Concrete | The Floor Company - Part 4


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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. 

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.

Self-Levelling Epoxy Flooring Vs Concrete Levellers

Concrete floors and wood sub-floors are never perfectly flat or exactly level. All pre-manufactured flooring has a specific allowance for levelness and flatness. When it comes to getting a floor level and flat to the specification required, a concrete self levelling overlay or underlay is often the solution.

self leveling concrete before

BEFORE Self Leveling Concrete Process

There is a difference between and underlay and an overlay, in fact, in our opinion they should be called pre-layments and final-layments.

Underlayment: This is a leveller that is not designed to be used as a finished surface. It is to be used as a base for a flooring system such as carpet, tile or hard wood.

Overlayment: This is a levelling agent or system that can be a wear course or final floor topping. It is still recommended that it be sealed with epoxy or similar.

self leveling concrete during

DURING Self Leveling Concrete Process

Now, focusing on overlayment, let’s discuss the reasons one should choose epoxy over a concrete or gypsum bases overlayments.

Firstly: adhesion. You might think concrete would have the best adhesion to a concrete but in fact epoxies have been shown to have a much stronger bond. This is because when applied, epoxies are much more liquid like than concrete and therefore are able to penetrate the slab and expand in is pores. This requires proper surface preparation via grinding or shot blasting.

With concrete overlays, the bond is achieved on the surface only using a proprietary binder or primer. While this does work in effect, it’s not nearly as strong or as well bonded as 100% solids 2 part epoxy.

Another huge benefit to using epoxy for a self-leveling overlay is the fact that epoxy itself is a sealer. In theory, assuming your floor doesn’t require more than one coat of epoxy self-levelling overlay, you could do one coat and your floor would be level, sealed and the colour you want.

self leveling concrete after

AFTER Self Leveling Concrete Process

With a concrete self-levelling overlay you would have to wait for the concrete to cure, sand it, then clean and vacuum and then apply an approved sealer.

Unlike concrete overlays, epoxy overlays have many options concerning non slip and final sheen. Epoxies also bond well with other coatings where as concrete overlays often fail in the department.

To ensure the best outcome when levelling a floor you will not be covering with other flooring, you best bet is to choose a leveller that can withstand years of wear and tear on it’s own without requiring a sealer. That solutions, is self levelling epoxy. If you have any questions about Self-Levelling Epoxy Flooring Vs Concrete Levellers, ask our team today!

Ripping Out a Concrete Slab Vs Resurfacing It

When the time comes to finally admit that your concrete slab is completely shot, think again, it may not be!

It’s very common for us to be called out to see a floor and quote on replacing it only to find that replacing that slab would not only be unnecessary, but more costly than being repaired or resurfacing.

Another detail to consider when going down this path is the fact that even if you do replace a slab that appears to be beyond its years, you end up with a new, unprotected slab, that could see the same fate again.

concrete slab resurfacingConsider this: If the reason you wish to replace your concrete slab is because of surface imperfections like pitting, cracking, mottling or other unsightly issues, a resurfacing product like a self levelling epoxy or one of many other options may do a even better job than new concrete would.

Here is what we mean. By resurfacing a badly pitted or cracked slab with, for example, self-levelling epoxy, you not only get the new, pretty, smooth and easy to clean surface but this new surface is also impervious to the chemical and mechanical attacks that caused it to erode in the first place.

Another benefit is that with epoxy treatments you can choose colours, patterns, graphics, non-slip additives, logos, gloss sheens and more and build these features into the repair cost and process for your floor.

Rather than pay the cost financially of ripping out the old and bringing in the new, not to mention the environmental cost, why not use less material, time and often less money to get a new surface that will outperform the old and provide the custom usability you need?

If your slab is presenting other issues like damp spots appearing with no moisture causing scenarios above grade or if the slab is heaving, meaning the slab is higher on one side of the crack than the other, you may still need to remove the slab.

Usually, with heaving or moisture issues there is a problem below or adjacent to the slab that needs to be addressed. Resurfacing a slab showing these symptoms is a bad idea. The work done to “cover up” the problem will not only come undone in short time but it could make the underlying issues worse.

In closing, consider keeping your old beat up slab a little while longer, it could save you a lot of money and give you a beautiful new and stronger than ever surface.

Contact us today for a free slab evaluation. You may be glad you did.

The “Cool” Factor of Decorative Concrete and How to Not to Over-Do It

There is absolutely no doubt that decorative concrete is finally picking up steam in the finished flooring space. It fits in well with just about any environment: inside or outside, commercial, residential or industrial.

Some of the more popular features that lead to this innovative selection of concrete flooring systems making their way into the mainstream are that they are:

-Seamlessdecorative concrete custom work overlay pattern
-Totally customizable
-Easy to clean

It’s pretty common to see seamless epoxy, brilliant polished concrete and randomly troweled and coloured overlays in places of business, commerce and manufacturing.

When decorative concrete first started to become more noticeable in Canada there were a lot of mistakes happening with it sadly. We’ve all seen that tacky floor somewhere and wondered: “What were they THINKING?” That’s so hilariously ugly.

The trend of decorative concrete has moved to become more of a staple in modern design. With that move came a lot of change. Change not only in process and options but mostly in concept. No longer are decorative concrete floors installed to be a major attraction in design, they are now meant to be almost a mute feature in the overlay design concept.

Keep in mind there are always exceptions to the rule. Take for example floors with branding, themes or directional marks. However, overall the interior design concepts of today and the future are going to be expansive, sleek, minimalist finishes that lend well to the idea and feeling of “modern”.

When choosing flooring, especially for a commercial application, it’s exceedingly important to keep this in mind. Even though you may like to have bright colours or graphics in your floors, your customers or the eventual occupant for your current space may not be a fan.

The good news is that when you select a finish and design concept for your floors, your design consultant should be able to steer you in the right way in terms of choosing floor that will be appreciated by most, or, a method that creates a floor that can be easily reversed.

A good way to do this would be a solid colour floor or polished concrete with a logo or graphic from your brand embedded into a separate top layer of coating. When the time comes to move on, a concrete artisan can remove these graphics revealing the sleek floor below.

Always feel free to contact a concrete flooring expert for more ideas. We are a friendly bunch.

Top 3 Benefits of Seamless Concrete Floor Coatings

In this post we will go over the top 3 benefits of seamless coatings vs traditional seamed flooring types and cover some potential hazards of seamless flooring that you can avoid with proper planning.

1) Easy to Clean

Seamless flooring is easy to clean due to the lack of grout and smooth texture allowing for easy sweeping squeezing mopping and vacuuming without struggling to pick up debris that might get stuck in the grout of the floor.garage floor ottawa colour flakes

Potential downside: If slipperiness is a concern special additives are available for seamless floors that will retain their ease of use while providing traction. There are also top coats that can be added at any time in the future if you find that years down the road, your floor is more slippery than you’d like.

2) No Contamination Intrusion

If your floor environment is ever exposed to contamination, it is much less likely that this will have a long term adverse affect because they’re are no intrusion causeways to the underside of your flooring due to the lack of grout creating an entry point for moisture or contamination intrusion.

Potential downside: In order to create a floor with these benefits, proper surface preparation and moisture and contamination testing must be employed prior to installation of a seamless floor. Just as a seamless floor is impermeable from the top it should also be permeable from underneath, therefore if contamination and moisture go unaddressed they cannot escape a seamless floor and this could lead to bubbles air pockets or de-lamination of your flooring investment.

3) Unlimited Styling and Branding Options

Both floor coatings and polished concrete allow for unlimited design elements due to their being no delineating lines distracting the eye from an overall impactful design. Floor designs can include safety zoning or directional retail pathways. With today’s coat-able high definition and 3D graphics, floors can create an environment that is literally out of this world.

Potential downside: Embedded floor graphics design and branding are a very permanent decision and would need to be mechanically removed or covered up by another coating or traditional flooring should branding change or a tenant owner move from the facility.

With all of these great ideas, your sure to be excited about your new seamless floor, don’t be shy to call today and share one of your unique ideas for your upcoming seamless flooring project.

Top Retail Concrete Flooring Options

Choosing a floor for your retail environment goes beyond the economics of choosing the lowest price. Often omitted from the fact gathering process of shopping for a floor, are details like longevity, cost of ownership, maintenance, repair downtime and return to service interval. If all of the above are not considered prior to making a decision of the flooring style and material for your space it’s a certainty that you will encounter exorbitant costs down the road while trying to reserve a fresh clean looking environment for your retail space.

thefloorcompany polished concrete retail flooring The primary use of your retail space will determine flooring type that’s most ideal. If your retail space deals with the sale of harsh chemicals such as paints and dyes, a monolithic coating (seamless) will most likely be your best option. These coatings are usually epoxies or polyaspartics, however, there are several other coating options a professional will recommend to you based on your use of space and exposure to potential contamination issues.

Coatings are the best option for the environment above because they are seamless so you won’t get staining and debris stuck in ugly grout that’s hard to clean. Another benefit is they are generally stain resistant if your retail environment deals in dry goods and or is susceptible to high traffic, but a dry environment that isn’t introduced to excessive water or road de-icing salts, polished concrete is an economical and beautiful natural clean way to have a brilliant shine and welcoming environment for your clientele.

Of course, we can’t forget about branding potential and interior design elements. Both coatings and polished concrete offer unlimited potential for unique and creative expression of your brand and corporate culture. Contact a concrete design and finishing specialist today for all of your retail concrete flooring needs.

Polished Concrete Floors Don’t Have To Be Slippery

A common misconception with shiny concrete floor surfaces is that they are slippery.

Something important to understand right away is that just about any hard and dense surface lacking surface profile, texture or grit, will be slippery when walking in puddled water.

There are many way to achieve a less slippery surface.

– Adding sand to a sealer.
– Trowelling a textured pattern into the concrete or overlay.
– Broadcasting small metal or vinyl grit flakes into a top coat.
are concrete floors slippery
These all work fine but when it comes to polished concrete they are not an option. This is because the resulting shine you see after a floor has been grinded, hardened, polished, sealed and burnished, is the result of the concrete itself having been filled with ever increasingly smaller scratches from the grinding and polished phases. The top coat guard ads a little bit of sheen but mostly serves as a stain resistant layer.

This stain resistant top layer also keeps the floor from releasing concrete dust. Polished concrete floors are porous by nature.

In regards to slipperiness, let’s look at some of the differences between polished concrete and sealed concrete.

As indicated above, polishing is the act of scratching a surface with ever smaller and smaller scratches. The floor shines because light reflects off it at many different angles both horizontally and vertically.

With sealed concrete, the shine you see is 100% derived from the clarity and plastic nature of a sealed floor. There is a build up of material on the surface providing lustre and a reflective nature. While beautiful when new, sealed concrete doesn’t shine for as long as polished concrete because it is softer and therefore scratches more easily. Sealed concrete is also more slippery when wet because it is not porous at all which is why it is often necessary to add non slip materials into the top coat of a sealed floor.

When stepping on a polished surface, water is actually able to be pushed down into the pores of the floor a little bit resulting in more traction. On a microscopic level, the polishing process has cut off the high points of the concrete and the hardness process has raised the low points thereby increasing the amount of surface the foot is reaching.  The end result is more foot on the floor and less foot on the slippery water.

When choosing a concrete finish be sure to discuss how you plan to use the floor. Sometimes you may want a polished floor but a clear sealer over aggregate exposed concrete with a non slip added in may be a better bet.

There is no golden rule for when to choose one finish over another, so speak with a concrete flooring specialist today to determine your best option.