Robert Brown is managing director of National Flooring, an expert installer of resin flooring solutions for commercial and industrial use. With more than 30 years of experience, we put a series of readers’ flooring-related questions to Robert for his expert advice.
Robert, we’ve got a blast freezer with a damaged concrete floor. I understand that to have it repaired properly will mean switching it off and leaving it out of use for a considerable period of time, something we cannot afford to do. What is the best solution?
You are correct. Switching off the freezer is essential to allow a genuine, long-term solution to be applied. However, when the freezer is switched off you will probably find you are left with a wet concrete surface that has deteriorated, i.e., the surface will seem ‘powdery’.
The concrete must be completely dried before installing a repair otherwise this moisture will freeze once the blast freezer is switched on causing the new floor to delaminate. I have used some simple short-term remedies that have proved cost-effective but for a viable long-term solution, I’m afraid there is no quick fix.
Dear Robert, I’ve received a quote from a flooring company for a polyurethane system of 600sqm. They claim to be able to install the floor and have it fully operational within three days using just one team. Is this realistic?
The simple answer is ‘no’. I’m sure the actual floor could be installed in this time (depending on the size of the installation team) but, as any reputable polyurethane manufacturer will tell you, for the floor to cure physically and chemically takes days. This makes the true project duration well beyond the stated three days.
Hi Robert, I’ve been quoted £10 per square metre for an anti-microbial additive to be supplied with a polyurethane floor. Does this represent good value for money?
The question you are really asking is ‘Does the addition of an anti-microbial solution to a flooring product really create any customer benefits?’
My personal view is that if a factory is washed down with anti-microbial products on a daily basis I question the benefits to be gained. However, this is a debate that has received a lot of attention recently and I’d prefer to let you judge for yourself by reading the articles that have been written by independent scientists. I suggest you take a look on the internet searching under key words such as triclosan.
Robert, My company needs a new floor and I usually specify a vinyl sheet solution but I’ve heard much recently about the supposed benefits of resin floors. Can you offer any advice as to the best solution for my needs?
There’s a huge choice of flooring solutions available and correct specification is dependent on a detailed understanding of your needs. However, in general, terms, when compared with vinyl sheets, resin solutions offer faster installation (MMA-based systems), easier repairs and refurbishment, enhanced hygiene (as the result of seamless installations) and better anti-slip properties. Additionally, resin systems are now more decorative and as such can provide a pleasing finish.
Robert, My architect has specified a sealed concrete finish for our production unit floor but I want to understand what a resin solution could offer me. Can you help?
As with the last question, correct specification is dependent on a full understanding of the clients’ requirements and the extremes of use the floor will be exposed to.
That aside, I believe that if a power-floated concrete solution would suffice I see little point in adding cost by over-engineering the solution. However, if the area will be exposed to chemicals and/or food residue, if a slip-resistant finish is required and if aesthetics are important, then resin systems can offer significant benefits.
Additionally, many customers specify resin systems to improve hygiene standards and to facilitate easier cleaning. If you would like to discuss this further, then please give me a call.