There are 4 choices for decorative concrete flooring. The most frequently asked question is How Do I Choose the right one for my New York apartment or commercial space.
Let’s take a look at the options.
- Concrete Polishing
- Overlay skim coats
- Self Leveling Overlays
- Epoxy Coatings
There is no easy answer but there are many solutions depending on the floor. The answers start by looking at various factors. What is the condition, are there height issues, what kind of design are you seeking? No building product has the versatility of concrete and the various coatings which are applied over cementitious surfaces. In recent years the technological improvements of our products has increased at an exponential rate. So have the application methods and equipment.
5 years ago concrete polishing meant something different than it does today. At the core, polishing is the process of grinding an existing concrete floor using subsequently finer blades to bring it up to a high shine. As the demand increased so did the levels of polishing and design. Contractors started experimenting with acid stains and dyes to color the floor. Then they started to step out and created amazing, artistic surfaces with tremendous durability and beautiful design.
The look was hot! It’s now in hotels, restaurants, art galleries, offices and homes.
To enhance the decor and durabilty, contractors started applying wax coats that they would burnish into the floor with high speed buffers called burnishers. Propane models have extraordinary speeds followed by high speed electric models. As a manufacturer and distributor we carry many of the products contractors need.
Not all floors are suitable for polishing. It’s common that old floors are damaged. They have cracks, holes, spalled areas that need to be covered. When the coating needs to be thin, overlays are ideal. They have their own unique look depending on the applicators skill level and their style.
One of our overlays called Pentimento, has the polished concrete look. It is applied by steel trowel and burnished by hand. Color options are unlimited and so are designs. They are sealed with water based epoxies, solvent based sealers and polyurethanes. We carry a full line of products for every step of the process. Pentimento is approximately 1/8th inch thick.
Skraffino, another in our line of overlays is applied at 1/16th inch think. This is our most applied product other than epoxies which we’ll discuss in a minute. Most applications are applied by magic trowel which is a squeegee type tool. The applicator is on their hands and knees, spreading over the surface. Experienced applicators or many we refer to as artisans are masters with the magic trowel. They create unique looks which can be a combination of a polished appearance with a slight texture. They know how to apply to achieve a certain decor when the topical stains or dyes are applied. Some skilled installers will use light weight polished equipment to sand the surface. We carry everything an installer would need.
Self Leveling Concrete
Param is our line of self leveling cements. Originally these products were used as underlayments for tile, hardwood or carpet but that has changed. Now these products are wear surfaces. They can be integrally colored and topically dyed to achieve any color and design. Many installers will use specialty saws to cut patterns into the floor to look like large custom tile. You should see some of the designs artisans are creating. They are extraordinary.
Some artisans/installers have developed methods for sanding and polishing the surface to achieve the natural appearance of polished concrete
Our self levelers are applied not just over concrete, but over wood floors, tile and gypsum based substrates.
Epoxies have come a long way since the days of resurfacing old warehouse floors. New, high performance products have come on the market. Some provide tremendous durability to withstand high levels of moisture pressure while others combine strength with design. Our Lumiere epoxies are what we call metallics. The design is unique. These have been applied in many restaurants, retail stores, galleries and offices.
The information here is just an introduction. We welcome you to look through our website at our various products and view our blog for case studies of projects completed by many of our installers.
We have an extensive nationwide network of contractors, all with different skills and project size capabilities.
Contact us for more information and to be matched with the appropriate professional for your project. We can be reached at 866-835-6595. We have locations for concrete products in New York City , New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Washington,DC, Maryland, MA.