Rock Floring

  • Your Epoxy & Floor Coating Questions Answered – FAQs
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    What Our Customers Are Asking… A beautiful example of an expert FloroChip installation by the skilled crews at Gurbitec of Mexico. Question: How do you apply epoxy flooring in extreme temperatures with fluctuations? My facility is located in a semi-arid climate that can have 50 degree daytime/nighttime temperature swings. We’ve had trouble with epoxy flooring installations in the past. Do you have any suggestions? Bob P. of Paso Robles, CA Answer: Hi Bob,Yes, we can help! The Florock concrete floor finishes line is one of the most complete in the industry. We have several products designed for extreme climates. Your local Florock Representative is available to assess firsthand your floor’s traffic, chemical exposure and specific environment. In consultation with our full-service laboratory, your rep can provide you with a custom flooring recommendation uniquely suited to your needs. Question: How do you avoid epoxy floors blistering and peeling? Last year, my rotary buddy expanded his facility. The GC applied epoxy to their 28 day old concrete floor and shortly thereafter, the coating started blistering and peeling. What a mess! Now we’re planning a new addition for our plant. How can I avoid having the same problem? Pat K. of Wichita, KS, Answer: Pat, it’s likely that your friend’s concrete was not fully cured at the time of epoxy installation. The industry recommendation of “achieving a 28 day cure prior to coating” is a guideline – not an absolute. If the flooring installer fails to test the slab for relative humidity and then simply preps and applies the epoxy system on Day 29, there’s really no way to predict whether or not the coating will hold. Assuming placement of a proper vapor barrier under the new slab, and barring other site or environmental sources of excess concrete moisture, using convenient probes to measure the relative humidity of a new slab as it’s curing* is recommended. This is the most cost-effective way to help ensure your new concrete is ready for coating. Our team of experts is available to help, so be sure to give us a call! * In accordance with ASTM F2170, “Standard Test Method for Determining Relative Humidity in Concrete Floor Slabs Using In Situ Probes” Question: What’s a budget-saving epoxy floor restoration solution? What am I supposed to do about the floors I’m seeing out here these days? The facility owners seem to be waiting until the concrete’s practically… Read more »
  • Green Flooring: Sustainable & Environmentally Friendly Flooring Options
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    While LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) started out as a rating system for sustainable new construction, over the past nearly two decades, it has grown to now encompass nearly all types of building projects and is the most widely used green rating system in the world. The benefits to building owners of having U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification can range from tax rebates and zoning allowances, to better public image and higher shareholder satisfaction. Because of this, owners and managers are opting more and more for products and systems that can contribute to their facilities’ LEED credits and certification. Museum visitor exploring the beautiful graphic with FloroPoxy 4805 topcoats installed by Aplika of Ecuador. Virtually every aspect of a building’s construction—from design to materials—now has sustainable options, and flooring is no exception. Why Polymer Flooring Options Are a Sustainable Choice Virtually No Product Waste During Installation Sheet goods, plank systems, tile or any product that must be cut to fit inevitably leaves unused and unusable scraps. Not only is this a matter of wasted materials, but these materials must be disposed of properly in accordance with local ordinances. Transporting these materials to the landfill adds to the cost of installation, since most locations now impose a variety of fees when accepting construction waste. Fluid-applied polymer floor coatings, on the other hand, are mixed in the quantities needed for application onto each floor space. There is no cut off waste or factory finished product being sent to the landfill. Sustainable Concrete Flooring and Long Lifespan Epoxies and other fluid-applied floor resins, when produced by quality manufacturers and properly installed, demonstrate proven durability and can last for years—even decades—longer than many other types of flooring. With their extended replacement cycles, polymer coated concrete flooring can help reduce the use of resources, in terms of materials and energy, required to keep facility traffic surfaces in good repair. Additional benefits to sustainable concrete floor coating use include the following: Unlike many other flooring types that require complete removal prior to installation of a new floor surface, polymer floor coatings can often be applied over existing, well bonded and compatible systems. If, down the road, a building owner decides to veer from coatings toward another type of flooring altogether (certainly not something we recommend!), the existing coating can usually stay in place underneath the new materials. This, again, saves time, money and… Read more »
  • Epoxy Floor Coating Reviews – What do the experts look for?
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    As is the case with any product, the properties and thus, the quality and value of epoxy floor coatings vary among different brands and manufacturers. By knowing what the experts look for, you will be better prepared to evaluate the various epoxy flooring systems on the market and select the products ideally suited to your needs – for the best value. FloroTallic Brown Earth enhances the decor in this retail location. What is epoxy? Epoxy resins are polymers, that is, large molecules created by joining many smaller molecules, called “monomers”, together. The joining process occurs during a chemical reaction called “polymerization”. True industrial grade epoxy coatings are made up of at least two components—a base resin and a curing agent/hardener—that get blended together in a precise ratio. Properly combining the two components results in a chemical reaction that “cures” the liquids into a hard substance. Why is epoxy used as a concrete floor finish? Several characteristics of epoxy include excellent durability, high bond strength and outstanding chemical resistance. Another benefit of industrial epoxy coatings is their low permeability, critical for protecting concrete substrates. How can I tell if an epoxy is really industrial grade? There are several key performance measures that experts use in comparing one epoxy coating with another and to determine if an epoxy is really industrial grade. All things being equal, some floor coatings pass performance testing with higher marks than others. The best of these will tend to have greater durability, enabling longer periods of use between recoats or replacements. When comparing two epoxy products, it is vital to carefully examine the standardized test methods used to measure each. The tests and selected parameters used to measure both products must be exactly the same for correct evaluation. If not, then there is no way to compare apples to apples, thus leading to choices made on incorrect assumptions. Below are some properties to look for in epoxy floor coatings: Bond Strength – This test indicates how well the epoxy coating adheres to a properly prepared concrete substrate. Depending on the type of system and test method, a bond strength of 400 psi or greater is typically recommended. Abrasion Resistance – Results of this test can help predict how well an epoxy coating is likely to withstand various types of traffic. Using the Taber Abrader Wheel is one way to measure abrasion resistance, though exactly how this standardized… Read more »
  • What Is 3D Epoxy Flooring?
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    FloroTallic skillfully installed at Stacked Pancake Restaurant by Epoxy Flooring Installations of IL. While the term, “3D Epoxy Flooring”, may occasionally be heard around commercial construction sites, individuals outside the industry may well wonder what this new flooring trend is all about. After all, the average user or building occupant typically thinks about floor surfaces in terms of length and width, that is, two dimensions or “2D”. However, the latest floor coating technologies and installation techniques are changing all that, bringing exciting new visual depth to otherwise flat surfaces in the form of “3D Epoxy Flooring”. Let’s explore how this came about. Before 3D Epoxy Floors The fact that resinous epoxy flooring can be an exceptional option for nearly every type of facility—from manufacturing plants and hospitals to fire stations and restaurants—has been known for years. Depending on formulation and system design, epoxy and other resinous flooring can be impressively durable and demonstrate excellent chemical and impact resistance, as well as high compressive strength. Other options include moisture vapor mitigating primers, static control systems and thermal shock resistant urethane mortars, enabling these floors to withstand the broad range of challenges found in today’s industrial environments. Epoxy and other resinous flooring is virtually seamless and can be installed with a floor-to-wall cove base and the correct slope for liquids to flow smoothly toward floor drains. Cleaning and maintenance is easy and economical, as the systems require no waxing or polishing. Regular sweeping and mopping or agitation with a soft bristle automated scrubber generally do the trick. Epoxy and other resinous flooring from quality manufacturers has long been available in a spectrum of standard and special order solid colors that skilled installers combine to produce countless designs. And the addition of multi-colored flakes or ceramic-coated quartz particles further broadens the extensive palette. By including such decorative aggregate blends, installers can not only enhance the level of traction for improved safety, but can take their floor’s already highly-attractive appearance to new heights. There are even UV-resistant topcoats to prevent yellowing, fast-cure formulations to minimize downtime and products with low to no VOCs, which can make your project eligible for LEED Green Building credits. Who could ask for more? Goodbye Acid-Stained Concrete Despite the many options offered by the resinous flooring industry, commercial and industrial facility designers are always seeking something new. Thus, acid stained concrete floors came into vogue. The staining delivered a… Read more »
  • Industrial Floor Paints: The 411
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    Nothing takes quite the beating in an industrial or commercial facility like the flooring. Durability, abrasion resistance and traction are common needs for any hard working operation. The flooring has to be able to withstand both pedestrian traffic as well as traffic from forklifts, dollies, and other types of equipment. Then there are the specific needs, such as moisture vapor control; resistance to thermal shock and/or pathogens, such as might be required in an R&D laboratory or a food processing plant; electrostatic dissipative (ESD) flooring can be essential for facilities with sensitive electronics; concrete floor coatings with conductive properties are often mandated where explosion hazards exist. Epoxies and other resinous flooring finishes are the most frequently used in a wide spectrum of industrial, commercial and institutional locations for a variety of reasons. Though each has its specific features and benefits and will work best in different settings, the decision is ultimately made based on the system performance. Each of these systems are made up of one or more types of epoxy and other resin-based coatings, applied in multiple layers as primers, base coats, and topcoats. Epoxy Coatings vs. Epoxy Paints – Is There A Difference? The short answer is “yes,” and the difference is quite substantial. FloroTallic System artistically installed by the crew at Industrial Flooring Systems, VA What is epoxy? Epoxy is a class of thermosetting polymer used primarily in adhesives and coatings, due to its toughness and adhesive properties. Epoxies begin as liquids and get changed into solids, thanks to an amazing chemical reaction. Epoxy coatings consists of two components: 1) an epoxy resin, and 2) a polyamine hardener. When mixed together in the correct ratio, the two liquids begin chemically transforming, creating tightly cross-linked molecular structures that form a non-porous solid. This process is known as “curing”. After the resin and the hardener are mixed together, the newly blended epoxy coating has what is called a “pot life.” This means it will stay fluid enough to work with for a fixed period of time under specific temperature conditions. In the case of epoxy floor finishes, the manufacturer’s data sheets may list a pot life of 20 to 30 minutes at 70° F, after which time, the blended material is likely to begin curing, that is, reacting chemically to form a hard solid, and an no longer be spread or applied. Like other coatings, epoxy is characterized by… Read more »
  • Understanding Floor Slip Resistance Standards
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    Preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace is one of the most critical priorities of every employer. Concern for the potential victims and their families, along with possible financial costs, are the stuff of managers’ nightmares. Unfortunately, slip or trip and fall events continue to rank high on the list of worker injury causation year after year. Slip-and-Fall Incidents in Commercial and Industrial Facilities Injuries specifically resulting from slip-and-fall accidents represent just under 30% of all workplace incidents annually, as reported by the findings of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet, according to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip-and-fall injuries are one of the primary causes of employee absenteeism. Hazards are particularly high in commercial kitchens, chemical laboratories and facilities in which there are likely to be oil, fuel, or other liquid spills. Slip-resistant Florock industrial flooring installed by the expert team at CIC of GA. The Standards for Slip-Resistant Flooring Given the severity of the issue, many are under the impression that OSHA provides clear and mandatory guidelines. It in fact does not. It is also widely assumed that there are published standards within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but the Act does not outline rules or minimums for slip resistance or its testing. In actuality, while there is an informal, general agreement among a number of interested organizations, there are no firm standards imposed by regulations. With only loose agreements, no organization or agency tracks or regulates this critical issue. How Slip Resistance Is Measured There are many different slip resistance testing methods around the world that measure using a variety of devices and techniques. Depending on local customs and practices, the safety of common hard surface floor materials might get evaluated in terms of the Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) on wet surfaces or dry, or in terms of the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF), wet or dry, on level surfaces or on ramps. Some are lab tests, others are performed in the field. Given the myriad variables, measurement of COF has historically produced “ballpark”, rather than scientifically accurate or repeatable results. Today, the Horizontal Dynamometer Pull-Meter, or “drag sled”, and the Pendulum Slip Resistance Tester is two of the most widely used devices. However, reported results can vary widely, depending on the party performing the test and the standards they adhere to. The Organizations, Standards and Tests – A Brief History of the Confusion The… Read more »
  • Common Concrete Surface Finishes
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    Concrete is one of the most common flooring substrates used in commercial and industrial buildings. Its durability, performance, and lifespan can be virtually unequalled, if it is: Poured and placed correctly, with the right concrete mix and curing process for the situation Properly finished for the specific type of facility Cleaned regularly and well-maintained Leveling the Surface Typically, a concrete finish is smooth. Smoothening the concrete is accomplished through a four-step process: Step 1 – Immediately after the concrete is poured into the forms, a screed is used. A screed may be made of a long, straight piece of metal or wood (e.g., a long 2 x 4), and it is pulled back and forth across the forms, sometimes in a sawing motion, to level the concrete. Step 2 – Further smoothening is done using either a trowel or a float. They are similar in their action and are available as manual or power (mechanical) tools. For large commercial or industrial floors, walk-behind and/or riding power trowels are used. Both have large blades that resemble a fan that is situated face-down on the wet concrete surface. The blades typically have a protective cage for enhanced safety. Step 3 – Next, an edging tool is used to create smooth, level edges and corners immediately adjacent to the form. It is similar to a trowel but has one side curved, to fit down, between the form and the slab, smoothening the edges in spaces where the trowel does not fit. The edging tool may also be used to create certain types of floor joints. Engineers specify various concrete joints to ensure the slab is separated from the existing structure, as well as to direct and minimize cracking during the inevitable settling of new slabs. Special elastomeric joint treatments are frequently used to fill and bridge construction joints, while still accommodating some movement. Step 4 – The final step in working the wet slab is often to create what is called a “broom finish”. As the name implies, this involves dragging a broom across the smooth surface of the concrete. A completely smooth surface can be dangerous, as it provides little traction. A broom finish results in small ridges that offer pedestrians a degree of slip-resistance and provide tires with better grip. After these steps are accomplished, diverse curing techniques and surface treatments are available. Walk-behind power trowel being used to smoothen a… Read more »
  • Common Concrete Surface Finishes
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    Concrete is one of the most common flooring substrates used in commercial and industrial buildings. Its durability, performance, and lifespan can be virtually unequalled, if it is: Poured and placed correctly, with the right concrete mix and curing process for the situation Properly finished for the specific type of facility Cleaned regularly and well-maintained Leveling the Surface Typically, a concrete finish is smooth. Smoothening the concrete is accomplished through a four-step process: Step 1 – Immediately after the concrete is poured into the forms, a screed is used. A screed may be made of a long, straight piece of metal or wood (e.g., a long 2 x 4), and it is pulled back and forth across the forms, sometimes in a sawing motion, to level the concrete.   Step 2 – Further smoothening is done using either a trowel or a float. They are similar in their action and are available as manual or power (mechanical) tools. For large commercial or industrial floors, walk-behind and/or riding power trowels are used. Both have large blades that resemble a fan that is situated face-down on the wet concrete surface. The blades typically have a protective cage for enhanced safety.   Step 3 – Next, an edging tool is used to create smooth, level edges and corners immediately adjacent to the form. It is similar to a trowel but has one side curved, to fit down, between the form and the slab, smoothening the edges in spaces where the trowel does not fit. The edging tool may also be used to create certain types of floor joints. Engineers specify various concrete joints to ensure the slab is separated from the existing structure, as well as to direct and minimize cracking during the inevitable settling of new slabs. Special elastomeric joint treatments are frequently used to fill and bridge construction joints, while still accommodating some movement.   Step 4 – The final step in working the wet slab is often to create what is called a “broom finish”. As the name implies, this involves dragging a broom across the smooth surface of the concrete. A completely smooth surface can be dangerous, as it provides little traction. A broom finish results in small ridges that offer pedestrians a degree of slip-resistance and provide tires with better grip. After these steps are accomplished, diverse curing techniques and surface treatments are available. Walk-behind power trowel being used… Read more »
  • Why Does My Epoxy Floor Have Bubbles?
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    When bubbles appear in a freshly applied epoxy coating, the most common culprit is something called “outgassing”. Outgassing is a site condition that allows air or gas from the concrete substrate to escape in excess and cause blisters, craters, bubbles, or pinholes. Temporary Condition Unlike moisture vapor transmission (MVT), which can be a more serious ongoing issue, outgassing is a temporary condition usually occurring during installation. The resulting surface anomalies take away from the aesthetics of the floor, but do not immediately affect the integrity of the coating itself. Nonetheless, outgassing is not to be ignored, since the pinholes can trap dirt or liquids and make cleaning the area difficult.  If left unchecked, these contaminants can affect the flooring system over time. How to Identify Outgassing Outgassing will almost always show up as a perfect circle with either a ridge around the edge of the circle or as a bubble in the coating.  There may or may not be a pinhole visible at the bottom of the circle. The pinhole is where the gas is escaping from the slab. If no pinhole is present, this is good news!  It means that the coating has sealed off the outgassing site. Possible Causes of Outgassing Outgassing tends to occur when one or more of the following conditions are present: A concrete substrate of the air-entrained variety that has had excessive air volume incorporated into the original mix Moisture vapor or liquid escaping from the concrete slab Air moving in and out of the concrete slab with changes in temperature and barometric pressure Concrete that has not been cured properly and is soft/ punky Fixes During prime coat installation: If outgassing bubbles are seen during the primer application, a metal porcupine roller can be used to pop the surface tension as bubbles start to develop. This can often prevent the outgassing bubble from forming, and allow the primer to fill in the pinhole that would otherwise be created. Though not a guaranteed remedy, use of the metal porcupine roller during priming has proven itself to be a highly successful way to “nip it in the bud” and prevent outgassing bubbles from appearing in subsequent coats. After prime coat: If the outgassing surface anomalies are seen after the prime coat installation, then re-priming the affected area is best.  In sections where outgassing is especially aggressive, application of a thick, viscous epoxy patching material may… Read more »
  • What is Dew Point and How Does It Affect Floor Coatings?
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    Dew is the condensation of moisture you see on grass in the morning, on a bottle that was taken from a cooler or refrigerator on a warmer day, or the fog on the bathroom mirror after a shower. As you’ll recall from school science classes, the dew point is the temperature to which air must be cooled to become saturated with water vapor. Once the air is saturated and can no longer absorb or hold water, the excess begins to condensate on available surfaces. The warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold. This is why dew on grass generally dries up over the course of the morning, as the sun comes out and the day warms up. In other words, the dew evaporates, or gets reabsorbed as vapor into the surrounding air. The term “relative humidity” (RH) is used to describe what percentage of water vapor is in the air, compared to how much it could hold at a given temperature. For example, an RH of 50% means the air is holding one half of the water vapor it is capable of holding at a specific ambient temperature. The dew point depends on a combination of three things: The ambient temperature The ambient relative humidity The temperature of the surface How to Measure Dew Point There are many dew point meters available. However, if you have an instrument that accurately measures temperature and humidity, you can use a standard table that indicates dew point. Here are several examples from such a table: If the temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity is 50%, the dew point—or point at which condensation will form on objects—is 45 degrees Fahrenheit. What would be the dew point temperature, if we now had air temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of only 25%? The tables tell us that the moisture vapor would begin to condensate if air temperature were to go down to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. At 100% relative humidity, the dew point is equal to the temperature. This is because a relative humidity of 100% indicates that the air is completely saturated with moisture, and there is nowhere into which the moisture can evaporate. In such cases, it is likely to feel extremely damp, with heavy fog and/or rain. How the Dew Point Relates to Concrete Slabs and Finishes Because of its porous nature, concrete has a tendency… Read more »
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