The Modern Office

The way we work is changing how office spaces are designed. It seems that offices are being design to be more open to be more collaborative, more transparent, and feeling more like a place to hang out, than just work. Gone are the days of cloth cubicles and carpet installed from wall to wall. Now you may see a lowered natural wood panel, or frosted glass being use to separate space for privacy while still achieving a much more collaborative work-space.

One of the other upgrades in newer offices is the use of the existing concrete floors as a finished material. This may be used in a common space, a hallway, or even a private office.

Unless noted on your furniture manufactures specifications the casters at the bottom of your chairs are probably plastic. With the weight of a person and being abraded over the same surface day in and day out – this may be the hardest worn traffic pattern a floor may every see. We have known this for years and those clear plastic mats were used to protect the floor underneath and keep the chair moving smoothly in and out. But with a new office remodel, the aesthetics of one of those mats just don’t fit the bill.

One of the best ways to keep the chair gliding smoothly and keep the floor from pre-maturely wearing is the use of rubber wheeled casters. These rubber wheels are much softer than their plastic counterpart, and allow you to use your office chair with no need for one of those plastic floor mats. Other than concrete – these rubber casters also work on Carpet and other hard surface flooring.

Amazon carries a variety of style and brands. Get the stock look of a standard caster or if you are feeling a bit adventurous switch out for the roller blade wheel style.

Rubber Casters

 

 


Get a GRIP on it!

One of the biggest concerns of our clients is a slip-resistant surface.  When we use urethane for the flooring treatment, there are several options available to create a slip-resistant finish.  The information below is for smooth coatings such as a clear urethane sealer or a tinted urethane sealer as part of an epoxy floor coating. For information about slip resistance on polished concrete floors, click here.

The grit used in our final urethanes is a fine grade aluminum oxide additive. This additive is mixed integrally with the catalyzed urethane resulting in a fully encapsulated mixture for long-term durability.  This grit offers better traction than a standard finish and is a must in wet areas such as a shower, kitchen, or a wash area. The grip additive is ideal for areas that are subject to the constant presence of liquids such as showers but isn’t always suitable for areas that have brief spills such as garages and locker rooms.

The grit additive seems like it would be a good fit to use for most slip-resistant surface applications, ie. safety requirements. It will, however, retain dirt as opposed to a surface that does not have the slip resistant application.  The floor surface is smooth enough to mop and clean but may need some additional cleanings or a more aggressive method (such as spraying, or scrubbing) to achieve a pristine look. The grit additive is only available in the Satin finish but once mixed and applied it will have a more matte appearance.

When deciding whether or not to use the grip or not, it’s best to have our design team review with you and assess the liquids used in the area and the safety standards that are required or essential to you. Physical samples of each option are available during this review.  The finishes available in a urethane sealed system include Gloss, Satin, Satin w/ Grip (matte sheen).

Summary of Grip Additive in Urethane Topcoats

  • Increased Safety and Slip Coefficient
  • A must for wet areas
  • Can track dirt and require more aggressive cleaning methods such as scrubbing with a rotary scrubber or manual deck brush.
  • Satin w/ Grip (matte sheen)
  • Other grip options are available in epoxy systems such as sand broadcast.
  • No cost upgrade

Polished Concrete in Commercial Bathrooms

Authentic polished concrete is known for its long term durability and is a popular choice in high-traffic consumer areas such as corridors, multi-purpose spaces and retail. Its durability lies in the inherent strength of the concrete as a building material plus a refined surface through mechanical polishing and an application of a sealing system. Polished concretes durability comes from the products used in the sealing process – a concrete densifier and a stain guard. These products penetrate into the open pore structure of the concrete leaving either a very thin film (just a few microns) to a non-visible surface film of the sealer. This allows the surface to be very abrasion resistant and eliminates the need of the stripping and waxing cycle. In addition, it will offer the ability to refine or re-polish the floor years into the future, giving the floor a brand new look at a much more affordable cost. This eliminates having to remove and replace another flooring material.

Polished concrete will age differently in bathrooms and areas prone to more spills. Polished concrete is still considered a porous surface and can be affected by standing water or high acidic liquids such as urine. These can etch the surface affecting the sealer and profiling the surface to continue to allow stains.

When designing this area you may want to create a sense of continuity by continuing the floor from hall or open space into the bathrooms.  When we work in this type of environment we recommend a urethane sealed concrete floor as opposed to a polished concrete floor. The urethane sealing system is a two-coat process of a water-based epoxy primer and high-wear catalyzed urethane topcoat. This topcoat can also utilize an anti-slip additive that will aid in slip resistance. This urethane sealing system, although very strong, does not have the same abrasion resistance you will see in a full polished concrete floor. Typically, stain resistance is more important in and area as a bathroom. The transition leading into the bathroom is typically completed at a saw joint leading into it and it can easily be hidden under the door with no need for a transition strip. To the general-purpose user of the area a difference in appearance is likely to go unnoticed.  The urethane sealer is compatible with natural colored, dyed, and reactive stain coloring methods as well. Unlike polishing, when using a urethane sealer, it is very important to check the relative humidity of the concrete.

An alternative choice would be to leave the bathrooms polished.  Should this option be chosen, additional maintenance or urinal pads may be required to keep the floor in a ‘like-new’ condition. You also can choose to leave the floor as is and allow the floor to develop a worn-patina look. Many restaurants and park departments allow this patina to develop.  You might notice should at a few older Chipotle’s they bring the polish directly into their restrooms.  However, most have since moved to a high-strength urethane mortar system with integral cove.

As in most facades of construction there are many options available. The final decision involves choosing the right floor, balancing client’s expectations, budget constraints and construction schedules.

Should you have any questions or need help with the best choice for your concrete bathroom finished floor, please email me at nickdancer@dancerconcrete.com.


NOT ALL FLOORS ARE CREATED EQUAL

By Abigail Reuille 

When thinking about starting your upcoming flooring project, the first logical step is to gather a few different quotes from a few different companies. This allows you to understand your project more thoroughly, feel out the professionalism of each company, and to determine which numbers will work with your budget. We agree with all of this – discovering all of your options is always helpful and allows you to understand the full scope of your project.

What we disagree on is that all floors are created equal. When you get a quote from Dancer Concrete Design, we want you to understand that our chip epoxy broadcast floors are above the industry standard and beyond the floor you will receive if you were to choose a competitor. Our professional in-house craftsmen install top-quality, guaranteed floors. The chart below will prove that our products and chip epoxy floor installations are superior to the competition.

Breakdown of Products for a 1,000 SF Chip Epoxy Floor Project

Dancer Concrete
Design Broadcast
Competitors’ Broadcasts
Preparation Full preparation.
Completely preps the surface.
Grinding to scratch surface.
Leaves dark spots during prep.
Joint Fill Seamless options available. Joints left open.
Primer 5 Gallons. Penetrating epoxy. No primer. Primer and Body are one coat.
This can end up being problematic.
Body Coat 5 Gallons. 100% pigmented solids. 2.25 Gallons.
Chip Media 150 lbs. 500 standard blends
+ custom blends available.
75 lbs. 6-8 stock color options available.
Top Coat UV top coat. 8.5 Gallons. 5 Gallons.
Finishing Optional Urethane High-Wear
Topcoat. 2.5 Gallons.
N/A.

 


CONTROL JOINTS

By Nick Dancer and Abigail Reuille

What are control joints? How/with what do we fill them and why? These are common questions when starting your concrete flooring project, whether it be concrete polishing or epoxy floor coatings. First, control joints (sometimes called “contraction joints”) are planned, cut lines in the concrete that are cut soon after the concrete is initially poured. Their purpose is to control the cracking in the concrete slab as it shifts and settles. When concrete cures, some of the water used in pouring the concrete evaporates, causing some shrinking and cracking. With well-placed control joints, the cracking will hopefully occur along these joints. This will produce a more aesthetically-pleasing floor in the long run.

When finishing your concrete floor, unattended control joints can leave an unfinished appearance. We want your floor to look nice, perform in simple maintenance, and meet all expectations. To take care of this, we offer a few different options.

For epoxy floor coatings, filling the control joints will provide a completely seamless floor. This means water, dirt, and other debris will not enter the control joints and the control joint pattern will not be seen. Non-moving control joints (joints in a concrete floor that has already cured) will be over-filled with an epoxy resin, and then ground off before the rest of the floor is coated.

When polishing a concrete floor, filling the control joints will also result in seamlessness. The joints will not collect water, dirt, or other debris – but the joints will be visible. Because of this, different colors of joint filler are available to match either the natural hue of the concrete or a dye/stain that is chosen for the finished floor. A polyurea product is used, which has a fast cure time and proven color retention. The product is pumped into the open joint so that it overflows and is then shaved off. The rest of the polishing process then ensues.

Another method of filling control joints offered at Dancer Concrete Design is by using elastomeric joint sealants at cold joints. Cold joints are either where two different flooring types meet (tile meeting concrete) or where two different pours of concrete meet (newly poured concrete meets an older concrete slab). This elastomeric material has great heat and chemical resistance, and is able to perform well at low temperatures.

 

DancerConcreteDesign_ControlJoints