Category: Concrete Floors

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The Concrete Crack Repair Process Explained


It’s a common misconception that if there are cracks in a concrete surface, you need to replace the slab entirely. Sometimes, an expert might recommend that you replace a large section of the concrete floor if the crack is long enough and deep enough, but you rarely need to replace the entire floor. At Custom Concrete Floors, we only recommend a full replacement when there are deep structural issues to be addressed.

Concrete crack repair can be a quick and easy process and the results will last for a long time if it’s done by a skilled and careful hand.

The Concrete Crack Repair Process ExplainedPolished concrete ottawa crack repair

The first step is to examine the crack and determine the reason why it exists. As mentioned earlier, some cracks might be an indicator that something’s wrong with the structure. Applying a concrete patch is one of the simplest ways to handle concrete crack repair.

  • We first chisel out the crack, creating a backward angle cut. The depth of this is determined by the depth of the cracks. It’s important not to dig too deep or it’ll weaken the concrete and damage it.
  • We then clear away any debris using a wire brush. In some instances we use a portable drill that has a wire wheel attachment. The idea is to remove all debris from the surface; otherwise the concrete crack repair work won’t stick.
  • A thin layer of bonding adhesive will then be applied to the crack. Here we are careful to cover all areas of the crack. The adhesive would ensure that the repair material doesn’t become loose over time.
  • At this stage, we mix a vinyl-enforced patching compound and it will be carefully filled it into the crack before feathering the repair surface with the trowel. We ensure that the surface is completely smooth and even, or it might develop cracks later on.

In case of large concrete crack repair, we first chisel out the cracks and clean the debris as mentioned above. After that, sand will be poured into the crack and it will be packed lightly. We then prepare a sand-mix concrete, add a concrete fortifier to it and pour the mixture into the crack. The surface will then be smoothed and allowed to cure for a while before it can be used.

If you need more information, or want a free, no-obligation quote, call Custom Concrete Floors at 613 327 9127. You can also fill in this contact us form and we’re reply as soon as possible.

 

 

DIY Polished Concrete Floors or Hire a PRO?


Polished concrete floors are gaining popularity all the time. Unfortunately, the knowledge needed for creating a beautiful finish via polishing concrete, is not being well imparted to the DIY crowd. The equipment needed is also not readily available. Even when you can get your hands on it, it requires weeks of training and years of experience to make a concrete floor shine using grinding and polishing equipment and techniques.
custom concrete flooring ottawa floor preparation
Polishing concrete requires a extremely heavy head weight machine, chemical processes best left to pros and a keen eye and touch for problems that present themselves later in the process, when it’s too late to do anything about it, other than starting over.
The most common mistake we see with DIY polishers and inexperienced contractors is, the “swirl mark devastation.”

Polishing is the process of scratching a surface with progressively finer and finer grits until the area is so scratched on a microscopic level that it reflects light in all directions.

When a inexperienced person polishes a floor, they may not see that the tooling, techniques or equipment they are using may be causing scratches that they won’t notice until very late in the process. Once these scratches start to show their ugly little faces, the stage reached in polishing is far too fine to remove these scratches, leading the operator to have to start over.

It is common to hear people say, polishing concrete is simple, you just rent a machine at the hardware store and some sanding pads and polish it. This not only doesn’t work, it will make a professionals job even more costly should the DIY person need to hire someone to fix it.

Another advantage to a PRO vs a DIY: Pros have dust collection equipment. If you are DIYing, you’ll most certainly find yourself in a dust cloud.

Contact us today, we’ll point you in the right direction and get the job finished the right way. 

The Various Types Of Polished Concrete Flooring


The Various Types Of Polished Concrete (and their close cousins, the exposed aggregate clear coat floor)The term “polished concrete” gets thrown around a lot. Let’s look at what polished concrete really is vs. some other floors that are not polished concrete but are often referred to as such.
TopLine Polish custom concrete floors in ottawa
Polished Concrete. What is it? The process of polishing anything can be explained in a very technical manner, we’ll explain it very quickly: to scratch something over and over again with progressively finer and finer grits, until it shines. The reason it shines is that there are so many scratches on a microscopic level that every angle that could catch a light source exists within the surface. The end result is that light is reflected in all directions, creating a shine.There are a few ways to end up with a polished concrete floor, but not all are the same. Let us explain:Traditional Polished Concrete. We call it “TopLine Polish“:

1) First the floor is honed. This means the surface is removed, a business card thick layer, and what’s uncovered is smoothed out via the grinding process. This exposes smaller aggregates, AKA “fines” as well as some of the larger stones, where there are high spots in the floor.
2) Next, the floor is chemically treated to harden it.
3) Next, the floor is polished with progressively finer diamond segments
4) Finally the floor is sealed and burnished.This process yields a more consistent sheen with some random aggregate exposure in the beige/brown tones. It’s great for those who want a more finished look.If you are more into the wet concrete look of polished concrete, a no grind polish may be for you. We call it “Cream Polish“:
The Cream Polished Concrete Flooring Process
This process is much like the above, however, more attention and time is placed on the existing surface of the slab and less on removing it. The existing surface is lightly abraded but not removed. Then the polishing process begins and usually, the polish is brought to a higher sheen prior to sealing and burnishing. This process results in a wet concrete look in the grey tones. This is a more natural wet look.polished concrete floors ottawa
The EcoPolish Concrete Flooring Process
Finally, the imitation polish. This is not to say it’s bad, it’s actually much better for some environments.This process, we call it “EcoPolish” is the process of grinding and honing just as we do for the traditional polish, however instead of polished, hardening and sealing afterwards, we coat the floor with epoxy and an optional top coat of urethane. This is recommended for any high traffic areas that will be exposed to a lot of moisture and winter de-icing salts because unlike regular polished concrete, it is not porous.EcoPolish is also the ‘go to’ floor for those looking for a deeper colour and more consistent feel under foot.No matter which of the above three options you choose, you’ll love the lack of grout lines and ease of cleaning that concrete floors afford you.

For more information about these various types of polished concrete floors. Contact a concrete flooring professional in Ottawa today!

Concrete Resurfacing in Ottawa


Don’t tear it out! At least, not until you have your concrete slab evaluated by a professional concrete worker.There are so many times you’ll come across a concrete surface that looks like it’s reached its end of days. Keep in mind though, when it comes to concrete, there are many ways, other than complete replacement, to deal with eroding ocracked-concrete-custom concrete floorsr deteriorating concrete.

Resorting immediately to a tear out and replacements seems like the easiest way to go, but, you have to consider a few things first.

When that concrete slab is removed, there are environmental and economical expenses to deal with. Other questions to ask are, what are you going to find underneath the slab and what was the cause of the deterioration in the first place?

Once any underlying issues are dealt with, and their burdens bared, you now have to replace that slab which itself is a messy and expensive endeavour. You’re not done yet though. At least, not if you don’t want to end up in the same scenario again years down the road.

You see, the hidden benefit of resurfacing a concrete slab that’s in less than perfect shape, is you get the built in benefit of a new surface that not only makes your space usable again but should, in effect, last much longer than new concrete alone.

Simply replacing a concrete slabonly gets you back to a surface that will potentially go bad again in short order. Resurfacing, if done right, gives you a tougher and better-protected surface than concrete alone.

You can resurface concrete with a self-levelling concrete or epoxy or similar coating material.It’s a little known fact that epoxy bonds much better to existing concrete than concrete will. Epoxies have a smaller molecular structure than concrete. This means that when you surface a floor with epoxy it can sink in and lock into place. Self-levelling concrete relies on a primer to achieve bond rather than created a mechanical bond like epoxy does.

In layman’s terms. Epoxy resurfacing will yield the best result in terms of looks, resistance and strength. If you need help with resurfacing your concrete in the Ottawa area, contact a concrete professional today.

Industrial Concrete Floor Coatings in the Ottawa Area


Industrial concrete floors are often overlooked as candidates for any type of special attention. Usually, concrete is perceived to be impervious to just about any kind of traffic or conditions. Here is some more information about industrial floor coatings in the Ottawa area.

The truth is, concrete is very porous and can become compromised by just about any external force. Water alone, over time, will damage concrete for example. In an industrial setting, concrete is relied upon more than in any other environment, yet concrete, generally, sees more abuse in this environment than in any other.

Industrial Concrete Floor Coatings in the Ottawa AreaIndustrial concrete floor coatings play a huge role in the protection of not only the concrete itself, but in many cases the objects, workers, equipment and patrons of those areas.
Concrete dust from untreated industrial floors can wreak havoc on merchandise and equipment. Attempts to scrub and clean concrete floors often end only in more abrasion and therefore removal of concrete dust from the surface and contamination of the area. Concrete dust is incredibly abrasive to anything it touches and can pose a health hazard for humans as well as animals. It is corrosive and can damage skin and lungs.

Concrete floors in their natural state are also very susceptible to impact damage caused by daily activities that take place in an industrial environment. Industrial floor coatings are needed to provide a protected surface to increase the life of the slab itself. They also provide a wide array of safety features.

You can have impact resistant coatings that are comprised of flexible resins loaded up with aggregate. The impact resistant options can be either extremely smooth, as is the case with self-levelling epoxy or extremely rough for non-slip, like with aggregate broadcasted epoxy coatings. The degree and quantity of aggregate size and aggressiveness is adjustable to any level desired.

Other features which can be implemented in the above systems are: UV resistance, food inspection agency approved anti-microbial growth features and chemically stable top coats to prevent breakdown in the structure of the coating which could lead to delamination or dusting issues.

If you choose the right industrial coating, you will have a long-lasting and easy to clean surface for years to come. Not only does this make your space safer but it impresses a level of professionalism upon your employees and clients. If you have any questions about your industrial floor coating in the Ottawa region, contact a concrete professional today. 

Makeover Your Garage Floor!


When using a residential garage for more than just storing your cars, the amount of options available on the market are certainly abundant. You want something that is going to be easy to clean, nonslip and able to resist all of the things that your car, and your life can throw at it.

In the Ottawa area, the city has decided to switch from one kind of road salt to another. The former road salt was very corrosive to the metals and components used in our vehicles, the new one is not as corrosive to our cars but, unfortunately, is 10 times more corrosive to concrete.

garage floor makeover ottawa

It’s important to choose a garage floor that will not only stand up to the activities that you take part in in your personal space, but also to the contamination that you bring home on your car tires and on your car’s underbody.

Now that the boring stuff is over, let’s talk about what’s fun about a garage floor makeover!

Your options are truly unlimited these days. You can have a clean modern high-gloss grey floor all the way to something you’ve seen in the movies. High definition graphics, extreme clarity and crystal clear crisp colours and lines.

Your garage floor can also be changed in more functional ways, such as, adding a drain to catch car melt off and changing the grade so that the water, when washing your vehicles and floor, goes where you want it to go, instead of underneath all of your valuables you have stored around the perimeter of your space.

Garages floors suitable for makeovers are not reserved only for those who have a concrete slab in good condition. We can make any floor look brand-new using advanced technologies available today for garage floor re-mediation, rejuvenation and design.

garage floor makeover ottawa cove baseWhile we’re at it, why not add cove bases? These are generally 4 to 6 inch integrated quarter rounds incorporated into the joint between the floor and wall. These make your floor and wall truly seamless, making it that much easier to clean and dry your garage space.

No matter what the use of space, size or exposure to contamination, there is a product and technique available out there to make your garage floor makeover a reality. Contact us today for a quote or some tips, we are happy to help.

Concrete Floors in Ottawa


There are many beautiful concrete floors all over Ottawa, you just need to have a look at what you’re walking on in order to determine what type of floor it actually is. There are many different styles of concrete flooring in Ottawa, sometimes you might not even know that you’re walking on concrete. Concrete overlays, epoxy floors, polished concrete and floors that have been stained or dyed can all look very different when it comes to the world of concrete flooring. Check out our gallery to see what we mean.

Custom Concrete Floors Ottawa SolidColour

There are many great concrete flooring contractors in Ottawa who can fix up your existing concrete, update it entirely, or customize the look of your floor to make it customized to what you’re looking for.

Most Popular Concrete Floors in Ottawa

Some of the most popular types of concrete floors that can be seen by the public are visible in popular stores like Walmart, Ikea and Home Depot. These types of concrete floors are polished concrete floors. Some of them will have a different type of finish whether it be satin or sheen. Polished concrete floors are great for these types of commercial locations as they are long lasting and durable. Next time you walk into one of these stores, check out the natural beauty and variation that polished concrete flooring has.

Retail Location Concrete FloorsTopLine Polish custom concrete floors in ottawa

For retail locations, options like solid coloured epoxy coatings, almost granite, and concrete stains have been used to add a little life and colour into may retail stores located in Ottawa. All of these options are also long lasting and durable as well as easy to maintain and clean.

Custom Concrete Floors in Ottawa has made their mark on hundreds of floors in the Ottawa region from condos, homes, basements, retail locations, garages and some large commercial properties. If you are interested in having a concrete floor for your residential or commercial location, contact one of our experts today. We can even take you on site and walk you through some of our completed projects so you can see how a finished concrete floor can look in a residential or commercial space.

 

Types of Trowels Used with Concrete Overlays


Trowels have evolved to become a very handy concrete-laying tool on the industry market today, and many installers find all the benefits and uses for them in the world.

There are a select couple of different types of trowels, and each one suits an installer’s preferences.

Check out some of our troweled concrete overlays here

Hand Trowel

A hand trowel is a long, rectangular device that concrete installers use to finish concrete also is often used with overlays. You can optionally use a rectangle-shaped trowel, often called a ‘square-edged’ trowel or, you can use a pool trowel (it’s the same thing as a square-edged one, but the corners are round and smooth.)

When it comes to the size of a hand trowel, they are usually about 24’’ long, but you can get very short ones that are only 4’’ long (it all depends on what you need it for).

Hand trowels offer more control and an up-close experience, which allows the installer to create interesting textured surfaces with the trowel, or to simply create unique and different effects.

If you are looking to use one of these, it would be good to practice before actually using one a concrete floor.concrete overlay ottawa

Funny Trowel

The funny trowel may be the punchline, but it’s the joke involved that will help you to master this tool. Basically, think of a squeegee (which can also be used as a tool for overlays). Alternately, you can also imagine a hand trowel on a long stick.

The biggest advantage to a funny trowel is that, if you do not like working on your hands and knees with a hand trowel, this trowel allows you to be in a standing position while working your concrete magic. You can also create textures that you normally would either not be able to make at all, or would have greater trouble with, that you cannot with the hand trowel.

The funny trowel takes a long time to master using, as concrete isn’t exactly water…you will have to use some force when you push the funny trowel through. However, do not overdo it! Trowelling a surface repeatedly will cause air bubbles and generally moisture to appear in the concrete, which can be very bad for you (and your customer).

Having been that said, these are the two primary trowels that a concrete overlay installer will use.

Choosing a Decorative Concrete Colour for Your New Floor


Coloured concrete has become one of the biggest requests that clients make as of the last few years, and you are also one of these client so when the time comes to install a coloured concrete floor, you must make a decision.decorative concrete floor colour

How do you figure out what colour would be best for your floor?

Well, if this is your home, you could choose your favorite colour. However, some clients do not care for colour, but instead, they prefer to go with colours that are more earthy in nature (terra cotta is a very popular choice in that respect).

One of the major things is that if you have a business, and your new floor is for your business, then consider what your company colours are. If your company’s colours are purple with mixes of verdant green, then you may want a purple floor with gradients of green blended into it.

Another concept you could consider when choosing colour is the overall feel you wish to leak into the room. If a client looks at your floor, the colour will determine what mood your business is giving off. If you’re running a business selling bunny rabbits, you might want a pink floor. Be you male or female, a pink floor screams innocence in waves. So, a pink floor will make the client feel more at ease and willing to look at the bunnies with a better eye.

If your business is selling lemonade energy drinks, you may want the floor to be a mildly vibrant green, because then the colour of green would likely make the client feel refreshed upon entering your room. Therefore, the client is inevitably persuaded into purchasing your lemonade.

If you like the natural look of concrete, sometimes a polish is all you need to establish that earthy grey tone. Covering a natural polish with a sealer will also help bring out the beauty of the stone and aggregate colours.

But back to homes for the closing; you would also do well to choose a colour that reflects the walls on the inside or outside of your home. Check out our gallery and let us know what colour of concrete would look best for your flooring needs.

 

Styling Your Concrete Floors to Meet these Top Trends


concrete stain ottawaA Concrete Basement Floor You’d be Floored Over

When it comes to the basement floor above, and getting it to be a very close match, you’ll want an 80-grip diamond grind 17’’ machine from HTC, and this will be for evening out the surfaces along your concrete floor (you can also use this machine to remove excess concrete and materials from the floor). Using Camel dye (Brickform’s is recommended), you can seal on and dye the entire floor with colour. After this, use a low solids epoxy sealer.

After the floor is dry, commence using Sand colour (again, Brickform’s (mixing brands is a bad thing to do here)), and this will make the concrete darker and more earthy in its tone. After this, it is time to use that sealant again to seal the new colour.

If you’re looking for a border effect, a darker coloured epoxy can be used to create a four-inch border around your entire room, and you can finish off with a clear coat.

concrete overlay ottawa

Acid-Staining Without Acid-Staining

If you have a concrete floor that is in bad shape and you need to replace it, think again – instead, try using a method that can make your old floor new again by looking acid-stained without actually being acid-stained. You must use a white skim coat, a taped tile pattern, a beige spray coat, which is knocked down with a trowel, which should be immediately followed by a highlight spray of charcoal gray, and then an antique coat of desert beige.

The interesting part is that the seal coat is a water-based sealer, which ends up being poured and smoothed onto the floor with a squeegee. When it comes to the second coating, it requires being rolled on the floor with rollers.

Have an idea for a unique concrete floor design? Contact one of our specialists today!

 

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