Tag: STAINING CONCRETE FLOORS

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The Best Concrete Floor Design Ideas


There’s a general, completely false belief that concrete is dull, grey, and boring. Yes, it might be all those things if you just pour out plain concrete, let it dry, and do nothing. In fact, some might argue that it’s urbane, industrial, and edgy. The fact of the matter is that concrete is one of the most versatile surfaces available today.

With just a few different treatments, it can transform your floor and turn blah into wow. Our clients here at Custom Concrete Floors always wonder just how to enhance the look of concrete, so here are some ideas.

Stained FlooringCustom Concrete Floors Eco Polish

Most people are aware of stained concrete but they don’t really comprehend just how versatile you can get with it. You can add conventional colors to the mix to create gray, brown, or cream coloured floors. However, some homeowners and designers are becoming adventurous and use the versatility of concrete to the fullest extent. From jet black floors that look decidedly stylish and French, to jewel-like turquoise flooring that looks like ocean water. There’s no limit to the effect you can achieve with stains.

Etched Concrete

Etching concrete requires specialized tools that slightly cut into the surface of the floor to create designs. You can add geometrical shapes, borders and lines, or hand-etch beautiful patterns. Again, there’s very little you can’t achieve. Etching needs considerable effort, especially hand-etching, but the end results are worth it. A combination of staining, etching, and clear-coating can create a stunning floor that’ll be unique to your home and great to look at.

Polished Floors 

Polished concrete is very versatile. It’s low-cost, easy to maintain, and can look amazing. The polish is usually achieved through machines with different levels of grinding bits, sealants, and densifiers. You can achieve a mirror-like sheen the floor. While plain concrete floors will look grey and glossy with polishing, you can actually improve the appearance.

You can add natural stone aggregates of any size and colour to the concrete mixture. When polished, these aggregates are exposed. Some people also use recycled glass aggregates. The result is often outstanding as these floors look grand and unique. Some people use a combination of different aggregates to create a colourful effect.

If you have any questions about concrete floors designs or want a free, no-obligation estimate, give us at Custom Concrete Floors a call at 613 327 9127. You can also fill in this contact us form and we’re reply as soon as possible.

 

3 Common Questions about Concrete Flooring Answered


concrete floors ottawa polished concreteFor decades, concrete floors were tagged as ‘boring’ and ‘industrial’; however, that is no longer the case. Today, concrete has broken through those shackles and has evolved and emerged into a trendy flooring material that is used in a range of settings. It can be stained in any colour, embedded with glass, stone etc and polished to a sheen and can give any high-end natural stone flooring, a run for its money.

Despite this, many people have a number of questions about concrete flooring. Here are three common ones answered:

1) Do Concrete Floors Crack Easily?

It’s a fact that some concrete floors will develop cracks over time; but in most instances, this is because the material isn’t of a good grade, the floor hasn’t been installed correctly, or it hasn’t been sealed and polished well. While some people find the minute cracks to have a very rustic appeal, others prefer the flooring to be seamless. If you fall in the latter category, the one way to ensure that your concrete floor stays crack-free is to treat it with decorative overlays or treatments such as stencilling, opaque epoxies or staining.

2) Are Concrete Floors too Cold?

Concrete is a cold material, but that’s how natural stone or ceramic tile flooring is too. The distinct advantage of getting concrete floors installed on your property is that they have an inherent capacity to store & radiate heat. Installing heating cables within concrete floors can help keep them warm in the colder months. It’s also a good idea to design windows in such a way that they let in more sunlight and allow your concrete flooring to hold and radiate the heat.

3) Are Decorative Concrete Floors Heavy on the Pocket?

In comparison to materials such as marble, slate and tile, concrete flooring is actually a far more economical alternative. Skilled floor installation personnel can replicate the look of these expensive and exclusive materials, in decorative concrete installations. Concrete also lasts much longer than floor coverings such as vinyl, carpeting and wood laminates; this provides you high value in the long-term.

The Low-Maintenance Flooring Option

Decorative concrete flooring is low-maintenance, and all it needs is a simple vacuuming/sweeping and an occasional damp mopping. As long as the floor has been sealed well and has been coated with wax or a good quality floor finish, it resists stains, abrasion and chemicals. What more could one ask for?

If you have any queries about concrete floors call Custom Concrete Floors at 613 327 9127. Alternatively use this contact us form to send us your questions and we will revert within the shortest possible time.

 

 

 

 

 

How Will Concrete Flooring Stand Up to Flooding?


concrete floors ottawa maintenance cleaningIn flood prone areas, using construction materials that are less vulnerable to water damage is always a good idea. This is especially true for flooring, which usually sustains the maximum amount of damage. Wood can become irreparably damaged during a flood, while other materials can become water stained and downright ugly.

In such cases, concrete flooring definitely performs better. Architects and experts in the field agree that concrete is very resilient in floods and a better material to use in flood prone areas. Here are some reasons why:

Water Damage

Concrete isn’t vulnerable to water damage. It doesn’t get stained or cracked because of water. Concrete has a very low rate of water absorption. That is, it absorbs water very slowly over long periods of time. As long as it’s not able to become too dry, it’ll actually strengthen in the presence of water.

It’s Resilient

Concrete is very resilient, even in flood conditions. As we mentioned before, concrete doesn’t sustain water damage. Using this as a construction material would reduce the amount of property loss in the aftermath of a flood. This is one of the primary reasons why the material is used in the construction of dams. If your concrete flooring is installed properly, it’ll withstand flood conditions for a long time. It’s vital to ensure that there are no gaps or air pockets in the concrete. These can trap moisture and that can lead to cracks or damage.

Trapping Moisture

You need to be careful not to trap moisture between the concrete floor and the material laid on it. For example, if you have a carpet over your flooring, it’s vital to dry out the concrete before placing the carpet on it once again. If you don’t do this, you’ll have to deal with issues like mold. The concrete flooring itself isn’t affected by the moisture. However, it can lead to damp conditions if it’s not dried properly.

Low Repair Costs after the Flood

A concrete floor reduces the overall expense of repairs after the flood. As long as it’s not covered with impermeable material, concrete will eventually dry. If there is any damage, it can be repaired easily without too much expense. There’s no need to replace any tile, wood, or carpet.

If you have any questions about concrete floors or want a free, no-obligation estimate, give us a call at 613 327 9127. You can also fill in this contact us form and we’re reply as soon as possible.

Can All Concrete Floors be Polished?


Polishing concrete floors can increase their life and aesthetic appeal. If you have an old concrete floor, you might want to use modern developments to make it more attractive and enhance the look of your property. However, most people wonder if all concrete floors can be polished. The prevalent concern is that polishing might damage old floors. That’s simply not true.

Polishing Old SurfacesPolished concrete ottawa crack repair

It’s always a good idea to consult a contractor before planning anything. While most sound concrete surfaces can be polished, you might need to prepare the surface before moving ahead.

  • We will remove all the dust and debris from the surface to prepare it for polishing.
  • If the floor is wavy or uneven, we need to fill the depressions and level the floor before polishing it. Your old floor might need excessive patching to be suitable.
  • If the floor is stained, we would need to remove that staining completely, which can be a long process.
  • Some concrete floors are simply too porous to be polished. If the floors can’t be hardened with a hardener, polishing it might be impossible.

In most cases, polishing older concrete floors is actually possible, even if it might require effort and expense. In others, the surface is perfectly suitable for a great glossy finish and needs only a little preparation. You need to consult your contractor to get accurate information about your floor.

Polishing New Surfaces

If you intend to polish your floors, it’s best to let your contractor know even before the concrete is laid on the ground. That way, the contractors would make sure that the surface of the concrete is as smooth as possible. This reduces the initial preparation time and saves effort and money.

Newly laid concrete floors need a minimum of 28 days to cure before they can be polished. Attempting to do so before the surface is ready might damage it and lead to further expense.

A good polishing contractor will always study the floor keenly before attempting to polish it, whether it is old or new. We at Custom Concrete Floors have the experience and the knowledge needed to make sure that your floor can be polished without causing any damage.

If you have any questions about crack repair or want a free, no-obligation estimate, give us a call at 613 327 9127. You can also fill in this contact us form and we’re reply as soon as possible.

 

Garage Floor Resurfacing Made Simple


The garage floor sees a lot of traffic and it’s also one area that people didn’t really pay much attention to up until recently. Today, people want to add the wow factor to their garages as well. They want to show off their classy cars and have garage flooring that’s equally fancy. However, very few understand what really goes into resurfacing the garage floor. Garage Floor Resurfacing Made Simple

We at Custom Concrete Floors always advise our clients to consider the available options before starting any project. Here are some points for you to consider before you start resurfacing your garage floors.

Textured vs. Smooth

Consider what you’re going to use your garage for. If you aim to just keep your cars in there and show them off to your entire neighborhood, you can opt for smooth surfaces. There are three coatings that’ll give you a smooth, nearly glass-like surface-epoxy, latex, and polyurethane.

  • Epoxy is the most popular coating, especially in DIY projects. It’s very affordable and will give your floors a great finish. It’s also chemical resistant. However, it may fade easily when exposed to UV rays depending on the layout of your garage and windows.
  • Polyurethane is the most expensive of the lot, but it’s very durable. It has great chemical resistance and is easy to clean up after application. You’ll also get a variety of finish options.

If you actually plan to work in the garage, tinkering with the engine, conducting repairs, etc, a textured surface would be a better option for you. With oil spillage, a smooth surface can be problematic and slippery.

Exposure

If you want to show off your garage and are likely to keep the door open, you need to pick coatings that would withstand sunlight. As mentioned earlier, Epoxy coatings – when not installed properly, might tend to fade and latex can peel if it gets hot. Exposing these surfaces to the sun isn’t a good idea. You might try a textured surface or a polyurethane coating in such cases.

At Custom Concrete Floors, we believe that choosing a simple coating over expensive finishes is the best idea. A large portion of the floor is going to be covered by your vehicles, after all. If you have any questions about garage floor repair or want a free, no-obligation estimate, call us. You can also fill in this contact us form and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

 

 

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!

How to Deal with Concrete Cracks


Unfortunately, cracks in concrete are generally unavoidable; they’ll happen sooner or later, but there are ways you can take a form of control over how, when, and where these cracks would occur.

cracked-concrete-custom concrete floors

Placed in concrete to try to help with cracking are expansion joints. Expansion joints, when expansion or contraction of a slab of concrete occurs, the joints prevent the slab from rubbing up against another slab or a wall or something similar, as that “rubbing” usually is what produces cracks (in fact, a seismologist would be the only person who would be ecstatic to see the concrete floors in their home cracking).

The reason why seismologists are mentioned here is that cracks in the ground from earthquakes occur much the same way the cracks in concrete floors occur; when two slabs grate against each other and put an immense amount of strain on the other, causing the cracks.

However, cracks in concrete will never not occur; these expansion joints simply exude control over where the crack will occur, and the joints can be placed within the concrete prior to the concrete setting with a prediction that the cracks will occur in a place that is non-threatening to the surrounding structure.

There are two types of cracks in concrete; aesthetic and structural. Aesthetic cracks are simple cracks that are small and not very deep at all, and they merely mar the beauty of the surrounding home. Structural cracks run very deep, right down to the base of the building itself; these cracks can be a danger to the structure, but they will not stop (no matter what is done), until the concrete has found an equal balance between the ground and the concrete itself. If you are deemed to have structural cracks, there is little that can be done to stop them (you can fill them in and such, but they would only be temporary, as another crack would soon form).

Currently, the best repair method is using resin, and injecting the resin into all parts of the crack, as resin actually reinforces the floor and makes the area where the crack was stronger than the remaining floor space. If you would like an expert to come and help you determine what can be done with your concrete cracks, please contact us today. 

 

Concrete Floors Are Not Boring!


Stepping it Up to Be More Eye-Appealing

Nowadays, there is not too much that cannot be done to change the entire look and finished product of concrete. There is an overwhelming colour pallet of colours that can be incorporated into the concrete to tint/shade it. You can even have the concrete textured into a desirable stamp design, patterns or overall texture.

You can even opt to have your concrete polished to give it a luxurious gleam (which resembles ceramic tiles) or work with existing cracks from an older floor to upgrade it to a more “antique-looking” and new floor.

Your Creativity is Your Only Limitationpolished concrete ottawa

If you are planning on pouring in a new concrete floor within the confines of your home, your only limitation is your creativity and choosing what the finished product should be. The concrete can now be mixed with a particular stain to colour it to suit your taste and poured with a variety of finishes.

The additional costs involved in beautifying your concrete floor is worth it, as the durability of concrete is unsurpassed in comparison to traditional types of floor coverings (which all have a much shorter life duration).

Strategizing and Formulating a Solid Long-Range Plan

Depending on where you are planning to pour your concrete floor, you may want to think about the future and if you will still be the homeowner down the road. Concrete is certainly making a comeback to modern decor because of its newfound versatility, but it is not for everyone.

Homeownership may change for you down the road, so it is important to ensure that the place in your home that you are pouring a concrete floor is going to add value (garage or basement). If you are replacing the floor in the garage or basement with new concrete, be sure that whatever issue that arose with your old floor has been fixed prior to pouring the new floor.

Check Out All of Your Options

When looking into your options as far as straying from the traditional concrete colour and texture, be sure to incorporate all expenses that you will incur before making your final decision (it is not like laying down wood or laminate flooring that can be easily removed).

Need any help deciding what to do about your flooring project? Contact a concrete flooring expert today!

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