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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

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 You Should Test Concrete Before Finishing a Floor

You’ve heard the expression before: “Measure twice cut once”.

When it comes to concrete slabs, this is doubly important because an error in judgment or a lack of uncovering underlying issues, is much more costly when coating concrete than with just about any other renovation or addition to a structure.

It’s very important to test for multiple conditions in concrete before finishing a floor. This is especially true when choosing a finish that is not porous and doesn’t allow the slab to breathe.
improper floor preparation
If there is contamination in the slab that has not completely gassed off (evaporated) or been worn away, this may not even be noticeable prior to putting a coating down. Once the floor can no longer breathe, you may become surprised to see some unwelcome additions to your finish such as; bubbling, hollow spots or complete de-lamination can be the end result of trapped floor contamination.

It is also very important to check the slab porosity, hardness, pH levels and moisture content.

There are do it yourself ways to test all of these variables; however, they typically only test one extreme end of the range of measurement.

Concrete flooring professionals can provide you with the results and peace of mind you need prior to making an investment in decorative or protective concrete flooring. In fact, even if you are installing your own tile or hardwood it is always a good idea to have a concrete professional come to your project and test for moisture and porosity prior to install.

In the case of hardwood flooring, high moisture can cause warping and swelling. With tile, low porosity could leave to a bad bond of the glue or mortar.

When working on concrete close to exterior walls or foundations or even in garages, it is very common to see a white powder – called efflorescence appearing due to high moisture content. While in some cases the moisture content causing this a efflorescence is low enough to be coated, however, in other cases if coating was the action taken, it would most certainly lead to a failure.

Hardness of concrete is also a factor when choosing to seal or paint. When sealing or painting a concrete slab it is very important to prepare the surface via abrasion. If the concrete is too hard, which can be measured using the MOHS scale, it very like won’t be a good surface to receive a topping until it has been grinded via diamond segments. This is because high hardness and low porosity are quite often found in the same places.

To ensure success with flooring over any concrete surface, your best bet is to have a concrete professional provide you some data on your slab before install.

Acid Stained Concrete Vs. Dyes and Tints

While most people are happy with a natural coloured concrete slab, some opt for a more brilliant colour or just a slight change in the tone of grey and light beige’s that are naturally occurring when polishing and/or sealing concrete.

Acid Stains

In the past, the most common way to change the colour of a concrete slab was to do an acid stain or acid wash.

Acid stains require a lot of labor and immense amounts of water to be introduced into the slab in order to carry the acid and the resulting reaction that occurs when the acid and concrete properties meet.
Acid Stained Concrete Vs. Dyes and Tints colour chart
While this technique is time tested and proven, it does present certain issues such as adding a lot of moisture to a slab that is  going to be sealed next.

Using water to penetrate and stain a concrete slab means that the slab will have to dry for many days prior to a sealer being applied. Even when using a water-based sealer, there is a certain risk that is being taken when applying it to a floor that was recently wet or damp. The sealer could flake off or be weaker in the long run. Also, if you require an impact resistant floor or wish to finish with a coating such as an epoxy or a polyaspartic, the floor must be grinded first prior to being sealed.

When doing an acid stain, this is not necessarily the best outcome as grinding the floor prior to staining it will reduce its ability to take on a new colour

Concrete DyesAcid Stained Concrete Vs. Dyes and Tints 1

Decorative concrete dyes and concrete dye systems have come a long way and, in our opinion have replaced acid stains as the go-to product to use for staining concrete that will be sealed or polished.

These decorative dye systems are first sprayed down on the floor and either scrubbed in or left to dry. There is no need to neutralize them with large amounts of water or neutralizing agents. This means that, the floor can be polished or sealed on the same day that it was stained.

Another advantage to using concrete dyes as opposed to concrete acid stains is that the colour is much more predictable because there is no requirement for a chemical reaction in order to achieve the look that you are going for.

Concrete dyes can be used to change the overall colour of the floor but can also be used to create borders, accents, logos or really any other effects you may be going for.

If you would like more information about concrete dyes and stains, please contact us today to talk to one of our specialists.