There are so many concrete densifiers to choose from when sealing and protecting your polished concrete surfaces. So, in order to make your lives a little easier, we’ve laid out the distinct differences between all the major densifier brands we carry. From Ameripolish to Prosoco to Convergent to Scofield to Dayton Superior, there are a variety of options. However, based on your specific needs, your decision may be slightly easier by taking a look at coverage rates, application and type of floor. Use this guide to help with your densifier selection process and let us know if you have any questions!
Concrete dyes are an attractive way to add color to a concrete floor. However, because of the nature of dye — it penetrates the porous surface to create color, rather than reacting chemically with the concrete — contractors can conduct a few assessments and tests at the job site before determining whether a concrete dye is the right product for the job:
- Type of Concrete. Typically, a pure color dye will change slightly, due to the minerals in the concrete, taking on a lighter or darker shade, which can also change with time. Adjust the dye color to the type of concrete for the desired shade.
- UV Light Stability. Sunlight can damage dyed concrete floors, causing vibrant colors to fade. Check if windows in the room are made with glass containing UV-protection, which can keep floor color from fading.
- Moisture Vapor Test. When moisture in concrete brings salts to the surface, it causes dyes to seep deeper into the floor, diluting their color. Testing for efflorescence cannot only root out a bigger moisture issue, it indicates whether water will cause the color to diminish.
- Use Stain. Concrete stains work differently than dyes, reacting chemically with the concrete to create color that is more resistant to fading from sunlight or moisture.
- Apply Guard. A proper guard provides long-lasting, breathable protection for the floor and its color. Apply after polishing.
Fixing Faded Floors
If the concrete floor is already fading:
- Clean and seal the flooring surface to stop additional fading
- Remove the sealer, then re-dye the floor and protect with sealer
When you’re looking for quality concrete dyes and sealers, count on Runyon Surface Prep. We carry two of the top-rated concrete dyes and sealant brands in the business. AmeriPolish products assure perfect color that resists fading through cleanings, scrubbings and traffic. Prosoco products are designed to improve the appearance and performance of architectural masonry for years to come.
Industrial warehouses undergo a substantial amount of wear and tear from heavy machinery, as one would expect. However, keeping factory and facility concrete floors polished and in pristine condition is crucial for efficient daily operation and ease of movement. Kent Companies is currently finishing up a job in a 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids, MI that aims to accomplish this very thing.
The Unique Process
Since the floor in this manufacturing facility is meant to be durable and withstand heavy machinery, pallets, forklifts, etc. Kent Companies mixed aluminum aggregate into the concrete overlay, a process perfected with years and experience. Commonly known as metal shake, this floor is now restored with a polished concrete surface that can better withstand the tough rigors of industrial work. In addition to being stronger, the metal shake floor is open to the production area, which allows for easier turnover and movement through the production line and out the door. This office furniture manufacturing facility involved polishing all aisle ways throughout the plant. Over 50,000 square feet of polished metal shake aisle ways are now in the facility.
Kent Companies not only laid and polished metal shake concrete floors, but the crew also created control joints to better manage any cracking that may occur over time. And lastly, AmeriPolish densifier and guard were applied to protect and seal the floor from spillage and stains. The floor is dark already however, so stains will not be as noticeable.
If you are more interested in learning more about how this floor was completed, the products that were used, etc. please feel free to contact a member of the Runyon Surface Prep team, or comment below! For more project posts by Kent Companies, visit the customer highlights page.
More and more, retail stores are realizing the benefit of customized concrete floors, via special designs and stencils, in addition to simply maintaining a polished finish throughout. Creating a personalized space not only distinguishes the location, but it strengthens the brand and can help create a welcome and engaging environment. Adapting to this decorative concrete trend is a measure of success for Kent Companies, who did such a job at the Cabela’s store in Grandville, MI.
The 88,000-square-foot store is Cabela’s 43rd retail location across the United States and Canada. It includes thousands of quality outdoor products, as well as a mountain replica, wildlife displays, an aquarium, a boat shop, an indoor archery range, a gun library, a bargain cave, a deli and a fudge shop. The Cabela’s logo, as seen in the top-most picture, measures 120” x 71.9.” This logo stencil provides a bold statement, reinforcing store branding as guests enter the retail location. In regards to the other pictures, polished concrete throughout stands up to heavy retail traffic and offers store operations and management many maintenance benefits.
- The crew used HTC grinders and diamond tooling to grind and polish the floors
- The aisle ways were finished with a fresh coat of concrete dye
- Consolideck GemTone stain created the stencil
- To protect the floor, the crew applied Consolideck LS densifier and LSGuard
Maintenance Creates Lasting Effects
In order for the floors at Cabela’s to remain so pristine, especially with such high foot traffic, the retail location must have a maintenance plan in place. With a little guidance from Kent Companies in terms of which products to use, how often to apply them, etc., and proper execution, the floors in Cabela’s should continue impressing customers for years to come.
For more feature stories about Kent Companies, see our customer highlights page. If you have in-depth questions about the above process, products or how to maintain your floors, please contact us or write us a comment below!
Although there may be several ways to go about effectively staining a concrete floor or surface, this proven 4-step method comes from an industry expert – Dancer Concrete and Design. In order to achieve a long-lasting, professional finish, the below process walks you through how to prep, polish, stain and seal in an efficient manner. Use the following infographic as a guide, and for more information you can visit this blog post by Dancer Concrete. Also, please feel free to contact us with additional questions!
After the precise and arduous process of polishing and grinding your concrete floors to perfection, the final step is to preserve them with a strong and long-lasting stain resistor. Without applying some type of protection, foot traffic and liquids such as oil, vinegar or water could potentially ruin the polished finish. This extra step in the process is incredibly simple, but yields immense benefits.
The SR2 by Ameripolish
A relatively new and innovative stain resistor on the market is produced by Ameripolish – the SR2. This product is revolutionary in that it offers better protection and better resistance to stains than other protectors on the market because it penetrates the surface of the concrete (not like topical protectors that sit on the surface and wear off with foot traffic). The SR2 also eliminates the need for burnishing, which means one less step. Not to mention, the SR2 has more of a natural finish – it gives the truest representation of what polished concrete actually is.
This product effectively covers 1500 to 2500 square feet per gallon and it lasts up to 3 years. The steps are easy to execute and take little to no time. The following video from the October 1st and 2nd Training Seminar demonstrates how to apply SR2 and why it is such a successful resistor.
- Apply the product using a microfiber pad or an acetone-based pump sprayer
- Be sure you use long, even strips to ensure maximum floor coverage
- After the floor dries completely, apply the second application (unless it is a tight slab)
- Then wait 48 hours and the floor should be apt to repel oil, vinegar and water
- If light reflection is an issue, you can go back over the floor with maintenance pads
And that is really all there is to it! The SR2 product application is simple, yet highly beneficial. And for further testament to this product, an expert in the industry, Nick Dancer of Dancer Concrete, says “Based on my test on a sample board the SR2 out performed 3 other popular stain guards. This test was based on using the SR2 and the other stain guards without the use of any densifier. These were used as standalone products on bare concrete. I also noticed there was no streaking or cloudiness that you may get with traditional stain guards.”
If you would like to learn more about the SR2 stain resistor, or would like to purchase it, please visit the product page here. And as always, our sales reps are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, so call us for further details!
Flooring is an essential part of any house. Most often, homeowners give priority to aspects like décor, windows and walls, thus not paying much attention to the floors. It is, however, very important to regularly check the condition of the floors and make necessary changes when required.
- Voids – Almost all floors, including those made from concrete can develop wear and tear over a period of time. The major problem with concrete floors is cracks, which leads to a void between adjacent areas.
- Curling and Shrinkage – Other problems like curling at joints, joint failure and heaving are also commonly noticed in concrete floors. Curling is a result of different curing conditions on the two sides of a newly placed concrete block. Usually the top dries faster than the bottom thus causing the piece to reduce in size.
- Cracks – Another major reason for cracks to develop on concrete floors is continuous contact with excess moisture. This usually happens to the floors of those rooms where the air conditioner or washing machine is placed. Continued exposure to dampness is very harmful to flooring in the long run.
The Process of Repairing and Leveling a Concrete Floor
- Clear the room – Before leveling, one must remove all furniture, and any other items from the room thus leaving it empty.
- Check for high and low points – You can do this by moving a carpenter’s level all over the floor. The level will give you a rough idea about the areas that require maximum leveling. Knowing the lowest points early on is an advantage as one can immediately start work on filing them.
- Clean the floor – The next step is to clean the floor using a vacuum. It is very important that the floor is free of dust, debris, oil traces, concrete chips and other particles as debris can affect the leveling process.
- Fill low/high points – After ensuring that the floor is clean, start filling low spots using a concrete repair mixture. While tackling high spots one usually makes use of a concrete floor grinder. It is very important to wear eye protection gear and a face mask while using the grinder.
- Level the floor out – After the high and low points have been identified, the next step is to fill them with self-leveling compound. For this, one has to first mix the compound following the manufacturer’s instructions. Then pour the self-leveling compound on the floor in such a way that it covers the entire area. The concrete mix will automatically start filling out the high and low points, and level the floor out. The self-leveling compound will be effective only if it covers the entire area of the floor.
- Smooth out the surface – In the end, people usually run a steel floor smoother over the floor to smooth the surface and fill in any points not covered by the self-leveling compound. The mixture is left to dry for nearly 24 hours before placing the tile.
It is very important to carry out the leveling process in a correct manner as any mistake will greatly affect the next step i.e. tiling.