Archive for December 2014

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Non-Slip Vs. Cleanability for Concrete Flooring


So you’ve decided it’s time to make a change from traditional flooring like tile or sheet vinyl to something more rugged and modern: a concrete floor coating. This is becoming an increasingly more popular move as the trend towards modern and expansive flooring increases.

A question that is always coming up is: How do I create a surface that is safer by being less slippery but also still relatively easy to maintain and clean?commercial parking garage polyaspartic

The short answer is: you can’t. The lack of grout lines in a seamless floor coupled with the fact that coatings are close pored leads to a slippery surface. The best (but not the only) way to achieve non-slip in a coating is to add sand aggregate to the finish coats.

The draw back in doing this is that the floor becomes so textured that it can be difficult to clean. In an outdoor facing environment or shop the floor can certainly be power washed and scrubbed. However, in an indoor space such as a commercial kitchen or residential basement, how can a non-slip surface be achieved without the loss of being easy to clean?

Consider the fact that not all seamless surfaces are the same slipperiness. Satin urethanes can be used as a top coat over epoxy and some poly based coatings and sealants. These satin products have “bulking” or “dulling” agents added to them. While their main purpose is to reduce sheen, they are also less slippery. This is a good way to go for residential or commercial spaces where more abrasion resistance is needed and slip resistance is required. However, in water immersed conditions, this is not the best choice.

Keep in mind, floors that get wet sometimes (think store entrances in winter) can do quite well for slip resistance with just satin urethane. Car wash bays for example though will require an aggressive sand texture.

Another option, more for commercial environments, is a Thixotropic texture. This is a product that cures with a deliberate orange peel texture. It’s smooth enough to squeegee yet provides enough variety in surface texture for water displacement under foot and even some more traction for vehicle traffic.

No matter what environment you are considering a concrete coating for, always do your research and visit jobs sites prior to making your decision. It’s always possible to add more non-slip texture to a floor, in the future, taking it away is another process all together.

If you have any questions about the non-slip nature or cleanability of concrete flooring, contact us and we can help!

The Truth About Abrasion and Impact Resistance in Concrete Flooring


Concrete floors are known well for their abrasion resistance and impact resistance. There are however some myths that we should lay to rest prior to you making an investment in concrete flooring for your particular needs and in your particular environment.

First, let’s talk about impact resistance. Impact resistance is achieved typically via the density and angular nature of aggregates used in a concrete topping. Regular liquid applied coatings do not provide high impact resistance without aggregates in the mix.

By adding aggregates to the mix, impact is then spread across many different angles within the aggregate resin mix.

Instead of energy created from a blow or an impact going directly in the direction of the drop, impact is disrupted, broken down and spread across rigid aggregates thereby breaking the level of force that makes it to the bottom of the coating. This drastically reduces the possibility of concrete sealers and coatings popping off the floor or divots being created in the work surface.

While some liquid applied coatings and cementitious overlays are more impact resistant than others, without using some form of aggregate, whether it be sand or small stones, then layering those aggregates inside a resinous, cementitious or polymer-based material, impact resistance cannot be achieved at its maximum level.

If the environment in which you are going to be needing a floor is one where tools getting dropped and equipment or containers such as impact wrenches beer kegs etc. is a frequent risk, the only way to go is with a rich blend of stacked aggregates and a top coat sealer.

Cross section of a polyurethane cement aggregate matrix is designed for use in high impact zones like garbage rooms and manufacturing floors.

abraison reistant concrete custom concrete floors ottawa

On to abrasion resistance. Like in other markets, like watches for example, there are many specific terms used loosely by most unfortunately. Resistant and Proof are 2 such terms.

 

There really isn’t a scratch proof floor in existence. Anything softer than a surface but still sharp can cut that surface. The better term is certainly resistant.

 

With concrete floor systems, the most resistant surface is polished concrete. There are top coats for epoxy and polyaspartic coatings polyurethanes that make them less likely to scratch. Also, these top coats tend to be less glossy which will in turn lead to a floor that will show scratches less as well, since there is little gloss difference to show off the scratches.

 

Talk to your concrete flooring expert about your specific environments needs in order to find the best mix of impact and abrasion resistance.