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InstallationVIDEO ON THE TOPIC: Epoxy Floor Installation Over Old Concrete
Exposed concrete floors are durable, hard wearing and useful for all sorts of applications from warehouses to art galleries and garages to domestic living rooms. They are particularly useful for heavy loads or traffic or, when combined with underfloor heating, for continuous and efficient space heating. As a finish they can appear utilitarian or luxurious depending very much upon the chosen materials and installation techniques.
Unformed faces are typically flat and require post-finishing techniques to achieve the required texture. The most prevalent texture or finish for internal exposed concrete floors is polished — either power-trowelled for a smooth solid appearance, or diamond-ground to expose the aggregates. A requirement for greater slip resistance is often a driver to explore other options, such as the inclusion of retardants or shot-blasting.
Some of the techniques more commonly used for external surfaces, such as imprinting or brushing, can also be used to good aesthetic effect inside.
They are specifically designed to serve as a floor finish, often incorporating pipes for underfloor heating, and require care and expertise to execute correctly. Designers are advised to seek guidance from specialist installers at early stages of design development when specifying screeded floors. There are two ways to create a smooth, polished patina to concrete floors, but each achieves quite a different visual appearance.
This technique creates a smooth finish, with varying degrees of shine and exposed cross sections of aggregate. The top millimetres of the concrete are mechanically ground a way to expose the aggregate, often using diamond grinders. The surface is then polished with increasingly fine-grade buffers to achieve the desired finish. It can take on the appearance of terrazzo depending upon the colour of cement, pigments and type of aggregates used — specialist suppliers and installers offer a huge range of colours and aggregate combinations.
The depth of grind will determine the degree of aggregate exposure, ie larger aggregate sections will be revealed with a deeper grind. More commonplace mixes of in-situ concrete can also be finished in this way. This is often a technique used to level and finish existing floors, although the final result is unlikely to be as consistent as where a floor is designed and placed to be polished in the first place. Unlike the mechanically abraded system, this technique takes place before newly placed concrete is fully cured and timing is critical to achieve a successful finish.
The surface is floated, often using a pan floater, and then trowelled progressively to produce a natural polished sheen. This is most commonly achieved using power tools but it is also feasible to trowel small spaces by hand. Further degrees of polish can then be obtained by using different surface sealants if required. The resulting floor has a more solid colour, sometimes described as mottled, or a natural patina but with minimal visible aggregate. The colour of the floor is determined primarily by the fine content of the concrete mix, ie the cement, sand fines and any pigments in the mix.
Alternatively, this technique can be used to install a pigmented dry-shake finish, creating the desired colour on the top surface of the concrete. Exposing the aggregate in concrete can also create grain, texture and pattern in floor surfaces, which is particularly useful for areas requiring greater slip resistance, especially when wet. The uppermost layer of concrete, or surface mortar, can be removed in a number of ways, each with subtly different results.
A key consideration is the practicality of application and the degree of control required for the specific project. A range of proprietary mixes are available with different combinations of coloured aggregates and binder. Common techniques include: exposure by washing or brushing, the use of surface retardants or abrasive or shot blasting.
Washing or brushing away the surface mortar of the concrete is in principle the simplest method of exposing aggregate in newly poured concrete. However, skilled execution and timing are critical to ensuring that the concrete is sufficiently stiff to hold the coarse aggregate in place while the surface is sprayed or brushed, but not too hard so that it is difficult to remove the surface layer.
Surface retardants offer a more controlled method of exposing the aggregate. Liquid surface retardant is sprayed onto the surface of the wet concrete, preventing the uppermost layer known as mortar from setting and allowing it to be washed or brushed away. The depth of mortar removed, and therefore amount of aggregate revealed, is determined by the choice of retardant. Texture patterns can be created in the floor surface by using stencils to mask areas of the concrete before the retardant is applied.
The protected areas remain smooth alongside the more grainy texture that is left where the aggregate is exposed. As with all techniques, timing and skill is important for effective execution. Shot or grit blasting s a simple technique for mechanically removing the top layer of hard concrete to create a stippled surface, often used to improve adhesion for supplementary finishing layers.
If intended to be a final finish, careful control is required to ensure consistency. A test patch is recommended so that the degree of shot blast can be agreed. As with depth of polish, the heavier the abrasion, the larger the pieces of aggregate that will appear. There are many fine examples of patterns created using stencils with this technique.
Imprinting wet concrete is a common technique for creating texture in external concrete and can be a cost-effective way of improving slip resistance. A tamping beam is progressively lowered and raised along the face of the floor to imprint freshly placed and levelled concrete. This creates a surface with ridges, with their frequency and width depending on the size of the beam.
It can be specified as light, medium or heavy tamp but these descriptions are not clearly defined and a benchmark or test panel is advised. Brushed or dragged concrete is a similarly cost-effective finish for adding slip resistance and is useful for utilitarian areas where aesthetics are less important, due to the difficulty of obtaining a uniform finish.
It does offer opportunities for pattern and variety depending on the direction of drag and the material used. Stiff bristled brooms give a coarser texture than those with soft bristles, for example. While actual sweeping brooms can be used, a purpose-made brush with steel bristles or tines is more appropriate for commercial applications.
An alternative method for adding texture to wet concrete is stamped or pattern imprinting using mats or rollers. Most commonly used externally, standard systems are most likely to be in the form of patterns with stone, cobbles or herringbone for paths and patios, but the technique offers opportunities for unique textures and patterns through the creation of bespoke mats.
The use of tamped, brushed and imprinted concrete on internal spaces may be restricted by the ability to gain access to create the finish in the wet concrete. This therefore requires consideration of sequencing early on. The colour of a concrete floor will be determined by the through colour of the mix, which will itself vary in appearance depending on the surface texture employed and how much of the aggregate is exposed.
It is also possible to add different and permanent colour to the upper surface only of the concrete. Dry shake toppings are powder or granules broadcast onto the surface of the concrete before trowelling. Once trowelled into the floor, this results in a hard, durable surface.
There is a wide range of coloured pigments available, including grey, and toppings can be selected to suit the specific performance requirements of the floor.
Many include a surface hardener to improve the durability of the floor finish, but they can also provide abrasion resistance and are often used to improve the surface finish of large pours when steel fibres are included. Colour stains can be applied to either trowelled or diamond-ground polished floors and offer the advantage of colour variety and a controlled application to create pattern, allowing the natural tonal variation of the concrete surface to show through.
For more information, see the Concrete Quarterly Visual Concrete special issue. Eurocode 1 BS Standards for precast concrete. Innovative concrete Visual concrete Exposed concrete floors Visual blockwork and masonry Visual in-situ concrete Visual precast concrete. Planning National Planning Policy Framework. Special concrete High strength concrete High workability concrete Lightweight concrete No-fines concrete Roller-compacted concrete Self-compacting concrete SCC Sprayed concrete Water-resistant concrete.
Cladding Foundations Piling Remediation of brownfield land Retaining walls Soil stabilisation and solidification. Airtightness Durability Low energy buildings Embodied carbon Embodied carbon of structural frames Operational and embodied carbon: commerical Operational and embodied carbon: housing.
Carbonation of concrete Fire resistance Thermal mass CO2 payback for thermal mass Providing enough thermal mass in air conditioned buildings Providing enough thermal mass in naturally ventilated buildings Surface emissivity - why this matters Thermal mass in summer Thermal mass in winter.
Circular economy Material efficiency Whole life Flood resilience Vibration control. Events Calendar. Presentations in your office. Resources for Academics Structural concrete competition Publications library RC Spreadsheets v4C. Concrete Quarterly: latest issue. Home Specification Visual concrete Exposed concrete floors.
The aim of this article is to highlight the requirements that may exist for a given building project, and indicate how these requirements should drive the designer towards the most appropriate and cost effective choice of floor system. The range of steel based floor systems is presented in general terms, with the advantages and disadvantages of each system identified so that these can be compared against the requirements of a given project. The article does not go into technical detail about the different types of composite , long span , and shallow floor solutions. Different buildings have different requirements, so not surprisingly there is no 'one size fits all' most appropriate solution.
How to Damp Proof Concrete Floors
Exposed concrete floors are durable, hard wearing and useful for all sorts of applications from warehouses to art galleries and garages to domestic living rooms. They are particularly useful for heavy loads or traffic or, when combined with underfloor heating, for continuous and efficient space heating. As a finish they can appear utilitarian or luxurious depending very much upon the chosen materials and installation techniques. Unformed faces are typically flat and require post-finishing techniques to achieve the required texture. The most prevalent texture or finish for internal exposed concrete floors is polished — either power-trowelled for a smooth solid appearance, or diamond-ground to expose the aggregates. A requirement for greater slip resistance is often a driver to explore other options, such as the inclusion of retardants or shot-blasting. Some of the techniques more commonly used for external surfaces, such as imprinting or brushing, can also be used to good aesthetic effect inside.
Concrete Floor Waterproofing
Concrete Workshop. I have a concrete garage floor that is cracking near the apron entry at the overhead door. That is a rare thing in these modern times, and that is precisely the focus of this workshop. This self-priming acrylic paint requires only one coat and resists fading, chipping and stains, even when exposed to sunlight, weather, hot tires or chemicals. Concrete staining is a great way to inexpensively turn your home or business interior and outdoor living areas into a work of art that will impress all of your friends and guests. They simply want to keep the oil leaks from their daughter's first car from destroying their garage and leaving oil stains in their driveway.
New Concrete — as a guide, new concrete should be left for four weeks to dry in the summer and six in the winter. We also offer additional specialty services which include floor joint repair, joint leveling, trip hazard remediation, and slab stabilization. If your basement floor gets damp when it rains, in the spring, or is damp all year long there is one company that has a way of waterproofing basement floors and walls that might be just what you're looking for. Concrete Flooring Excessive Moisture Issues Concrete flooring excessive moisture can lead to early failure of surface coating and the concrete slab itself. Use on concrete flooring. Use of the correct waterproofing system to prevent moisture transfer into coatings and degradation of the slab. Looking for waterproof flooring? Choose from luxury vinyl plank, engineered vinyl plank EVP , or porcelain tile for high-end hardwood and stone designs resistant to water exposure. This means a waterproof basement floor is the best choice for easy maintenance.
Concrete is the most commonly and widely used construction material for commercial building floors. While the decision to specify concrete is an easy one, the selection of the floor finish or coverings to be installed on the floor can be quite complicated. There are endless floor finishing options for new construction projects. The concrete is then designed to accommodate the desired finish.
Commercial concrete can be broadly defined as concrete used to build or enhance business facilities, such as industrial buildings, warehouses, retail stores, car parks and office buildings. Commercial concrete can be found nearly everywhere in a building, including the walls, floors, exterior walkways and pavements, and even the architectural details. When compared with residential concrete, commercial concrete usually has greater demands placed on it in terms of structural performance and durability. There are a number of solutions outlined below which will vary between the requirements of each building or project:. As well as providing the structural frame, concrete can be used to improve the overall performance of a building. Reducing the number of columns to increase open plan areas and increase flexibility for re-use are often important in commercial buildings. The use of High Strength concrete can reduce the number and thickness of supporting columns creating more useable space. The use of a post-tensioning design is a tried and tested method that can deliver these longer spans and create more useable space. Thermal mass is a term that describes the ability of a material to store heat; something many construction materials can do to a greater or lesser extent.
The claim is always that their old garage door did not have a gap. In addition to introducing and developing many advanced concrete floor technologies, our members have also installed hundreds of millions of square feet of concrete floors for commercial. A-1 Concrete Leveling of Ann Arbor is fully insured; we are so confident of providing the highest quality service that we back every concrete leveling job with a four-year warranty. This is a collection which you might know it already ;P contains all published "concrete - highway" assets. Founded in and headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA, the American Concrete Institute is a leading authority and resource worldwide for the development, dissemination, and adoption of its consensus-based standards, technical resources, educational programs, and proven expertise for individuals and organizations involved in concrete design. There's steps for making your own concrete planter on the Bunnings website. Garage Frontiers is an Edmonton, Alberta based and Baeumler Approved supplier and installer of garage cabinets, garage flooring systems, garage storage solutions, floor coatings, epoxy, acid staining, and driveway repair. You'll need to remove some of the topsoil so that your concrete floor, when poured, will be level with surrounding land levels. Designed for one-day garage floor applications, but highly functional and suitable for residential, commercial and industrial applications. In this workshop with Rebecca from Plastic Violet, you will be introduced to concrete mixing, colour pigments and special design techniques.
Having a sweating floor does not only weaken the foundation of the premises but also creates a slippery surface which is a risk factor within your living space. This comprehensive guide will answer any queries concerning your sweating floor and provide the best strategies to stop the dumbness. For most floors, condensation is the main reason for the sweating, especially in warm weather. When warm humid air from outside comes into contact with the cold concrete the air rapidly cools and condenses on the surface causing the wetness. If nothing is done about the condensation, the concrete slab becomes darker and results in efflorescence in the long run.
Commercial Flooring Glossary
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Rehabbing Concrete Floors: Coat, Cover, or Polish?
Make sure that the surface on which the sheets are to be installed is perfectly flat, clean and free from cracks, the seeping of humidity or loose materials. If the sheets are being installed to outdoor plaster, we recommend that they be installed on a surface that is resistant to various types of stress e. It is important to respect the stringcourses and joints, and avoid installing on non-planar surfaces such as brick walls. We recommend using the double coating technique; first distribute a full-bed layer of adhesive on the base with the help of helical-tooth spatulas and then apply a 3-mm layer on the back of the sheet with a flat-tooth spatula.
If you're looking to add a little style and color to your garage, one of the best places to start is with the floor. There are many options for sprucing up a garage floor, and most homeowners have trouble deciding which way to go.
Terrazzo Effect Tiles
Epoxy floor coatings are commonly used for commercial and industrial flooring. Epoxy coatings are normally applied over concrete floors to provide a high-performance, smooth, and durable surface that can last many years and withstand heavy loads. Many industrial sites, warehouses, and commercial buildings rely on epoxy floors to maintain clean and safe conditions for workers, equipment, and inventory. An epoxy coating requires a clean and slightly porous surface to adhere properly.