Frequently Asked Questions
How much do these floors cost?
$1.50-$25/sf. More than 80% of the floors we make are around $4/sf. They tend to be new construction projects working through builders or architects and even after their mark-up it’s surprisingly inexpensive.
Aren't those shiny floors slippery?
Some are, some are not, and here’s why:
Floors coated with acrylic, urethane or a poly component are slippery when wet unless grit is added to the top-coat. Gritty and pretty are inversely related: the more gritty the less pretty (in general). Coated floors are very chemical resistant so we do occasionally install coatings.
What is an overlay?
Although cement-based overlays have been around for decades, many of today’s systems blend polymer resins with cement, sand, and other additives to improve performance, wear resistance, and aesthetic qualities. Polymer-modified overlays can be applied in layers as thin as a credit card or up to several inches thick without delamination or failure. They adhere well to existing concrete and resist damage from salt, chemicals, UV exposure, freeze-thaw conditions, and abrasion.
While most types of polymer-modified overlays offer similar performance benefits, each system has its own unique characteristics. Overlay manufacturers use different types of polymer resins, often blending them to produce proprietary products with distinct physical attributes. Many of today’s decorative overlays use acrylics or acrylic blends because these resins provide excellent bond strength and UV resistance.
Do you install water-based, soy-based, or solvent-based stains outdoors?
No. After more than 2000 projects, we have tried almost everything. Nothing other than color hardener, integral color or acid stain is sustainable outside. Concrete outside normally passes a lot of moisture (generally more than 1/2 gallon for every 1000sf every day). So, pigment particles, if they don’t break down in the sunlight first, get pushed out of the pores over time. Also, if sealer is installed over a paint-like stain, when that get scratched, the color tends to come with it. I get it though: we wish there were exterior stains that came in more colors than acid stain. It would be nice to offer a wider array of colors, and those stains are more consistent at first: since they are more like a paint product than acid staining or integral color the finished job usually matches a mockup almost exactly. We would encourage your client to select something from an acid stain chart or to embrace the natural color of the concrete with a clear finish
How should I maintain my interior floors?
Your new Stained Concrete Floor or Decorative Overlay Floor must be maintained.
Your Custom Interior Floor will last a lifetime if properly maintained. Plastic glides, Felt Pads or Magic Movers should be affixed to heavy furnishings or those which will move frequently. Use the same precautions you would use for a Hard Wood Floor. A Door Mat at the outside (Hemp or Rope style, no rubber backing ever) and inside entrance (one with a solid backing that can be shook off outside) of a home will pick up over 85% of the dirt that would otherwise be tracked inside. When using carpet pads under area rugs, be sure to use higher quality pads. The inexpensive pads have a high amount of rubber in them and can become adhesive. Here is how to care for your floor:
Dust mopping – Dust mopping removes the fine dust and grit which can grind away floor finish. It will help prevent major floor finish deterioration caused by normal foot traffic. The best results are obtained by using a Micro-Fiber Dust Mop. The following procedures should be followed: Dust mop the floor in one continuous movement without lifting the mop off the floor. Overlap your stroke on each pass (you can also vacuum). Clean the dust mop after each use by shaking it outdoors, brushing it with a brush over a garbage can, or vacuuming it. NEVER use a Swiffer Wet-Jet type of cleaning tool. The liquid in these devices contain trace amounts of Solvent material. The Solvent will not harm the sealer but will cause the wax to egg-shell. Also, you should not use Ammonia, Bleach or Pine Sol. A great product to use is Zep Neutral Floor Cleaner from Home Depot or Fabuloso (which comes highly recommended by several customers).
Damp mopping – use cool water with Fabuloso or Neutra Clean. Damp mopping with cool water and a neutral ph cleaner extends the floor finish life. It will not dull the finish and will enhance the gloss retention. Follow the recommended dilution rates on label directions. The mop should be wrung out tightly so that it is just damp. Do not allow the cleaning solution to puddle. NEVER use a Swiffer type of cleaning tool. I know this is a repeat from above but I must state this again. The liquid in these devices contain trace amounts of Solvent material. The Solvent will not harm the sealer but will cause the wax to egg-shell. Also, no Amonia, Bleach or Pine Sol.
Waxing – Wax is the sacrificial coating to protect the sealer and bear the brunt of the scuff and scratches. Use a 20% minimum solids wax. No Mop-n-Glo or similar wax should be used. How often you need to re-wax depends on the abuse you, your children or pets put on the floor. It varies by owner and may be anywhere from every 3 months to every year. Use a looped-end Rayon mop, synthetics release material cotton absorbs, or a Lambs
Wool Applicator. Pour a dinner-plate sized puddle on the floor and spread it evenly and thinly. Spread the material across the surface and let it dry for 1 hour. You are now ready for foot traffic again. The use of a Floor Mat on the Outside and Inside of entry doors will pick up about 85% of dirt that would enter a home. The use of mats is especially good if you are living in a new housing development. Just remember NO Rubber Backing for any mats. The rubber will bond with the sealer and when removed will pull the sealer off the floor.
How should I maintain my exterior floor?
Your Exterior surface was sealed with multiple coats of a high-solids, UV-inhibiting, penetrating solvent-based sealer. This sealer will repel dirt, dust and other substances that can get a foot-hold on concrete surfaces and promote the growth of mold and mildew. Basic care is as shown below:
If you notice a powdery white or splotchy appearance; especially after a rain, the sealer is doing its job. This is the dirt/dust mentioned above. A rinse with a garden hose followed by a leaf blower to remove excess water will fix this. If you have an extreme amount of hard water residue then your surface may require a mopping with Fabuloso. Pressure washing is generally not needed and can damage the sealer if too much pressure is used. A rinse and blower will remove most things on the surface.
If there was a spill of a soft drink or something you didn’t see right away, use a mild soap like Ivory liquid in some warm water to loosen the material. Rinse and blow and you are back to a clean surface. Plastic glides or Magic Movers should be affixed to heavy furnishings or those which will move frequently. Potted plants should have a dish placed under them to catch excess water; this is especially true if you use a lot of fertilizer on the plants. The surface should be resealed from time-to-time. The manufacturer of the sealant recommends resealing every 1 to 2 years if using an Acrylic Sealer and 5-7 years of using a Polyurethane. How often your surface needs to be resealed depends on the amount of rain and sunlight it receives. When you start to notice that water doesn’t bead up on or seems to absorb into the surface, it is time to reseal.