Concrete floors in most industrial facilities are considered wearing surfaces. In the course of an average day these floors
can suffer considerable abuse. This is compounded at many industrial facilities which operate multiple shifts. The daily abuse of Floors is
relentless, as industrial usage varies from pedestrian traffic due in part to heavy load fork lift traffic, possible chemical exposure, and
impact. In many instances a floor's condition and appearance can positively or negatively reflect a company's quality assurance. Typical problems
that can develop when concrete floors are not protected or when flooring systems are improperly installed are: dusting, spalling, joint
degradation, delamination, discoloration, and eventual loss of use.
The first key to a successful installation is selecting the proper system for the specific environment. Unfortunately, this is
usually the exception, not the rule. Factors such as budgetary restraints and inadequate time frames for system installation are usually the
most prominent reason for not providing the most appropriate system for a given environment. A poorly chosen or improperly installed
flooring system can result in expensive maintenance, loss of production due to down time, and safety related claims by employees and
visitors. The system selection process should carefully consider existing conditions, exposure factors both chemical and physical,
installation restrictions, specific performance criteria, aesthetics, and maintenance expectations. Consideration of these criteria is
essential in providing the client a long-term solution for all facets of concrete flooring protection.
Most manufactures of polymer flooring products have an established network of approved installers to help ensure quality
installations. These contractors are commonly referred to as coating contractors, who specialize in providing systems installations for concrete
floors. Product manufactures have a lot at stake, and their selection of properly trained coating contractors is the key to providing successful
installations. This of course means happy customers and continued growth in their respective industry. It is a good business practice to qualify
a prospective installer. First, request a letter of certification from the manufacture that the contractor is trained and approved for
installation of their product line and for how many years. Once this has been established, request several references, preferably of like
environments, that have been in service for a year or more. An established coating contractor with five or more years in business should be a
good candidate. All too often I hear about substandard installations that could have been easily been avoided with a few phone calls. In this
ever growing climate of fast track construction when the low bidder is generally awarded the job, qualifying a prospective installer should be a
The specification of monolithic polymer flooring is continuing to grow, especially in food service environments. Many overlayment
systems are available with an anti microbial treatment. This treatment will provide long-term protection against a broad spectrum of
bacterial and fungal attacks, and helps prevent surface growth, musty odors, staining, and fungal spores that cause allergic reactions.
These unique flooring systems are designed to withstand a variety of elements from heavy traffic to extreme thermal and chemical shock. Some
reasons polymer flooring systems are specified more than ever before can be attributed to comparing the systems to quarry tile systems that
have been the mainstay in food service environments for years. A properly installed quartz kitchen flooring system with an integral cove
base has no seams or grout lines to collect surface pollutants that harbor bacteria. Polymer flooring systems are easily maintained,
resilient to impact, available in variable degrees of slip-resistance, USDA and FDA approved, and have a lower installed cost. Compare the
features of polymer flooring to commonly installed quarry tile (see detail below) and the system of choice is clear.
For added protection a liquid applied waterproofing membrane is an ideal companion product for the monolithic polymer
flooring. The product is a two component, 100% solid elastomer-modified epoxy with a rubber-like composition when cured. The purpose of the
membrane is to assure that no water passes below the floor in the event the surface is damaged or the substrate cracks. These membranes relieve
stress that occur when a substrate shifts, to prevent water migration to occupied or critical areas below. The cured membrane does not embrittle
with age and retains elasticity even at freezing temperatures.
Polymer flooring systems with joint-less construction and integral cove base are perfect for a variety of commercial,
industrial and institutional environments. Polymer flooring is ideal when proven durability and ease of maintenance are required. For example:
research facilities, cafeterias, shower and locker rooms, animal care facilities, supermarkets, and detention facilities.
Remember, the key to a successful installation is directly related to the selection of a qualified coating contractor with