Concrete | The Floor Company - Part 3
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The Many Advantages of Concrete Flooring Systems

An increasing number of homeowners and builders are recognizing the advantages of concrete as a flooring option. This flooring system might be a little difficult to install at times, but it’s very easy to maintain and offers a wide range of benefits. At The Floor Company, we often recommend concrete flooring systems to clients who want resilient and low-maintenance flooring. Here are some of the advantages of this system.

boone plumbing concrete floors after 1

Durability

Concrete is very durable. In fact, you can easily expect it to last as long as your home stands. There’s very little that can damage concrete and if it is damaged, it can be repaired without too much effort or expense.

Maintenance

Concrete flooring systems are very easy to clean and maintain. The day-to-day maintenance requires nothing more than water and a mop. You would need to seal it once in a few years with a sealant, but that is quite affordable as well. You can apply epoxy coatings or polyurethane coatings depending on the kind of wear and tear you expect. For example, epoxy coatings are great for normal wear and tear in residential use. Polyurethane is great for industrial use where you might have chemical spills and high traffic.

Sound

One of the best advantages of concrete flooring systems is their ability to dampen sound. Unlike wood floors that creak and can be loud, concrete floors tend to be quieter. This can be a great way to dampen the noise coming from the upper floors.

Design

Most people hesitate to install concrete flooring systems because they don’t want a “dull grey” floor. Today, there are several design options available to you. They are:

  • Stained concrete – Concrete can be stained in different colours and designs to give you the look you want.
  • Stamped concrete – Here, the concrete is stamped with different kinds of designs and patterns. This option is best used in outdoor applications.
  • Polished concrete – You can polish concrete to a high-gloss or install a matt look on your floor. Some contractors can add aggregates to the concrete and then polish the floor to give it a unique, interesting pattern.

As you can see, concrete flooring is a great option for both commercial and residential use. For more information about concrete flooring systems 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

Concrete Surface Preparation

When it comes to making an investment to protect your concrete floor, one of the most important aspects that quite often goes overlooked is the type of preparation that the floor will require in order to ensure that your investment pays off for the long haul. There have been many debates over the years about what kind of surface prep is the minimum requirement for various coatings, overlays, or sealing systems.
custom concrete floors polished concrete
Muriatic acid etching is often prescribed as the minimum requirement for surface preparation of concrete prior to installing any kind of paint, coating, overlay or self-leveling concrete. Muriatic acid etching is sufficient prep for light-duty areas that will receive regular thin mil paint or sealers but it is nowhere near enough preparation when installing a coating or any kind of concrete or gypsum based product.
When installing anything other than paint, it is extremely important to implement surface preparation technologies such as diamond grinding or shot blasting. Shot blasting, the more aggressive of the two options, is often prescribed when installing thicker systems, usually 20 mils thick or more. The reason is because shot blasting your floor will leave an aggressive pattern after the surface preparation is complete. However, this is idea for proper adhesion of any non-liquid floor topping system.
For less aggressive needs, such as paint removal, mastic removal or glue removal, grinding is sufficient surface preparation. In other cases, when you are installing a coating or a paint that is thinner in nature, grinding is the best way to go in order to ensure a smooth finish and proper adhesion.
At The Floor Company, all of our surface preparation equipment is backed up by HEPA grade vacuum systems designed for concrete and construction dust.We have grinding and shot blasting solutions for any size of project. Contact us today for a quote

The Floor Company

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

UV Stability and Resistance in Concrete Coatings

Exposure to sunlight and the UV rays are often a grave concern with reference to concrete coatings. Some coatings can fade or yellow over time because of the exposure to the sun. This significantly shortens the lifespan of the coatings, and forces you to change them regularly.epoxy flooring ottawa concrete

There are some coatings that are more resistant to wear and tear than others. If you want a longer life for your concrete floor coatings, we at The Floor Company, recommend that you consider your options carefully.

Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy has several advantages. It’s more affordable than other options available to you in the market. It’s also easier to handle and apply than other common concrete coatings. Unfortunately, for all its conveniences, epoxy coatings are actually very susceptible to the harsh outdoor weather and UV rays. Within a few years, you may see a distinct yellow or amber tinge to the epoxy coating that can turn your beautiful, polished finish into something not so perfect.

While there are some UV resistant epoxy coatings available in the market, they don’t stand up against the other products available in the market. If you want to use a coating on the floor that might be exposed to sun, it’s a good idea to avoid epoxy when sealing outdoor work.

Urethane Coatings

This is a more expensive coating but it certainly delivers in terms of performance. This coating is a little more time consuming to apply. However, it is highly UV resistant and doesn’t yellow easily. You can expect 5 to 8 years of durability from this coating.

This coating is great for floors with high traffic and is also chemical and stain resistant. This concrete floor coating isn’t as hard as epoxy so it’s a little more resistant to stains. As its UV stable, it doesn’t fade, and it’s also more resistant to temperature variations.

Other surfaces like latex and vinyl aren’t as resistant to UV rays and temperature variations. They shouldn’t be used in outdoor applications if you want a durable surface that looks good as well.

For more information on coated, UV resistant 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, Peterborough,Belleville and Durham, simply 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

The Best Kinds of Concrete Floors for Commercial Properties

Your commercial property flooring will see a lot of wear and tear. The flooring receives a lot of traffic and your customers may not be too careful with commercial floors, (dropping things, dragging heavy carts on it, etc.) You need a resilient concrete floor that will withstand all the wear and tear, last for a long time and be easy to maintain.

As commercial properties are large, you will also want something that would be affordable but looks great. At The Floor Company, we believe that concrete is your best option. Within concrete flooring, there are several options available.epoxy coating ottawa

Epoxy or Polyurethane Coating 

This is one of the best examples of combining beauty with function. Epoxy and polyurethane coatings are very resilient. These coatings have great chemical resistance, can be installed quickly, have the ability to bear high traffic and heavy loads, and will last for a long time.

Of the two concrete flooring options, epoxy coatings are more affordable and easier to apply. The polyurethane coating is resilient and won’t fade as easily. Regardless of which coating you choose from the two, you’re likely to see great results. The best part is that these coatings can be stained in different colour options.

These are the most common coating options but there are several others available in the market. You can talk to our concrete-flooring experts about which coating would be ideal for your commercial environment.

Polished Concrete 

This is also a very attractive option to most commercial property owners. In fact, polished concrete is very popular amongst retail store owners. Polished concrete flooring is slightly more expensive up-front because of the polishing process. The installers will use diamonds of various levels to achieve a desired level of shine. These floors can be very finely polished to attain a mirror-like finish. View more samples of polished concrete flooring in our gallery here.

Polished concrete is very resilient as its surface is treated with densifiers during the polishing process and the sealers are added on top of it. This surface is ideal for commercial applications because it lasts for a long time, can bear heavy traffic, and is easy to maintain.

For more information on coated and 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

When To Use Self-Levelling Concrete

There are few instances more frustrating than when the renovation of a structure with concrete floors is underway, and then you find out that the flooring surface is either pitted or out of level.

In most circumstances, a general contractor will simply trowel conventional concrete or grout from a bag mix onto a rough surface to smooth it out or add too much water and pour the concrete to level it. This may look fine at first, however, concrete doesn’t bond well to existing concrete without a massive amount of effort put into surface preparation and failure of the new surface is guaranteed over time.When To Use Self-Levelling Concrete

A little-known secret is that epoxy is actually a much better bond maker with concrete than with concrete itself. Epoxy can be used to prime a concrete slab to prepare it for a concrete patch or self-levelling concrete.

First, the surface is prepared via grinding or shot blasting, depending on the level of damage that currently exists within the floor. Then, 100% solids epoxy is squeegeed onto the floor and sand is thrown into the wet coating until rejection. (Definition: “Until rejection” means the surface is completely over saturated with sand and you can no longer see the epoxy.) This creates a nice rough surface for the new layer of concrete to adhere to. It also provides a built-in vapor barrier.

If the surface being repaired is to be a wear layer or a surface that will receive no further flooring of any kind, then an epoxy based, rather than concrete based, self-leveller can be specified. Epoxy based self-levellers are similar to the epoxy primer described above, in the way they bond, however instead of broadcasting sand into a primer, the applicator will mix smaller sized sand with epoxy and pour it onto the floor. This will result in a level, smooth, visually appealing and contamination resistant surface. Not only that, this type of self-leveller is more impact resistant than concrete versions.

Self-levelling concrete is better suited to areas that need to be levelled or smoothed to prepare it for further flooring such as hardwood, linoleum, tile or other traditional flooring types.

The key thing to remember here is that when levelling out old concrete floors, the most important thing is to prepare the surface and remove contamination. Without this necessary step, your efforts will most likely be in vain.

Contact a qualified flooring contractor today to have your concrete slab evaluated and a system specified.

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.