Concrete is a stylish, durable choice for indoor floors

CONCRETE FLOOR ARTICLES

Get the latest tips, tricks and information about custom concrete floors, stained & dyed concrete floors, polished concrete flooring, epoxy flooring and more.

How to Choose Between Floor Resurfacing or Polishing
How to Choose Between Floor Resurfacing or Polishing
When an existing concrete floor needs a makeover, the question that’s often asked is which option is best: polishing or resurfacing with a decorative overlay? Both choices can give concrete floors a fresh, new look. However, one process may..

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August 8, 2016
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How to Choose Between Floor Resurfacing or Polishing

How to Choose Between Floor Resurfacing or Polishing

When an existing concrete floor needs a makeover, the question that’s often asked is which option is best: polishing or resurfacing with a decorative overlay? Both choices can give concrete floors a fresh, new look. However, one process may be better suited than the other depending on the situation and design requirements. Here are the key factors to consider.

CONDITION OF THE CONCRETE

Most structurally sound concrete floors can be polished, but there are some exceptions. Floors with major flaws that would still show through after polishing are usually better candidates for resurfacing. If your floor is too beat up for polishing, you can disguise the abuse by resurfacing it with a decorative concrete overlay. Various types of overlays are available, ranging from thin microtoppings to thick self-leveling overlays that can correct uneven floors, cover up damaged concrete, and provide a smooth new surface for decorative treatments.

DESIGN PREFERENCES

In terms of decorative options, both polished concrete floors and overlays can be enhanced by stencils, decorative sawcuts, and topical colors such as stains or dyes. However, resurfacing with an overlay will give you more finish options, depending on the type of overlay system and the tools used to apply it. Some overlays can also be stamped to mimic brick, slate, or stone or seeded with decorative aggregates to achieve a terrazzo-like effect.

LIGHT REFLECTIVITY

If your goal is to achieve a high-gloss, mirror-like finish with high light reflectivity, polishing is the best choice. If you like the high-luster look of polished concrete but the condition of your floor calls for resurfacing, another option is a polishable overlay You’ll be able to cover the existing flaws with a smooth, high-gloss surface while enjoying many of the decorative options of an overlay, such as the ability to add integral color and decorative aggregate.

PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS

Polished concrete floors are typically more resilient than cement-based overlays, especially in high-traffic areas. They also are easier to maintain than other types of decorative concrete floors because they require no waxing or sealers. Unlike polished concrete, a decorative overlay generally needs to be protected by a sealer or floor wax to protect it from foot traffic and abrasion especially in high-traffic areas.

By Jim Peterson, The Concrete Network

August 8, 2016
Recent Work: Stash Luxury Garages
Recent Work: Stash Luxury Garages
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry.
Before:Check out some recent work that we had the opportunity to do on some garage floors at The Stash Luxury Garages!Floor staine..

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August 5, 2016
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Recent Work: Stash Luxury Garages

Recent Work: Stash Luxury Garages
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry.

Before:

Check out some recent work that we had the opportunity to do on some garage floors at The Stash Luxury Garages!

Floor stained and clear coated with polyaspartic.

After:
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Another garage bay, 2400 square feet, coated using polyaspartic with a custom flake blend.

Before:
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After:
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August 5, 2016
How to Choose a Contractor for your Garage Floor
How to Choose a Contractor for your Garage Floor
Maybe you have already decided to invest in a garage floor coating, or maybe you are still in the early stages of your research. Regardless of where you are at in your process, we hope that you will find the following tips on hiring the right..

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July 21, 2016
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How to Choose a Contractor for your Garage Floor

How to Choose a Contractor for your Garage Floor

Maybe you have already decided to invest in a garage floor coating, or maybe you are still in the early stages of your research. Regardless of where you are at in your process, we hope that you will find the following tips on hiring the right person for the job helpful.

How long has the contractor been in business?

When it comes to having any work done on your home, it is important to make sure the person doing the job is experienced, but don’t discount a company that hasn’t been in business long – often new companies have been started by contractors with several years in the industry.  It is most important to make sure that the individual who will be doing the work has a level of experience that you are comfortable with.

Are they licensed and appropriately insured?

Unfortunately, there are always a few “fly-by-night” operators in every industry.  Make sure that anyone you are considering is licensed and has appropriate liability and workers compensation insurance.

Do they have references?

Ideally, you want to get 2-3 past customer references to contact.  Good contractors take pride in their work and will have testimonials to reflect that. In addition, be sure to ask if you can see a portfolio of their past jobs or see if they include a gallery on their website.

Do they perform a moisture test prior to starting a job?

A knowledgeable floor coating professional will test for moisture before they begin a job to make sure that a floor coating will be compatible with your concrete.  Some warranties may not cover issues caused by moisture, so this is an extremely important question to ask from the beginning.

How will they prep your concrete floor?

Like many things, much of the end quality lies in the work and attention to detail put into the things that you don’t see.  A good contractor will take the time to grind the surface of your existing concrete garage floor, as well as repair cracks, chips or holes prior to applying the floor coating.

What does their warranty cover?

In addition to finding out exactly what the warranty is on the product being used, always find out what type of guarantee the contractor offers on their work.  Many times it is assumed that the product warranty covers the work performed, when in reality, it does not.

Remember that the lowest price is not always the best price

While it is always tempting to save money whenever possible, the adage “you get what you pay for” often rings true when it comes to home improvements.  Remember to put quality of product and service first and be sure to ask prospective contractors exactly what is included in the price they are charging.

If you put in the research and take the time to make an informed decision, you will end up with a high quality finished product that is durable, functional, has a high aesthetic value and will add to the enjoyment of your home for years to come.

July 21, 2016
Maintaining High-Traffic Polished Concrete Floors
Maintaining High-Traffic Polished Concrete Floors

Although polished concrete floors are extremely durable through the densification and polishing process, they will eventually lose their beautiful shine if not properly maintained, especially if they are located in high-traffic commercial ..

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July 11, 2016
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Maintaining High-Traffic Polished Concrete Floors

Maintaining High-Traffic Polished Concrete Floors

Although polished concrete floors are extremely durable through the densification and polishing process, they will eventually lose their beautiful shine if not properly maintained, especially if they are located in high-traffic commercial or retail facilities. The good news is that while polished concrete floors are not maintenance-free, they generally are easier to maintain than other types of decorative concrete floors, since they require no waxing or sealers.

Routine maintenance for polished floors consists of daily dust mopping to remove dirt and grime accumulation that can abrade the surface of polished concrete. Frequent wet mopping is also needed. Although only clean water can be used, you’ll have greater success using a floor cleaner to suspend the dirt particles so they can be more easily removed.

Use only neutral-ph cleaners on polished concrete, since a cleaner that is too acidic or too alkaline will deteriorate the concrete and dull the shine of the floor. The correct type of floor pad also needs to be used to prevent concrete surface damage. Using very soft pads on polished floors to clean the surface will prevent scratching or etching.

The exact maintenance regimen needed and the frequency of cleaning is largely dictated by amount of traffic the floors receives. High-traffic areas will require more frequent cleaning.

Checklist for maintaining polished floors:

  • Dust mop the floor daily with a microfiber pad to keep dirt particles off the floor. Soils act as an abrasive and can ruin the clarity and shine of polished concrete.
  • If wet mopping the floor, always use clean water and clean mops. Use an automatic floor scrubber equipped with a nonabrasive pad to clean large square footage areas. Mop and bucket cleaning can be used in smaller areas.
  • When wet mopping, use a neutral floor cleaner formulated to suspend the dirt particles so they can be more easily removed. Using water only leaves much of the dirt on the floor, where it will eventually abrade and discolor the surface.
  • Try to clean spills and stains from the floor as quickly as possible so they don’t absorb into the surface.
  • Give the cleaner enough time to start breaking down the grime, such grease and other contaminants, and then suspend the particles. If you apply a cleaning agent and then immediately vacuum it or mop it from the surface, the cleaner will not have sufficient time to work.
  • Make sure the cleaning solution does not dry on the surface. This can be accomplished by cleaning small areas and making sure the entire process is complete before moving on to other areas

By Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.com

July 11, 2016
Green Concrete Floors
Green Concrete Floors
Building homes that are green and environmentally friendly has become the mantra for more and more builders and homeowners, as they discover how easy it can be to attain all the benefits of sustainable construction without sacrificing aesthet..

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July 5, 2016
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Green Concrete Floors

Green Concrete Floors

Building homes that are green and environmentally friendly has become the mantra for more and more builders and homeowners, as they discover how easy it can be to attain all the benefits of sustainable construction without sacrificing aesthetics or breaking the budget. In fact, going green often saves money, especially over time, while being kinder to planet Earth.

Decorative concrete flooring is a perfect example of this synergy of beauty, sustainability and economy, giving you a durable, low-maintenance floor that will last the life of your home. Concrete floors, when left exposed, conserve resources by functioning both as a foundation slab and finished floor. This eliminates the need for carpeting and other floor coverings that would eventually require replacement. In addition to conserving materials, concrete flooring offers many other environmental benefits, such as contributing to better energy efficiency and improving indoor air quality. The topics listed above are the most compelling reasons to go green with decorative concrete floors.

Design Versatility

Typically, interior concrete floor slabs have been hidden under other flooring materials such as carpet, hardwood, vinyl or ceramic tile. But why waste resources and money to add another layer of flooring when you can simply leave the concrete exposed?

Decorative techniques such as coloring, staining, stamping, stenciling and polishing give you unlimited design versatility, allowing you to create floors that mimic more traditional materials, such as tile or slate, or custom design a look that’s totally unique.

If you’re concerned about the toxicity of the products used to color, stain and seal concrete, you now have more environmentally friendly options than ever before. Although some concrete sealers and coatings are still solvent-based, many products today are available in low-odor, nontoxic versions that won’t affect indoor air quality.

Durability and Resource Conservation

When properly installed and sealed, a decorative concrete floor should last a lifetime and will never need replacement. Few flooring materials can boast this same longevity. Carpet, tile and even wood floors eventually need replacement, which uses up resources and creates waste disposal problems. If you stick with a neutral color palette for your concrete floor, it will easily accommodate any future changes to your interior décor.

Concrete floors also utilize sustainable materials. The predominant raw material for the cement in concrete is limestone, the most abundant mineral on earth. Your ready-mix supplier can also make concrete using waste byproducts, which reduces the consumption of raw materials. Fly ash, slag cement and silica fume, all waste byproducts from power plants, steel mills and other manufacturing facilities, are commonly used as partial cement replacements. Decorative concrete floors can also incorporate recycled products, such as crushed glass, bits of recycled plastic, marble chips, metal shavings and even seashells.

Finally, in the highly unlikely event that your concrete floor ever needs to be replaced, the concrete itself can also be recycled at the end of its long service life.

Another way concrete floors minimize waste: The fresh concrete that goes into a floor slab is manufactured at a local ready-mix plant in the quantities needed for each project. This also saves on the energy required to transport a factory-made product such as tile or carpet from the plant, to the distributor and eventually to your home.

Because of their thermal mass and ability to retain heat, concrete floors are ideal for passive solar home designs. When homes are built to take advantage of solar radiation entering through windows in the winter months, concrete floors will absorb the heat from the direct sunlight and release the stored heat as needed at night to keep rooms warmer. Conversely in the summer and in hot climates, concrete floors shielded from the sun will stay cool longer and can actually help lower air-conditioning costs.

Concrete floors are also ideal for use with energy-efficient radiant in-floor heating systems. With radiant heating, coils heated by electricity or hot water are embedded in concrete floors, warming the floor itself to deliver clean, even heat. The Healthy House Institute says that with radiant heating, people can be comfortable at lower temperatures than with forced-air heating, helping to rein in utility bills. Another benefit: When homes are heated with in-floor radiant heating, no air is being blown around, as with forced-air systems, so no dust or dirt gets recirculated into the air.

Economy

An exposed concrete floor is often an economical alternative to other finish solutions such as hardwood flooring and tile. For new residential construction or commercial projects with site-cast concrete floor slabs, choosing to leave the concrete floors exposed can save big money over the life of the building. First, you don’t have to buy and install an additional floor covering to put on top of the floor slab. In addition, the durability and low maintenance needs of concrete flooring will save you the recurring maintenance and replacement costs associated with less-enduring flooring materials, such as carpet and vinyl tile. In a typical home environment, decorative concrete floors are very low-maintenance, requiring only periodic sweeping or wet mopping.

By Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.com

July 5, 2016
Concrete Basement Floors
Concrete Basement Floors
Homeowners who have full or partial basements that can be transformed into a living space are essentially sitting on a goldmine. Realtor surveys show that finishing a basement ranks just behind kitchen and bathroom renovations in maximizin..

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June 10, 2016
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Concrete Basement Floors

Concrete Basement Floors

Homeowners who have
full or partial basements that can be transformed into a living space are
essentially sitting on a goldmine. Realtor surveys show that finishing a
basement ranks just behind kitchen and bathroom renovations in maximizing the
return on the homeowner’s investment, with the payback sometimes exceeding the
remodeling expenditure. What’s more, expanding the living space into the
basement is often much more economical than adding another room or floor onto
an existing home.

So when deciding to
finish your basement, don’t assume that hiding the concrete under carpeting or
other floor coverings is the best way to strike it rich in terms of value and
resale potential.

It’s time to bust
some of the common myths about the perceived disadvantages of concrete floors.
In fact, assuming that the basement and floor are structurally sound, enhancing
the concrete rather than covering it up is fast becoming the gold standard in
basement floor treatments, with benefits that extend well beyond aesthetics.
The growing trend, particularly in upscale homes, is to install decorative
concrete interior floors.

Myth #1: Bare concrete floors are cold
and damp

In properly
constructed newer homes, code requires better insulation than in older homes
and commonly, vapor barrier to prevent moisture problems. Concrete floors in
your basement can even decrease allergies by reducing moisture contaminants.

To keep concrete floors warmer underfoot in winter,
homeowners can install in-floor radiant heat before
the slab is poured. Basements are one of the most popular areas to install
these systems, which circulate heated water through polyethylene tubing. Some
systems can also be retrofit into existing basements by covering the tubing
with a self-leveling overlay.

Carpet is not recommended on
uninsulated or unheated concrete basement floors
because the carpet will be susceptible to mold and mildew. The basement
floor is generally cooler than the basement air temperature, and installing
carpet only lowers the temperature even more. If the basement humidity is high
enough, the temperature of the floor under a carpet may, in certain areas, fall
below the dew point of the air. Under this condition, a small amount of
moisture will accumulate under the carpet, making conditions right for mold
growth. The moisture formation may be so slight that you won’t see it from the
top of the carpet. If the basement floor is already insulated or has
under-floor heat, then carpeting or area rugs may work.

Myth #2: Cracks in concrete are
inevitable and it’s better to cover them up than to live with them

Unless the cracks
are serious and due to structural issues, many people like the rustic,
fractured look that can be achieved by staining the floor and leaving minor
random cracks exposed.

If the cracks are
perceived as an eyesore, an overlay is an easy solution for hiding them and can
accept a wide array of decorative treatments, including staining, stamping, and
stenciling (see Myth #6).

Myth #3: Carpeting or hardwood looks
warmer and much more inviting than concrete

Concrete stained a
rich, earthy tone instantly warms up a room and can stand out as one of the
basements most attractive features.

With decorative
concrete, there’s also no risk of chemical emissions, like there are from new
carpeting. These emissions can be especially hazardous in basement spaces that
aren’t well ventilated. Carpets also are a breeding ground for dust mites and
other allergens.

Hardwood flooring
isn’t a practical covering for most basement slabs because of the potential
exposure to moisture and humidity. The solution: Simply apply an overlay to the
concrete floor and stamp it with a wood-grain pattern.

Myth #4: Decorative concrete floors are
slippery

In most cases, a
decorative concrete floor is no more slippery than vinyl or ceramic tile.
Application of a high-gloss sealer to protect and enhance decorative concrete
may reduce traction somewhat, but that’s easily remedied by mixing a nonslip
additive into the stain or sealer before application.

Myth #5: Floor coverings are cheaper to
install than decorative concrete

The initial outlay
for decorative concrete may exceed the cost of a low-to-mid priced floor
covering, such as carpeting, vinyl tile, and wood laminates, but the life
expectancy of a concrete floor will far surpass that of most floor covering
materials. Decorative concrete can also endure water exposure from occasional
seepage into the basement after heavy rains, unlike water-sensitive floor
coverings that can peel up, warp, or mildew. That means in the long run
homeowners save money because they never need to rip out and replace worn or
water-damaged flooring.

When compared with
high-end floor coverings, such as ceramic tile, slate, and marble, decorative
concrete is often an economical alternative. Plus, skilled concrete artisans
can duplicate the look of these pricier materials.

If time is money, then homeowners can also cash in
on the low maintenance needs of decorative concrete. Typically just occasional
sweeping and damp mopping will keep the floor looking like new for many years.
When protected with a good sealer,
concrete floors also resist staining, chemicals, and abrasion.

Myth #6: Carpet, vinyl tile, and wood
laminate flooring offer more color and design options

This is possibly the biggest myth of all. No
flooring material offers more decorative versatility than concrete. A few of
the options particularly well-suited for basement floors include stampable and self-leveling overlayschemical stains, epoxy coatings, paints and dyes. What’s more,
these treatments can be combined to create one-of-a-kind decorative finishes to
suit unique basement design schemes. Consider these possibilities:

·
Install a stamped overlay. It’s
possible to resurface most existing basement floors and stamp them to look like
slate, stone, and even a hardwood floor.

·
Stain the floor to achieve rich,
variegated layers of translucent color. Henson says that using three or four
different stain colors will add drama and produce three-dimensional effects.

·
Apply an epoxy coating.
High-performance epoxies recommended for basement or garage floors are
excellent solutions for spaces where durability is important, such as recreation
areas, utility rooms, and workshops. The coatings come in a variety of hues and
can be accented with decorative color flakes or chips.

Source of information: concretenetwork.com (‘Seven Reasons Why You
Should Enhance Rather Than Cover Up Concrete Basement Floors’ By Anne Balogh
and ‘Basement Floor Myths Busted’)

June 10, 2016
Sealing and Caring For Your Concrete
Sealing and Caring For Your Concrete
Cleaning your concrete periodically and keeping it sealed with the right concrete sealers are the key components of any good maintenance program. How often you clean and reseal will largely depend on the conditions the concrete is exposed to,..

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April 20, 2016
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Sealing and Caring For Your Concrete

Sealing and Caring For Your Concrete

Cleaning your concrete periodically and keeping it sealed with the right concrete sealers are the key components of any good maintenance program. How often you clean and reseal will largely depend on the conditions the concrete is exposed to, especially weather extremes, sunlight intensity and the amount of foot or vehicle traffic. Spring and summer is the ideal time to think about resealing your outdoor concrete.

It’s important to reseal your exposed aggregate and decorative concrete surfaces periodically to protect again spalling, dusting, efflorescence, freeze-thaw damage, stains, deicing salts, and abrasion. A sealer will also enhance the color of the aggregate, accentuating its depth and richness.
Here are some simple answers to common FAQ:

1. What surfaces should I seal?
Exterior concrete in any region subject to freeze-thaw cycles should be sealed. In addition, concrete should be sealed for specific purposes such as stain repellence, dust reduction, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance or to maintain an attractive appearance.

2. What happens if I don’t seal my concrete?
Concrete is a porous material that readily absorbs liquids. In freeze-thaw climates, the expansion of frozen liquids can destroy the surface of unsealed concrete. Oil, salt, fertilizer, and other household chemicals can discolor and damage unsealed concrete.

3. How will my sealed surface look?
That all depends on the type of sealer you apply. Some sealers are nearly invisible because they penetrate into the concrete, while others provide significant color enhancement and give concrete a high-gloss wet look. Water-based acrylic resin sealers provide moderate color enhancement and a satin appearance. Urethanes (generally applied as topcoat over epoxy) are available in a wide range of finishes, from matte to gloss. Many sealers can also be colored with translucent or opaque tints.

4. When do I apply sealer?
Most sealers should be applied as soon as new concrete can withstand the weight of the installer. Other reactive penetrating sealers and most high-performance coatings, such as epoxies and urethanes, should only be applied after the concrete is fully cured (generally 28 days). Almost all sealers can be applied after concrete is 28 days old.

5. Will sealer make my concrete slippery?
Sealers generally have little effect upon the concrete surface profile or traction but some topical coatings can affect concrete surface profile, and may require the use of anti-skid additives in areas exposed to foot or vehicle traffic.

6. How long will my sealer last?
Sealers will last anywhere from 1-10 years depending on the type of product used and the amount of traffic exposure.

7. Is sealer environmentally friendly?
Concrete is locally made and can last for many decades with proper care. As sealers extend the useful life of concrete, they are an important component of “green” building. As for the sealer itself, water-based products are generally considered the most environmentally friendly.

Information obtained from ConcreteNetwork.com articles ‘Exposed Aggregate Sealers’, ‘Clean and Seal Concrete – A Practical Guide to Maintaining and Caring for Exterior Decorative Concrete of All Types: Anne Balogh’ and ‘Plain-Language Answers to the Top 10 Sealer Questions from technical expert Bill York, technical advisor, V-Seal Concrete Sealers’.

April 20, 2016
Garage Floor Coatings
Garage Floor Coatings

Epoxy coatings can turn garage floors into an extension of your living area by adding color, hiding imperfections and improving wear resistance.


A garage floor coating is one of the most economical and aesthetically pleasing ways..

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April 11, 2016
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Garage Floor Coatings

Garage Floor Coatings

Epoxy coatings can turn garage floors into an extension of your living area by adding color, hiding imperfections and improving wear resistance.

A garage floor coating is one of the most economical and aesthetically pleasing ways to enhance a plain gray concrete garage floor. These heavy-duty epoxy-based systems not only upgrade the look of the floor, they also increase resiliency to stains and tire marks and hide minor imperfections. With many colors to choose from for the base coating, which can be further enhanced by decorative quartz or paint chips, garage floor coatings give you a wide array of design options. 

Making
your garage an extension of your living space

In a time not too long ago,
garages were all the same: outbuildings that were storage areas for parked
cars, with boring gray concrete or even dirt floors. Today garages have taken a
more prominent place in the design of homes, often built to house three
vehicles, and more often than not attached to the home. Garages have graduated
from simple storage areas, becoming organized shops or showrooms. Today every
bit of attention that a homeowner pays to the decorating of the home is paid to
the garage as well, right down to what goes on the concrete floors.

Now homeowners no longer have to
settle for boring, gray concrete flooring. Their garage floors can be as
aesthetically pleasing as the rest of their home.

The versatility of garage floor coatings

Garage floor coverings have the versatility to go with any style of décor. Looks can range from simple gray concrete with a sealer to a more complex colored base with multicolor flecks in it, offering a design similar to granite or terrazzo.
Color flakes come in a wide range of colors and are made of acrylic paint chips. This system provides an excellent wear surface that can stand up under walking and driving on, but if impact resistance is what you’re looking for, decorative quartz is the way to go. Quartz floors are multicolored aggregates thrown to refusal into 100% solids epoxy and have the impact resistance not normally found with the acrylic paint chips.
Choosing the design for your garage floor covering can be as simple as matching the color of your house or as involved as hiding any imperfections or flaws in the existing floor. Coating the existing concrete with only a sealer, any imperfections will show through. A colored base with the paint chips or quartz aggregate thrown down to refusal would cover any imperfections that may exist. If the floor has no aesthetic reasons to choose full coverage, a medium or light paint chip coverage may be chosen for additional design variations.
Source of information: concretenetwork.com (‘Garage Floor Coating Ideas’ and ‘Garage Floor Design Options’ by Jennifer Fitzjarrell

April 11, 2016
Salon Floor Gets an Extreme Makeover
Salon Floor Gets an Extreme Makeover
Steven Paul Salon & Studios in Scottsdale, Ariz., likes to pamper its clients by giving them a spa-like experience in an upscale environment. Housed in one of Old Town Scottsdale’s vintage architectural buildings, the salon needed to replac..

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December 30, 2015
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Salon Floor Gets an Extreme Makeover

Salon Floor Gets an Extreme Makeover

Steven Paul Salon & Studios in Scottsdale, Ariz., likes to pamper its clients by giving them a spa-like experience in an upscale environment. Housed in one of Old Town Scottsdale’s vintage architectural buildings, the salon needed to replace the existing floor – a combination of Mexican Saltillo tile and old epoxy – with a more unified, seamless surface that would enhance the elegant surroundings.

“The client’s goals were to replace their existing floor with an aesthetically pleasing surface that would also be easy to clean,” says Bryan Mercado, general manager of A Seamless Floor Company, which specializes in decorative concrete overlays and designer epoxy floors. “Our solution was to install an intricate metallic epoxy floor that would meet their design needs and provide an elegant, nonslip surface with easy cleanability and exceptional abrasion resistance and gloss retention.”

To achieve a luxurious two-tone finish, Mercado chose a metallic epoxy system using a solid black color as a base and, while wet, pouring a coffee metallic over the black epoxy and broadcasting solvent over the entire application. One of the challenges was to find a way to apply the metallic epoxy over the Saltillo tile and old epoxy without removal, so the project could be completed in stages with minimal downtime.

“We decided to resurface the 2,500 square feet of Saltillo tile with an epoxy mortar system that would allow us to apply our designer flooring over the top,” says Mercado. For the epoxy portion of the floor, Mercado used a special floor-scrubber-mounted surface prep system using diamond grit inserts to mechanically profile the surface and pinpoint any weak spots, which he then filled with an epoxy patching material. Before applying the metallic coating, the installation crew primed the prepared floor surfaces with a water-based epoxy and then applied a polyaspartic topcoat treated with a nonskid aluminum oxide to provide slip resistance.

Mercado says the clients are pleased with the look of their chic new floor and the ease of maintenance, which simply involves daily sweeping and weekly cleaning with a neutral cleaning product. “We strive to increase the value people find in decorative concrete and resinous floor systems. We believe good work will spread awareness of the benefits these floors offer when compared to the conventional alternatives such as carpet, tile, and wood,” he says.

Materials and equipment used
Surface preparation equipment: Diamabrush floor prep system from Malish
Floor primer: Epoxy 100 two-component water-based epoxy from Arizona Polymer Flooring
Topcoat: Elite Crete polyaspartic coating
Epoxy floor system: Epoxy 400 low-viscosity, 100% solids resin system from Arizona Polymer
Metallic pigment: Elite Crete Reflector Enhancer (coffee)
Floor sealer: Starbrite 25, from Farwest Supply

Coating installer
A Seamless Floor Company LLC, Queen Creek, Ariz.

Project submitted by Bryan Mercado, A Seamless Floor Company, Queen Creek, Ariz.

By Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.com

December 30, 2015
Concrete Microtopping Transforms an Old Horse Barn
Concrete Microtopping Transforms an Old Horse Barn
Imagine being faced with the task of converting an old, rundown horse barn into a posh spot for entertaining, starting with the renovation of a badly worn and cracked concrete floor. This enormous undertaking didn’t daunt Andy Espinoza and ..

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December 30, 2015
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Concrete Microtopping Transforms an Old Horse Barn

Concrete Microtopping Transforms an Old Horse Barn

Imagine being faced with the task of converting an old, rundown horse barn into a posh spot for entertaining, starting with the renovation of a badly worn and cracked concrete floor. This enormous undertaking didn’t daunt Andy Espinoza and his crew at Envision Concrete. They eagerly took the reins of the concrete restoration challenge, with winning results.

The homeowners purchased the property in Julian, Calif., five years ago, with the intention of remodeling the old 1940s barn and turning it into a place to host large gatherings. The existing 1,000-square-foot concrete slab had a very rough broom finish and was riddled with deep cracks. In addition, there were two wash-out trenches several inches deep in the back corners of the barn that had to be filled and leveled.

“The owners wanted to go with stained concrete, but the flooring was in terrible shape,” says Espinoza. “They were looking to level out the floor and give it variation in color. They also wanted a floor that was durable and easy to clean and maintain. Rather than floating out the entire floor with a self-leveling product, I suggested filling the swells and applying a microtopping, which would save considerably in cost and provide a fresh canvas to work with.”

First, Espinoza’s crew ground down the entire floor to smooth out the major imperfections, and then they filled the trenches with a fast-setting concrete underlayment reinforced with pea gravel for added strength. The next step was to open up the deep cracks in the floor with a V-blade crack chaser and then fill them with Super-Krete Bond-Kote, a ready-mix concrete repair and resurfacing product. After lightly grinding and etching the floor to remove all dirt and debris, the crew covered it with two coats of Bond-Kote and allowed it to cure. The final step was to stain the microtopping with an amber-colored stain to replicate the warm look of saddleback leather. After the floor was washed and neutralized, it was protected with two coats of polyurethane sealer and a coat of floor wax.

“After completion of the project, I was told the owners were very impressed and amazed at how the floor was completely transformed. Everyone was very pleased, and the owners have received numerous compliments,” says Espinoza.

Because the barn will be used only for occasional entertaining, maintenance of the floor will be minimal. “Simple mopping with a light detergent will be sufficient,” says Espinoza, who recommends reapplying the floor wax annually to keep it looking its best.

Established in 2014, Envision Concrete is growing rapidly and becoming well known in the area for its meticulous attention to detail. “In recent months, I have been noticing a greater need for concrete restoration,” Espinoza says. “More people are purchasing older homes with worn concrete. Rather than tearing out and replacing the concrete, they contact us to see what their options are. In many cases, we can restore the concrete by grinding and polishing the slab or throwing an overlay down.”

Materials used:
Fast-setting underlayment: Ardex SDP-15
Concrete Microtopping: Super-Krete Bond-Kote
Concrete stain: Proline Amber Dura Stain
Polyurethane sealer: Proline Dura-Thane

Contractor:
Andy Espinoza
Envision Concrete, Escondido, Calif.

Project submitted by Andy Espinoza, Envision Concrete, Escondido, Calif.

By Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.com

December 30, 2015
How the Right Flooring Material Can Make Your Home Healthier and Happier
How the Right Flooring Material Can Make Your Home Healthier and Happier
Seven reasons why installing polished concrete floors can create a healthier environment for you and your familyBy Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.comWhen people choose a flooring material for their home, how the floor affects their heal..

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December 8, 2015
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How the Right Flooring Material Can Make Your Home Healthier and Happier

How the Right Flooring Material Can Make Your Home Healthier and Happier

Seven reasons why installing polished concrete floors can create a healthier environment for you and your family

By Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.com

When people choose a flooring material for their home, how the floor affects their health and well-being is rarely a consideration. Cost, comfort, appearance, and maintenance generally take priority. But wouldn’t it be great if you could have a floor that not only looks fantastic, but actually reduces your exposure to nasty toxins, makes it easier to breathe, boosts your mood, and is good for your pets?

Those are a just few of the compelling benefits of polished concrete floors, which have been increasing in popularity recently both for their beauty and low environmental impact. According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, what we are exposed to in our environment, including where we live and work, has a direct impact on our health and can be the cause of many unexplained chronic illnesses. Here’s how polished concrete can reduce that impact and create a healthier living environment.

1. Put an end to sneezing
If you’re looking for allergy relief, removing your wall-to-wall carpeting and opting for decorative polished concrete flooring can help. When it comes to allergies, carpeting can be one of the biggest contributors to your suffering because it’s difficult to keep clean and often becomes a haven for dust mites, pollen and other allergens. Concrete floors can ease your sneezing and congestion because they don’t trap allergens and they are easy to clean. Learn more: Concrete Provides Beautiful Hypoallergenic Flooring.

2. Improve your indoor air quality
Exposure to toxic mold in homes has been blamed for ailments ranging from headaches to severe respiratory infections and immune system disorders. Mold can thrive on any organic material, especially in warm, moist, humid conditions. Unlike wood, carpets made of natural fibers, and other organic materials, concrete floors won’t support the growth of mold, mildew and other hungry microorganisms. See Why Concrete Is a Healthy Alternative.

3. Stop air-blown dust
Polished concrete floors are also ideal for use with energy-efficient radiant in-floor heating systems. With radiant heating, coils heated by electricity or hot water are embedded in concrete floors, warming the floor itself to deliver clean, even heat. With radiant in-floor heating, you’ll be more comfortable at lower temperatures than with forced-air heating, helping to rein in utility bills. Another benefit: When homes are heated with in-floor radiant heating, no air is being blown around, as with forced-air systems, so no dust or dirt gets recirculated into the air.

4. Reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals
Most people are aware of the health consequences of exposure to polluted outdoor air. But did you know that poor indoor air quality  can pose similar health hazards? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental dangers. Research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. So for some of us, breathing the air inside our homes may be worse than spending time outdoors.

What effect can flooring materials have on indoor air quality? Synthetic carpeting, for example, can emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, as can some of the products that accompany carpet installation, such as adhesives and padding. Some of the adhesives used under vinyl sheet goods and linoleum can also emit VOCs. Polished concrete floors are a toxic-free flooring alternative because they aren’t treated with chemicals or sealers that can emit harmful VOCs. They also are easy to maintain and require only periodic sweeping or wet mopping with mild, nontoxic detergents. Even medical facilities are installing concrete floors because they have no ill effects on indoor air quality. See To Your Health.

5. Make your home more pet-friendly
Few flooring materials are friendlier to pets and their owners than polished concrete. Your pets’ paws, which are often in direct contact with the floor surface, won’t be exposed to harmful chemicals. For pet owners who are allergy sensitive, smooth floor surfaces like polished concrete won’t trap pet dander the way carpet will, making the dander easy to remove during routine cleaning. Learn more about the pet-friendly attributes of concrete floors: Six Reasons Why Concrete Floors are Pet Friendly.

6. Brighten your outlook
A benefit of polished concrete floors that many people overlook is how much they can brighten a room with their high light reflectivity. Introducing light into a space can have an enormous effect on your environment, hugely improving its quality and character, according to Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big House series, Home By Design, and The Not So Big Life. She says reflective surfaces can influence rooms throughout your home, helping to bounce light around and augment the presence of natural light within a space.

Installing light-colored polished concrete floors can help save energy and reduce lighting bills by amplifying the amount of natural light entering a home during the day and reducing the need for artificial light at night. Bright, shiny polished concrete floors also look better than a dull, drab surface, making rooms sparkle while lifting your spirits. See these examples of concrete floors that combine beauty with high light reflectivity.

7. Make it personal
Living in a home that reflects your personality and tastes can elevate your mood and foster a sense of tranquility. With polished concrete, you can add a special touch of feng shui to your floors by using stains, dyes, and decorative engraving to create an endless array of custom effects

December 8, 2015
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