This is a great article covering surface prep for Durability and Design.
We, at DMA Floors, have been faced with our share of potentially problematic installations and have worked hard to develop a strong understanding of what can go wrong under various circumstances. We try to share as much information as possible, not in an attempt to scare people, but in an attempt to educate them. We want you to have the knowledge to make an informed decision from the beginning. Many people and companies do not understand the relationship between the concrete and the finish. We are fortunate in that we focus on concrete and flooring and understand how they affect each other.
This article "Avoiding Flooring Failures: 10 Things You Need to Know" from Durability and Design covers some basic, but often overlooked considerations for specifying, planning, pricing and finishing your project.
Great look at decorative concrete options.
Healthcare facilities face a unique challenge of providing an environment that feels like a Hilton, but can withstand the abuse of heavy rolling traffic, high point loads, chemicals, bilological contaminants, and staining solutions.
A day without beer is like... Well fortunately we don't have to answer that.
It may be a travesty for some, but when you provide your local community with great food, and over 500 choices of beer to sample it can hurt your bottom line as well.
When Sedona Taphouse in Midlothian, Virginia was built they went with a beautiful concrete floor for the dining area. While this is functional, environmentally responsible, and certainly adds to the rustic Southwest ambience, it got a little slippery behind the bar and by the kitchen.
Dennis, called us looking for a solution. Typically for foodservice installations I recommend a urethane concrete due to its great wear charactersitics, resistance to thermal shock, impact, chemicals and enzyme cleaning solutions. I had every intention of recommending this system here as well, but when I met with Dennis and talked about his operation it quickly became apparent that this was not the best solution here. We needed to do everything in our power to keep him running, we couldn't afford to disappoint those depending on his vast collection of craft brews.
I called upon Jack Bracco from Flexmar Polyaspartic Coatings to help me come up with a good solution (we don't know everything, but we know people who do.) He recommended a high solids polyaspartic aliphatic polyurea with a full broadcast of slip resistant aggregate. This would provide an extremely durable, slip and chemical resistant, UV stable finish that could be returned to full service within two hours.
Our team was able to start work around midnight after the restaurant closed, fully prepare the floor, install a broadcast and finish coat, and be ready for the Sedona team to get back to serving up great beer, food and service before lunch. Sedona now has a new floor behind their bar and the most sure footed bartender in town.
Thank you Dennis, the staff of Sedona Taphouse, and Jack Bracco with Flexmar.
Interior designers Jessica Dellenbach and Kelly Stueber of Kahler Slater put together the design, Armstrong Flooring made the products, JJ Hainesprovided the products, MA Mortenson built the building, and DMA Floors handled the installation. This is what happens when a strong team comes together with you in mind.
We were working with ML Bell
@MLBellBuilt on a project where we needed to install a quartz broadcast epoxy system in some bathrooms for a camp in Goochland, VA. When we conducted our pre install inspection we found the slab moisture content well in excess of tolerances for a standard epoxy. We discussed the issue with Bell and quickly resolved to pour a urethane concrete instead of an epoxy for the first broadcast. This enabled use to go right over the damp slab without fear of failure. We were able to get the floor down without delay and with minimal cost increase. They now have a floor with the same look as specified that will resist just about anything the campers or nature can throw at it. Thank you ML Bell for being open and responsive to an issue that many of us face on a daily basis, but too often choose to ignore.
Urethane concretes permit installation over green concrete and can handle elevated slab moisture. They can be finished with quartz, flake, mica, and various other decorative options.
For years the standard for commercial kitchens has been quarry tile with epoxy grout. Quarry tile is a great option and has proven itself as a durable surface for the harsh environments found in a kitchen. Just because something works well and appears to be the norm, doesn't mean that there isn't a better option.
How do those grout lines look in 5 years?
How much time do you devote to having to clean the grout?
How often do you have to have someone come back and fix grout that has degraded?
How has the use of enzymatic cleaners in food service environments affected the life of your epoxy?
Enzyme cleaning solutions can lead to the breakdown of epoxies in short order. When the enzymes react with the fatty oils they leave behind lineolic acid which can contribute to swelling, increased porosity and degradation of the epoxies. This can happen to standard epoxy floors as well in this environment.
Polymeric Cementitious Urethane Floor Systems (Urethane Cement) can address and mitigate those problems. Essentially it is a water based polyurethane (often derived from castor oil) combined with a portland cement and graded aggregates. Several chemical reactions take place within this system to make it extremely resistant to chemicals (including lineolic acid), thermal shock, and impact. They also provide some degree of sound deadening.
Todays systems typically contain zero VOCs and have little to no odor during installation. Flow applied systems can be installed with relative speed decreasing down time and reducing the install time for large areas on new construction projects.
These systems can also be installed over "green" concrete and are much less sensitive to slab moisture issues (some manufacturers have developed decorative systems using urethane cement as the base to mitigate moisture concerns.)
Once consideration with urethane cements is that they are not typically UV stable and will change color with time. There are some color stable options, but they do increase material cost.