Kolpak Walk-in Floor Options

Kolpak has been providing quality walk-in refrigeration since 1969, and has been part of Welbilt (formerly Manitowoc) since 1995. The company’s PolarPak series offers ready-to-ship walk-ins, which only come in specific sizes and configurations. However, if you decide to go with a custom box, it is important to consider which type of flooring will best fit your needs.

Floorless

Because of the increased cost, many operators question if floors are a necessary component of their walk-in coolers. Your unit may not require a floor if it is a refrigerator and installed on-grade, meaning directly on the ground floor, with no open space underneath, including basements and crawl spaces. If your walk-in fits those parameters, you may be able to install it directly on the concrete slab. In these instances, vinyl or metal U-shaped channels called screeds may be fastened to the floor to secure the wall panels to the floor and provide additional insulation.

However, in most cases, a floor will be necessary. For instance, if your walk-in unit is a freezer, it will always require a floor regardless of the installation location.

Floor Types

Foot Traffic

The most basic type of walk-in floor available from Kolpak is designed for foot traffic only. This floor can withstand as much as 700 pounds per square foot (psf), and is not intended to handle rolling cart traffic of any kind. This floor is constructed from a single layer of aluminum or steel over foamed-in-place insulation.

The available finishes for the foot traffic floor are:

  • .100 smooth aluminum
  • .100 diamond tread plate aluminum
  • .125 diamond tread plate aluminum
  • 16-gauge stainless steel
  • 16-gauge galvanized steel (not NSF approved)

Rolling Cart Traffic

This floor option consists of a 12-inch underlayment of plywood and a 316-inch metal overlay, which is offered in smooth or diamond tread. This floor can handle light rolling traffic, heavy foot traffic, and as much as 1,000 psf of stationary load.

The available finishes for the rolling cart traffic floor include:

  • .100 smooth aluminum
  • 16-gauge stainless steel
  • 16-gauge galvanized steel (not NSF approved)

Structural Floor

The structural floor is the most heavy-duty floor available for a Kolpak walk-in cooler, suitable for heavy stationary loads and hand-operated pallet jacks. Structural floors can support as much as 15,000 psf of a stationary load and 5,000 psf of a mobile load. This floor is not intended for use with electric pallet jacks or forklifts. The floor is supported by a 34-inch-thick plywood underlayment, a 316-inch-thick metal overlay, and metal reinforcement built into the foamed-in-place insulation beneath the underlayment.

The finishes available for the structural floor are:

  • .100 smooth aluminum
  • 16-gauge stainless steel
  • 16-gauge galvanized steel (not NSF approved)

Overlays

Another floor option available from Kolpak is an overlay. An overlay is a metal layer installed over the top of the walk-in's floor that provides extra support and stability. These are often used to increase the weight limit for the floor, which can be necessary for uses like beer coolers loaded with heavy kegs. An overlay can be planned as part of a walk-in's initial floor design to add strength, or it can be used to lay new flooring into an older walk-in. Overlays are available in 18-, 316-, and 14-inch-thick sheets in smooth or diamond tread aluminum, and can be field-installed into any walk-in. However, it is important to note that walk-in cooler floors with overlays cannot earn NSF approval because of the additional screws and screw holes that can provide breeding grounds for bacteria. That means food must be stored in its original packaging in a unit with an overlay.