A CLEAN SOLUTION FOR A DIRTY JOB

By Nick Dancer and Abigail Reuille

When considering polished concrete or epoxy floor coatings as a flooring solution, clients may be concerned about the mess that may be left behind. This is a valid concern since clouds of dust commonly come to mind when thinking of concrete projects. The dust created through preparing, cutting and grinding concrete surfaces is unavoidable. It’s how we, at Dancer Concrete Design, control that dust that makes all the difference.

We think that dust control is a large part of a satisfactory project. To achieve this, we hook up our equipment to specialty vacuums created to handle concrete dust. These vacuums have purging systems that allow the vacuum to clean its filters of the fine concrete dust while continuing to perform. There are different vacuums used depending on the size and scope of each project.

Generally, our team creates less dust than other construction trades on a project. If a situation presents itself where the maximum dust control is necessary, we offer these additional options:

  • Dust control package: An extra team member is on-site throughout the grinding processes to vacuum all dust left behind by the main grinder.
  • Hanging extra tape and plastic: This is popular in industrial settings where intricate machines require the utmost protection, as well as in residential settings where entire rooms can be closed off during the grinding processes to prevent any dust from entering.
  • Implementing air scrubbers: Air scrubbers collect any loose dust that may have escaped into the air.
  • Vacuuming floors at the end of the project instead of using microfibers.

With all the dust control efforts, there is always a chance of small amounts of dust during a project. This can be simply from walking across the floor and getting dust stuck to footwear. We do recommend a thorough cleaning of your space when we leave the job site, but we reassure you that our best efforts will be taken to control concrete dust.


Polished Concrete Slip Resistance

By Nick Dancer and Abigail Reuille

Polished concrete flooring looks beautiful in interior settings, is extremely durable, and is fully customizable. Although there are obvious benefits of polished concrete, a common concern about the flooring solution is the slip resistance – or perceived lack thereof. It is important to remember that while polished concrete is shiny, shine does not always constitute slipperiness.

Any hard surface flooring may be slippery when wet. While polished concrete is shiny, it is much less slippery than it seems to appear. Even when polished to a 1600-grit finish (super sheen and reflectivity), polished concrete flooring still can meet the ADA and OSHA slip coefficient recommendations.

A draw to polished concrete is that there is no topical surface on the finished floor – the sealers penetrate into the pores of the concrete, making the surface extremely durable. However, there are also options to add to the surface of the concrete to increase slip resistance. These options include urethane and epoxies where anti-slip grit can be added to ensure maximum traction when working in wet environments.

Here is an article that delves deeper into the slip resistance of polished concrete.


Colored Concrete

By Nick Dancer and Abigail Reuille

While the gray hues of natural concrete are certainly appealing, sometimes colored concrete is desired to fit the look a client is envisioning. Adding color to concrete that has already been poured and cured is an option that Dancer Concrete Design offers when polishing a concrete floor.

There are two different ways to add color to concrete – Penetrating Dyes and Reactive Stains – and each has its own unique set of benefits and reasons for use. It is important to clarify traffic patterns, stain resistance needs, and overall aesthetic of a space before selecting a coloring method.

Penetrating dyes are the more affordable coloring option of the two. These dyes penetrate the concrete surface much like wood stains penetrate wood. While some variation throughout the floor can be expected, dyes create a more uniform, vivid color throughout the floor. Dyes are typically chosen for their fast installation time, affordability, uniformity, and the bold coloring they produce. Keep in mind that penetrating dyes cannot be used outdoors and are more susceptible to discoloration than reactive stains.

Reactive stains contain mineral compounds that “react” with the cement in concrete, creating a marbled and unique coloring pattern in the floor. When applied, the stain appears as greenish yellow. After reacting with the cement, the color turns to a rich brown or leathery red. Because of this process, reactive stains are available in earthy tones with limited color options. Reactive stains offer a more permanent solution and most colors can be used outdoors. All reactive stains can be implemented indoors as well.

Whether a dye or stain is selected in the design process of planning a space, there is a concrete coloring method that can fit every situation and style. It is important to keep in mind the benefits of each, how the space will be used, and the overall desired design of the end environment.


Simple Design

By Alexis Dancer

What is good design? What is great design? What makes the difference between a good design and a great design? A great design appears to be simple at its completion because of the organization, process, and planning put into the design at the onset. I do not know what said this first, but they were brilliant. Design is an ongoing planning process that is put into play to create a functional space. The point of the design process is to take a jumbled knot and to turn it into a clean, straight line with just a few curves to add interest. 

Great design appears to be simple, but simple is not a popular adjective for American interiors. Everywhere we look there is just more stuff. More information, more advertising, and more clutter in our minds as well as in our homes. As with the items that we obtain, a building can also become over-cluttered in terms of design elements. There is something to be said about simple spaces or spaces that are simply designed well. Simple and great designs look beautiful yet continue to serve their purpose.

To encourage simple design, let’s simplify our building materials. Concrete is an obvious choice as a building material for many different reasons: it can be molded and shaped to fit any mold, it can be poured for structural stability, and, in our modern world, it can now be polished to create a beautiful finished flooring material. Concrete can cover several square feet without needing a control joint or seam. Concrete can also be poured as an overlay for a uniquely seamless and clean look for a floor. This unique quality of concrete visually expands any space without obstructing the view to the rest of the interior elements. Concrete floors allow the interior to speak for itself. They appear to take nothing away from the design, yet add everything to it. Concrete floors can visually take up to 50 percent of a design, yet they seem to bow down to the rest of the space and let architectural elements and furniture speak for themselves.

Making a design simple may seem, well, simple. We may say, “Just don’t put anything in the room,” but a room is made for a purpose and for a certain function of work or life. So, for that reason we must add to the building shell. To decide how to design a space, let’s think about what Louis Sullivan said, “form follows function.” A space will be beautiful if it functions as it should. The beauty hides in the details. When a drawer closes with ease by way of soft-close glides, now that’s beauty. When a floor cleans up easy and looks great for years to come, that is also beautiful. Concrete is a simple building material that contributes to the structure of the building (the building’s function) as well as to the aesthetics of the finished space when it is polished. Partner all of these elements with concrete’s wide array of color stain options and polishing finish levels and you have one unique and well-designed building material option. Concrete can also save building owners from maintenance nightmares. Great design is more than just aesthetics, great design also takes maintenance, durability, and lifetime cost of materials into consideration.

Design is different than decorating in that, with design, we study the psychology, the function, and the importance of the spaces that we use. With decorating we simply build on to the aesthetics of a space or add to the base of the design sometimes beyond what is necessary for the space to function for our needs. Sometimes we think that we can enhance design through decoration, but the truth is that adding more clutter to a poorly designed space will add even more chaos. When elements in a space are kept simple and, at the same tines make sense to the function of the building, we can experience cohesive and easy living. By using concrete as a finish material, we can allow the rest of the interior to speak for itself and contribute to simple designs.