Flooring Healthcare Article Architect

Joints and junctions are the weakest parts of floors in industrial environments. They are exposed to similar stresses as the floor itself, but also must accommodate possible movement in the structure or between building components. It is ideal to provide surfaces with hygienic, jointless connections.

Damaged Joints or Junctions - A Hygienic Risk

Normally, joint materials are elastic and also show lower resistance against mechanical and chemical stresses than the flooring material. These joints are most apparent between different components (e.g. drains, gullies), between floors and walls and around columns and entrances.  Damaged, leaking and worn out joints allow dirt and bacteria to harbor.

In general, joints and details make daily cleaning and maintenance more difficult and time-consuming when compared to seamless flooring. Building owners and managers often agree that joints and details are their biggest, most expensive problem when dealing with their current flooring system.

Cracked joint in a healthcare facility

Hygienic, Jointless Junctions are Key

Seamless Floor Hospital

It is ideal in food and beverage facilities to provide surface solutions with hygienic, jointless connections. Sika provides liquid-applied flooring system solutions which cure to provide a completely seamless, smooth floor without cracks, gaps or joints.

Unique advantages with jointless hygienic junctions provided by Sika products include:

easy to clean and maintain
long term durability
good aesthetic appearance

Nowhere for Dirt to Hide

Sikafloor® flooring systems and Sikagard® wall coating systems do not support the growth of bacteria or fungus. As anti-microbial coatings, such products prevent the growth of bacteria on the surface thanks to the material constitution and lack of joint crevices. Because they are completely seamless, there are no hiding places for dirt and bacteria. Thus, it is easier and faster to clean and maintain a hygienic environment. 

Seamless Decorative Floor of a healthcare institute

Floor Joints Done Right

Sika FloorJoint concrete prefabricated panel installed in warehouse floor joint

However, there is no way to prevent all the joints in floors. The concrete substrate is subject to shrinkage during its initial cure period, as well as temperature change causes slight expansion or contraction. These forces may cause movement in the structure and between different building parts.

Since the joints are the most susceptible areas in flooring applications, the proper planning and design of a floor joint, has to be performed with specific precautions to prevent the future damage. Sika® FloorJoint and Sikaflex® sealing solutions for floor joints are designed to hygienically seal surfaces, with specific joint movement and mechanical wear resistance from traffic and structural movement.

Water, aggressive cleaning agents and sanitizers used in food and beverage processing facilities also can impact the durability of floor joint sealants. Therefore, they must have suitable mechanical strength, chemical resistance and excellent adhesion. Precise requirements are dependent on the function and location of the respective joints.

Critical Joints and Details

Sika flooring experts provide tailored detail drawings and advice for joint sealing solutions according to each unique situation. Here are some examples of general details that Sika can provide, depending on your project needs.

Sika floor detail Sikafloor® PurCem® drainage channel

An example of a Sika floor detail at a drainage channel with Sikafloor® PurCem®

Drainage Channel Detail

As shown in the detail drawing above, the drainage channel detail using Sikaflex® joint sealing helps with thermal exposure and dynamic loading.

Sika floor detail Sikafloor® PurCem® coving at floor to wall joint connection

An example of a Sika floor detail at a coving connection between floor to wall with Sikafloor® PurCem®

Coving Detail at Floor to Wall Transition

As shown in the detail drawing above, the radius cove is a standard Sika detail which is free of joints and makes a practically maintenance-free, smooth curve transition.

Such coving is required at the floor to wall connection and other horizontal to vertical junctions in food processing areas.

Sika floor detail Sikafloor® PurCem® drainage gully

An example of a Sika floor detail at a drainage gully with Sikafloor® PurCem®

Drainage Gully Detail

For gullies and drainage outlets, general details like shown above are ideal for the connection between the gully and surrounding floor area.

Sika FloorJoint concrete prefabricated panel installed in hospital floor joint

An example of a floor movement joint with Sika® FloorJoint installed

Floor Joint Condition

For movement joints in floors, for example between a freezer and production area, Sika has a new innovative floor joint profile solution Sika® FloorJoint, which can be seamlessly connected to any Sikafloor® resin flooring system and can be made watertight when combined with the Sikadur® Combiflex SG system.

Sika Expert - Ari Tanttu

Ari Tanttu
Market Development Manager
Target Market Flooring
Sika Services AG