired shipping container undergoes a conversion, the most common question that pops up is whether the flooring needs to be completely replaced or not. Retaining the original flooring is a cost-effective suggestion, but there is no way to guarantee the sturdiness and safety of a floor that has been used for nearly 15 years.
Cargo containers floorings undergo minor or major repairs in shipping yards in between journeys. But with container conversions, it is an entirely different story. The flooring has to match the aesthetics of the new avatar! If your mind is still leaning toward the conventional container plywood floor, you ought to know its disadvantages.
The flipside of using hardwoods such as Keruing and Apitong are many. The number of pesticides that go into protecting them from critters can be extremely harmful. And just imagine the number of trees that would have to be cut down!
But there are excellent flooring options to choose from, depending on the container’s intended use. Let’s explore them.
Brilliant Container Flooring Options For Shipping Container Cafe Conversion And More Ideas
- Bamboo Flooring:Bamboo is a sustainable alternative to plywood. The installation and maintenance are pretty much like the plywood flooring. The original flooring is infused with pesticides to protect the bamboo and the cargo. Although this might seem a little concerning, the pesticide is very negligible in amount and is most harmful only to the critters.
- Wood Vinyl Planks :
Vinyl planks do not require any special modifications for installation. Instead, they are directly drilled onto the original flooring. Vinyl planks are available in an array of colours and customization is a major advantage. They can effectively modify a drab-looking container into a swanky and stylish space. Vinyl planks are popular in shipping container conversions like offices, high-end boutiques and bars. Customized planks can infuse a sense of homely comfort and elegance.
Coin Vinyl Floors:
Coin vinyl floors are restricted only to a few colours, the most popular of them being tan and grey. This flooring is reputed for its water-resistant properties. Besides, it can be easily cleaned and hosed down. Coin vinyl flooring is used for container structures that are converted into bathrooms, greenhouses and offices with heavy foot traffic. Similar to vinyl planks, coin vinyl floors are easy to install, which is another reason for their popularity.
- Epoxy coated flooring
Keeping the original flooring intact with just an epoxy coating is a very basic but cost-effective choice. An epoxy coating is mostly grey in colour. This coating not only provides a protective surface but also makes it slip-resistant. Its smooth glossy finish lends a touch of finesse. There’s more! The epoxy coating acts as an effective sealant for the pesticides used in the original plywood flooring.
While choosing the epoxy, always ensure that it is solvent-free and wood-friendly. Epoxy should be handled by a professional because it is a chemical and it will require additional chemicals during usage. The material can give off harmful fumes during installation, which is why ample ventilation is necessary.
- Steel flooring:
Steel flooring is mostly recommended for containers that are converted for industrial purposes. Steel plates are available in various textures such as smooth finish or tread steel with high traction. Whatever the option, steel flooring is absolutely water-tight and is easy to maintain.
- Flooring underlayment:
Another good alternative to cover the original flooring is a non-breathable flooring underlayment. This requires a little manpower because the underlayment has to be concealed by laying tiles on top of the underlayment. Another option is concrete, but again, this requires a lot of work. The plywoods must be covered with a polythene sheet before the concrete is poured on the original flooring.
Find The Perfect Flooring For Shipping Container Cafe Conversion With Super Tech Industries, UAE
Deciding how to alter your shipping container flooring is entirely your choice. But if you are inexperienced and need expert guidance, there’s no one better than Super Tech Industries, UAE. Our speciality lies in our expertise to create portable offices, homes, stylish cafes and innumerable other conversion ideas with containers. We match your preference for your budget and your specifications. To get a quote on container flooring options, call us on 97165360562.