What look or purpose are you wanting to achieve?
Much of the work we do is to ascertain what ‘look’ and ‘feel’ our clients are seeking. We’ll determine colour schemes, what level of slip resistance is required based on variables like the age of children, any pets, regular visitors and other areas that could include factoring in swimming pools, stairs, play areas, ramps and areas prone to hazards, slips and falls.
For larger areas and specific decorative projects, we will work to achieve the look you’re after with sample boards. For visual people, it will indicate how the finished floor can look.
Depending on the style of flooring finish, we follow a process for application and preparation. Below is what you could expect as part of our stringent method:
- Diamond grind and hand grind all areas. This serves a number of purposes including removing the impurities sitting on the top layer of concrete (that can affect the coating itself) and opening up the pores of the concrete to ensure the chosen product has something to ‘grip’ to
- Patch holes and cracks with various appropriate products, some of which actually set harder than the concrete itself
- If the concrete surface is poor and has issues mechanical grinding won’t fix, we will trowel a ‘subfloor’ in to build up the level of the low lying areas
- Thoroughly clean all areas to eliminate mostly dust particles and other matter that can affect the adhesion of the coating
- Apply first coat with your choice of colour and product of choice that may include sand or aggregate for slip resistance, flake, quartz and in some cases, personal items that you wish to embed into the floor including vinyl records, dollar notes etc
- After drying, depending on the products added, there is preparation required to ensure the product ‘behaves’ and does not give the floor finish grief. Typically a scrape and vacuum can achieve the best result
- Apply top clear coat and then repeat as required
This is a typical process for applying flake to a garage floor. Achieving an epoxy floor over tiles will have some of the above processes along with others as will a floor that requires a grind and clear seal instead of colouring.
In general, most floors under 50sqm could be completed in a day. Drying times are out of our control and with varying seasons and temperatures, floors can cure faster and slower. Where appropriate, we will use faster curing products where there is a need. An example of this is a floor repair in a commercial kitchen where we have access only overnight and must prepare, clean and coat a floor where the kitchen needs to return to service by dawn.
Otherwise, our goal is effectiveness over efficiency. We keep you informed of progress as we go.
A common feedback comment we hear is that the coated concrete is much easier to clean than the previous bare concrete. There is less dust, can be mopped if desired or blown through with a garden blower or swept with ease.
Tough Floors has teamed with an external unrelated chemical company that, as work is completed, will work with you to guide on the products they see appropriate for you to use on the floor. This company has tested our floor finishing products at their laboratory in Sydney and will consult with you with no obligation.
THE DIY FLOOR GURU
With much supportive guidance and related television shows depicting the ‘ease’ in DIY home projects, we have acted and continue to guide those who wish to complete their own flooring projects.
Be mindful of what is involved. Tough Floors can help with areas and we have overseen the process to ensure a client gets a reasonable result.
So…below is what you will need to consider:
- Preparation. All concrete needs to be prepared. Mostly, this will involve a grinder. So far, no problem. They can be hired. Here’s where it can get tricky. The selection of appropriate diamond cutter will be determined by your concrete ‘hardness’ and other concrete characteristics. It could be several trips back to the hire company and a bit more expense. You’ll also need to know what ‘ideal’ preparation looks like. Sometimes, the cost of hire is enough to deter people from attempting themselves and will help you understand our charges
- Choice of product. There are so many products in the market. From a complete ‘garage kit’ that has resin, flake and instructions sold by your local hardware to suppliers that refuse to sell to the public on the basis of the product drying faster than you saying ‘hell honey…did you see that…?’ research is key. Tough Floors is not tied to any suppliers and as such, will be impartial with any guidance given
- Application method. You will need rollers, trays, products for cleaning up, gloves, dust masks, respirators, brushes, buckets and other items. Are you still seeing the value in DIY…?!!