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Our Thoughts, News & Updates about Concrete Flooring in Ottawa

What Are The Different Types of Garage Floor Coverings?

Concrete is very resilient and can stand up to all kinds of abuse if it provides the right protection. The garage floor has to endure traffic, oil spills, heavy objects falling on it, and other such problems. To maintain its looks, it’s essential to apply a good, resilient coating to it. There are three ways to go about this. You can apply a latex paint on the floor, add an epoxy coating, or apply polyurethane.custom concrete floors garage

At The Floor Company, we recommend our clients to consider their needs and requirements carefully before choosing a garage floor coating. Let’s consider the options:

  • Latex- This is the most affordable coating available to you. Latex is very easy to apply. It’s essentially like paint and you need to do nothing but use regular rollers and brushes to apply a coat onto the floor. Unfortunately, if you want something this affordable, you’ll need to compromise on the quality.

Latex coatings are susceptible to peeling and chipping. You’ll also need to apply several coats of it to get an even finish. In essence, it’s great for a quick, cost-effective application, but not so great for resilience and durability.

  • EpoxyWhile this coating is slightly more expensive than latex, it’s still quite affordable. This material is resilient and will last for several years. You’re essentially coating your garage floor in plastic when you apply this material. The finish is very glossy, sleek, and smooth, giving your garage a clean look. 

This material won’t lift, is very durable, looks great and has many colour and finish options. However, the application process is complicated and should only be done by a professional concrete floor coating team.

  • PolyurethaneThis is the coating to choose for the professional garage. It has a very high level of durability and can resist chemical and oil spills very well. It’s also available in a variety of colours and finishes for an attractive garage. However, this coating is more expensive and might not be for the regular home garage. The application process is very complicated as well and you’ll need to hire a professional concrete floor coating team.

For more information on polished concrete, or to get an estimate, you can contact us at The Floor Company. If you’re calling from Ottawa and surrounding areas, dial 1800 461 3121. If you’re calling from Kingston, Belleville, Peterborough and Durham, dial 1877 277 9877. You can also email us at info@thefloorcompany.com or fill in this contact us form.

The Floor Company

Address: 1117 Newmarket Street, Unit B, Ottawa, ON K1B 4N4

Epoxy Flooring Over Concrete vs. VCT Tiles

Epoxy Flooring Over Concrete vs. VCT TilesThere are several flooring treatments you can place on a concrete substrate. Some of the more popular applications, especially for commercial, high traffic floors or garages are epoxy flooring and Vinyl Composite Tile, (or VCT). Both of them are used in a variety of different applications with great results. But how do they compare?

Here’s a brief overview of the merits of both and how they compare against each other. While the end decision usually comes down to the budget, both have distinct advantages.

Affordability

Without question, the upfront cost of VCT is more affordable. The tiles aren’t that expensive, laying them doesn’t cost much by way of time and effort. Naturally, if you’re on a strict budget, VCT is a good option for you.

On the other hand, an epoxy coating is more expensive and more difficult to install. Sometimes, the upfront cost of the installation is a deterrent. However, if you have room in your budget, this is a better long term solution in comparison to VCT.

Maintenance  

The key difference between epoxy coatings and VCT is maintenance. The coating requires little to no maintenance. You can simply wipe or mop the surface regularly to preserve its looks.

This is where VCT might fail. While vinyl doesn’t require too much maintenance to preserve its looks, you might need to wipe, buff, and wax it regularly. This can become tedious after some years. Moreover, over time, wax get’s accumulated and needs to be stripped completely before reapplying. This can add to the costs.

Application

Both epoxy coatings and VCT tiles are easy to apply on your concrete substrate. In both cases, the substrate needs to be in good enough condition for the layers to look good.

Most people can install VCT as a weekend DIY project. All you need to go is clean the floor thoroughly, apply a thin layer of glue, and then add the VCT. Any DIY person can accomplish this easily.

Applying an epoxy coating requires a little more skill. You need to account for the curing time between different coatings so if you plan to do it yourself, the project would take several weeks. A professional will be able to finish quickly and do a great job.

For more information on polished concrete, or to get an estimate, you can contact us at The Floor Company. If you’re calling from Ottawa and surrounding areas, dial 1800 461 3121. If you’re calling from Belleville, Peterborough Kingston or Durham, simply dial this number-1877 277 9877. Alternatively, email us at info@thefloorcompany.com or use this contact us form to connect with us.

 

The Floor Company

Address: 1117 Newmarket Street, Unit B, Ottawa, ON K1B 4N4

How Long Does It Take to Polish a Concrete Floor?

Polished concrete floors are fast becoming a popular flooring option in commercial and residential properties. Concrete is certainly more resilient than most other flooring materials available today. It is also low maintenance so you don’t need to worry about doing more than an occasional mopping to maintain its looks.Polished Concrete Floors Ottawa

The polishing time depends entirely on what level of polish you want, the size of the floor, and the obstructions. Here’s a look at what’s involved in the polishing process.

The Polishing Process

There are four different levels of polish, from satin-like finish to very high-gloss. To attain different finishes, we use progressively finer grinders. Needless to say, the lower levels of polish take less time. However, the process is the same.

  • Step One – We start by using coarse diamond and metallic matrix grinders. These are enough to remove any kind of blemish, stains, small pits, coatings etc. This process essentially prepares the floor for further polishing.
  •  Step Two – During this process, we use grinders with diamond abrasives in resin or plastic matrix. Depending on the level of polish we need, we use increasingly finer grits to achieve the task. For high gloss finish, most contractors will use 1500 or finer grit.
  • Step Three – During the polishing process, we also apply internal impregnating sealer to the floor. This penetrates the concrete surface and protects it. It also densifies and hardens it, making the surface more resilient. The hardened surface doesn’t need much maintenance.

What Tools Are Used? 

The polishing process is achieved through a machine with different levels of grinding grits. The process is quite akin to sanding wood; for more shine, finer sandpaper is used.

Accordingly, for the first step, about 16-20 grit is used to remove any coating, and to level the surface. Then we move from one level of grit to other. After the surface is polished with a 150-grit, a chemical hardener is added to the floor.

After that progressively finer grits are used to achieve the desired levels of gloss. Depending on the area, the level of polish, and the obstacles, the polishing can take upwards of 2 to 3 days. However, you can use the surface immediately after the polishing is done.

For more information on polished concrete, or to get an estimate, you can contact us at The Floor Company. If you’re calling from Ottawa and surrounding areas, dial 1800 461 3121. If you’re calling from Kingston, Belleville, Peterborough and Durham, dial 1877 277 9877. You can also email us at info@thefloorcompany.com or fill in this contact us form.

 

The Floor Company

Address: 1117 Newmarket Street, Unit B, Ottawa, ON K1B 4N4

Eco Polish Decorative Concrete Flooring

“Eco Polish” is how we have branded our grinded concrete clear epoxy floor. We have coined it this because it is both economical and ecologically friendly.

The Eco Polish floor is recommended for those who want an exposed aggregate floor but also need stain resistance, deep colour, water proofing, salt resistance and more. Eco polish concrete floor ottawa

It is especially recommended for those spaces that are commercial and street facing in climates that get snow. This is because traditional exposed aggregate floors, such as polished concrete, are often porous. Porous floors that are installed in frequently wet and salt exposed areas will certainly degrade years before an epoxy coated floor.

Here is the Eco Polished Concrete process:

1) First we grind the floor to expose the stones and evenly remove all of the “cream coat”. This ensures even saturation of the epoxy leading to a consistent colour and durability.
2) Then we repair the floor. Typically this means filling cracks, joints, holes and divots with an epoxy paste we make using the very grinding dust from your floor, to help with colour keying to your final surface.
3) We then coat the floor in solid epoxy. (The 100% solids part means there are no smelly solvents used.)

So far, we have described our basic Eco Polish floor. At this point, the floor is complete and contains all of the benefits we went over above. However, the floor may have some imperfections such as air contamination, dust, bugs etc… caught in the surface. This happens at times because the epoxy is sticky when it’s curing for up to 8 hours.

As a highly recommended option, we suggest finishing this new surface with one coat of urethane. Urethane (available in matte, satin, and gloss sheens) is preferred because it provides UV stability, abrasion resistance and, by nature of installation method and its quick cure window, a near perfect sheen and texture.

Another great benefit to our Eco Polish concrete floors is that they are very forgiving. Should you run a busy commercial space for example, and your maintenance lapses, these floors are usually quite resilient and will recover rather well as compared to traditional non-coated polished concrete.

While Eco Polish floors may take about 30% longer to install than regular polished concrete, the longevity and ease of ownership create a great reward long term, and the look is unparalleled in the industry.

We think you’ll love all of our exposed aggregate options, speak to a professional today to help decide which one works for your space.

Why is Polished Concrete so Popular?

Today, there are many people who are considering having a polished concrete floor on their property. The option is becoming increasingly popular amongst homeowners who have had a chance to witness some truly stunning designs. At The Floor Company, we’ve seen many people opt for polished concrete flooring and never regret it.

Polished Concrete Floors OttawaWhat is Polished Concrete?

In essence, it’s a concrete floor that’s highly polished to give it a shine. You can add different colours, create a variety of patterns, embed aggregates, pebbles, and even recycled glass to get a beautiful design. These floors can be polished to have a dull, matte look, low sheen, a slightly cloudy shine, or a high, glass-like sheen with clarity.

Why Are They so Popular?

 Polished concrete is becoming popular because of the wide variety of benefits they offer compared to flooring alternatives:

  • Design Options – There’s no end of choice here. You can have any colour, design or the finish you need. The sheer versatility of concrete is one of its best features. As mentioned earlier, you can create stunning designs and effects by adding aggregates like coloured stone, crushed shells, recycled glass, etc.
  • Relatively Low Cost – While the costs vary from place to place, concrete flooring is relatively cheaper to other flooring options. The polishing cost depends on the number of rounds the grinder would have to make on the surface. If you want a highly glossy floor, it’ll be more costly.
  • Longer Life – Polished concrete is resilient and not as susceptible to damage as other flooring options. With careful maintenance, you won’t need to replace it for several years.
  • Health Benefits – Concrete flooring is actually very hygienic. The possibility of dust mites, mold, dirt, etc is low. Moreover, you don’t need to use hazardous coatings, or adhesives. It’s a highly sustainable flooring option.
  • Low Maintenance – It requires very little maintenance. You can mop it daily with water and floor cleaners. The floor won’t require waxing or sealers and will maintain its sheen for a long time. It is recommended that you use only neutral pH cleaners on the floors.

Because of the various benefits of polished concrete floorings, it has become an ideal option for both residential and commercial properties.

For more information on polished concrete, or to get an estimate, you can contact The Floor Company. If you’re calling from Ottawa and surrounding areas, dial 1800 461 3121. If you’re calling from Kingston, Belleville, Peterborough and Durham, dial 1877 277 9877. You can also email us at info@thefloorcompany.com or fill in this contact us form.

 

 

The Top 3 Most Popular Garage Floor Coating Finishes in Ottawa

Garage floor coatings are all the rage these days. People are really starting to see their garage as an extension of their home. Why not see it that way? After all, most garages are at least 25% the size of the main floor of a home. Sometimes, even the same size.

With our cars leaving as much as 6 feet of clearance above for storage, why not use it. Part of turning a garage into a hobby space, shop or storage area, is having a clean, safe and long lasting durable floor.

The Top 3 Most Popular Garage Floor Coating Finishes in Ottawa are Listed Here:

1) Decorative Flakes

colour flake floor ottawaFlakes embedded in a resin of either epoxy, urethane or polyaspartic

This system is awesome. It’s a quick install. It costs around the same as the tile in your kitchen but is way stronger and best of all, it hides dirt. Who wants to be washing and scrubbing a dusty old concrete slab as it wears away because of contamination from all the gunk we expose to? We know you don’t. The decorative flake floor is trendy, non-slip and covers up most of what ails a floor.

2) Polished Concrete

The act of grinding, polishing and chemically changing a concrete floor
polished concrete flooring durham
This option is very popular down south where there isn’t any concrete eating salt around. Here, it really shouldn’t be used in garages where cars will sit and thaw in the winter. However, it is still a popular option. We have workarounds to give you the look of polished concrete without leaving your floor exposed to salt, tire staining and other contamination issues. Ask us how we can set you up with a floor that looks like modern polished concrete, but won’t corrode away.

3) Troweled Decorative Overlays

A process by which concrete strengthened by various polymers is troweled to look like stonedecorative concrete custom work overlay pattern

This option is often chosen by the “garage party family” on your block. It’s not quite as strong as a decorative flake floor, but, it’s great for cook outs, storage, car parking and general light use. You can go with a stone texture alone or add decorative scoring to make it look like tile.

No matter what you are looking to do with your garage, we have you and your floors covered. Contact us for more information about how we can help your concrete garage floor in Ottawa look great and be long lasting and durable. 

Decorative Chip Concrete Garage Floor Finishes

Your garage floor is likely the last place you thought you’d renovate in your home. Lately, in the last 10 years or so, decorative chip finishes for garage floors have been popping up everywhere.

Many contractors in various fields have been adding garage chip flooring to their repertoire. The thought process is often “well I’m already doing their central vac, I may as well do their garage floor while I am there!” While this is sound business thinking, it may not be the best for the consumer at the other end of the transaction. flake floor garage finish chip floor ottawa

Decorative garage chip floors go much deeper than the surface you walk on. There is a very specific and technical method that must be followed to ensure the longest lasting decorative chip coating possible.

Concrete flooring contractors know that when it comes to any kind of chip floor, surface preparation is key. You don’t want to hire a contractor who doesn’t have concrete grinding or shot blasting equipment for surface preparation. You want a contractor who has the know how and equipment to properly abrade your floor to ensure the entire decorative chip system is able to seep into the concrete garage floor and expand into it’s pores. This is key for a long lasting and durable installation.

You can read more about surface preparation and the perils of skipping steps or attempting a DIY decorative chip floor elsewhere on this blog.

On the topic of decorative chip choices: There are MANY. Rest easy though, usually a concrete flooring contractor will provide a basic book of samples of decorative chip options. There are always custom blends available of course.

Decorative chips are essentially smashed up little pieces of vinyl. They are available in sizes from 1/32 all the way to 1 inch. The most common, and in my opinion the nicest, are 1/16″ and 1/4″ flakes.

If you have a floor that isn’t quite perfect in terms of smoothness or levelness, a 1/4″ chip is your best bet. 1/16″ chips show more imperfections. However, there are base coats that are self-levelling which can be applied prior to installing a decorative chip floor.

If you level out and smooth your floor with self-levelling epoxy first, you can easily go ahead with 1/16″ flakes for a super rich and less busy look.

Contact us today to discover your options in decorative chip concrete garage floor finishes.

Garage Floor Resurfacing Services

Garage floors often go bad in short order. This is for various reasons due to contamination, improper maintenance, a bad initial quality of product or installation or worse… all of the above.

The most common thing we see with garage floors that need to be resurfaced is pitting. Pitting can be caused by excessive surface moisture, salt exposure and impact damage. In other cases, the slab was frozen or over watered during installation leading to a weakened surface that is more likely to crumble.

Generally tgarage floor ottawa polished concretehe best approach for garage resurfacing is to skip on using more concrete, as it is not very good at bonding with existing concrete, rather, a coating will yield the best result.

This is because coatings are thinner when being applied and are able to penetrate the surface and lock into the pores and/or texture of the concrete.

When using traditional concrete, the installation should be at least 2″ thick to provide adequate strength. Thinner self-levelling concrete treatments are less likely to bond well and still require a sealer or coating of some kind as well.

The best solution is a self-levelling coating like an epoxy. Not only are they self-sealing but they add impact resistance and levelness to your deteriorated garage floor.

Once a garage floor is resurfaced with epoxy, you can either leave it as or coat over top with a 5 layer decorative poly aspartic flake floor.

Polyaspartics are quick curing and UV stable. They allow for a fast install and colour stability but coupled with an epoxy base over a properly prepared concrete garage floor, they work together to make a beautiful and incredibly tough floor ready for a long life.

Now, not all deterioration can be addressed using the above methods. The cause of the problem is not always something that can be fixed by adding a resistant wear layer.

If a slab is deteriorating because of moisture from underneath in the structure, it will most likely need to be removed and replaced, if only to gain access to the structure underneath and to address it as needed.

Rest assured though, most concrete floors requiring some love are surface damaged only. Never assume a floor can’t be recovered, no matter how bad it looks.

There are many reasons things can go bad with your garage concrete floor, but, there are many more options to address the issues when they do come up, or hopefully, before hand by being proactive. Contact a concrete flooring expert today for some assistance. 

Concrete Floors in the Ottawa Area

Let’s cover a few local jobs that were completed recently in the Ottawa area.

Boone Plumbing on Woodward Ave

boone plumbing concrete floors before Boone Plumbing had a serious problem. They have professional staff and modern product offerings but their showroom floors were peeling grey paint. They wanted an easily maintained floor that wouldn’t be compromised if there was an extended lapse in maintenance, especially during the winter months.

The Floor Company grinded the old paint off, filled all of the cracks and surface damage with a patch resin comprised of epoxies and polyurethanes and then honed the floor via grinding and coated with a thick 100% solids epoxy.boone plumbing concrete floors after

The end result was a super shiny consistent grey floor that wows customers and lends to a clean and organized look, which is what Boone plumbing was after.

Now, they have a salt resistant floor that won’t flake away every spring after a harsh winter.

House of Fine Carpentry on Industrial Ave (Eco-Polish Satin Finish)

As fine wood builders, House of Fine Carpentry wanted a clean and modern look so we supplied our unique in-house designed finish Eco Polish Satin finish that would be easy to sweep up and impervious to salt as they are located in a street facing facility.

The floor was covered in glue from tile and carpet so that was first ground off. Then the control joints, cracks and surface damage were repaired and filled with epoxy tinted to a similar colour as the floor would end up after coating.

The floor then received another grind to epoxy the aggregate in the slab and prepare it for a clear epoxy and urethane coating.

At this point the floor was coated with clear 100% solids epoxy. This particular kind of epoxy (there are many) really penetrates the slab well and wets it out. This leads to a medium darkness wet beach kind of look.

The customer knew there would be a lot of outdoor footwear worn in his showroom so he opted for the optional satin urethane top coat which is extremely abrasion resistant and easy to clean. Also, using a satin finish on any project, will keep your floors looking new for years longer than epoxy alone. It also added some UV stability and chemical resistance.

Concrete Floors in Ottawa need to be treated differently than those of our neighbours in the South. This is because not all concrete floors are salt resistant.

Consider your options and then speak with a concrete flooring expert in Ottawa to determine what is the best fit not only for your style but your proposed use of space as well.

The Benefits of Concrete Floors for Cleaning and Allergies

Floors, while not always a main focus in a structure’s design and layout, are still a very important feature of a home, office or commercial space.

Clean-ability, slip resistance, UV stability, abrasion resistance and durability are among some of the more important technical features we look for when choosing a flooring finish.

For those of us who have allergies or are working in an environment that requires an above average level of consistent cleanliness, seamless flooring, is definitely the way to go.

There are many options for seamless flooring outside of concrete coatings and concrete polishing, however, these options still do have seams because of the nature in which they are manufactured (they come on rolls).

While a seamless flooring system that is packaged in rolls is certainly better than a seam filled floor like tile or hardwood, these flooring systems still must have a welded seam such as what you see about every 6 and a half feet in a marmoleum floor.
after cream polish concrete floors
These seams are designed to close the gap between sections of roll flooring, and they do, however in time and with insufficient maintenance and upkeep, some seams tend to open up creating an entry point for bacteria and dirt.

With a concrete floor, allergies are no longer a concern as dust and other allergy symptom causing objects are easily spotted and removed, via simple dust mopping or vacuuming.

With an ongoing damp mopping cleaning and maintenance program, dust is virtually removed from the environment. With carpet, you can never clean the floor enough to remove allergens that will ruin the day of any allergy sufferer.

There really is no perfect floor when you tally up all of your desires for a flooring finish. With concrete flooring, you lose that soft underfoot comfort you get from carpet as well as the sound deadening effect, but this can be handled with creative uses of art, back filled with sound deadening insulation as well as area rugs for under foot comfort. These area rugs are generally higher quality and absorb and hold onto less dirt. They can be removed from the home and professionally cleaned periodically to reduce exposure to allergens.

Some will choose area rugs just to help with the sound and add some style and comfort appearance to the space. While not the perfect solution to reduce allergens it’s certainly better than having wall to wall carpet.

Consider a decorative seamless concrete floor.  The Floor Company based in Ottawa, is here to help.