Scoring High Marks: Concrete Floors Can Rule in School

From D+D Online, December 2010

by Gary Henry

School flooring has long been the domain of carpet and vinyl. That’s changing. Finished concrete floors are showing up in ever greater quantities in schools ranging from elementary to university. Coloring, polishing, and other decorative treatments are adding distinctive aesthetics and enhanced performance, meaning the concrete floor no longer must be standard-issue gray—a la Henry Ford’s uniformly black Model T....
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Tagged categories: Concrete coatings and treatments; Concrete polishing; Decorative Finishes; Floor coatings; Prosoco Inc.; Schools

Comment from christopher schmidt, (12/10/2010, 9:28 AM)

Gary, we are using concrete flooring in more and more of our school designs. I would like to post this article on our website blog. what do I need to do to acomplish this?

Comment from Sharon Steele, (12/10/2010, 10:00 AM)

Christopher, you are welcome to include a link to this article from your blog. If you have any questions, please let me know, thanks! Sharon Steele at D+D. 800-837-8303 X 144,

Comment from david burgess, (12/10/2010, 10:47 AM)

Hello Sharon, may we post this article to our web site as well? We have several school boards in Western Canada that are making the move to PC. THX David Burgess

Comment from Sharon Steele, (12/10/2010, 11:08 AM)

Hi David, You are welcome to include a link to this site! Thanks.

Comment from Deb Huizenga, (12/10/2010, 11:10 AM)

At our school, kids are coming in with snow and water on their boots/shoes. Is the polished concrete floor slippery?

Comment from Nurit Regev, (12/10/2010, 1:00 PM)

It looks like there are top coats on the floors in these pictures.Could you tell us what they are?

Comment from Tony Thorne, (12/11/2010, 9:50 AM)

Polished Concrete Question ? We are seeing concrete counter tops now aalso, but in the flooring article it warned against using polished concrete in spill areas. Milk , vinegar and other acids can damage these surfaces. Are counter tops Sealed to protect these surfaces ? Thanks Tony

Comment from Laurie Kaneshiro, (12/11/2010, 2:23 PM)

The concrete floor looks so shiny. How do you determine the coefficient of friction on a custom installed concrete floor?

Comment from david burgess, (12/13/2010, 1:06 PM)

Yes, concrete floors are exceptionally shiny however the process can be designed to create a matte look based on grit levels. Good question about static coefficient of friction. ASTM C 1028 has standards to determine safe thresholds on polished concrete (wet or dry surfaces). Slip tester is used to measure co-efficent. There are various models on the market ranging from $1500.00 - $5000.00. The more expensive unit provides a print out showing measured values. It is generally considered in the industry that a walkway surface with a coefficient of friction higher than 0.5 is non-hazardous. Check out Ls (Lithium-Silicate) Link under HARDEN - "Product Test Data"

Comment from gary henry, (12/14/2010, 12:58 PM)

Hi Nurit, I believe the coating on those floors is an ultra-thin coating called LSGuard that is burnished in at 3,000 rpm. The LS stands for "lithium-silicate," a component in the formulation. While LSGuard can be used to enhance the gloss of floors finished to lesser levels, the floors shown in the article all achieved their levels of shine and reflectivity independently of the protective treatment. Gary Henry 785-830-7343

Comment from gary henry, (12/14/2010, 1:04 PM)

Tony, I highly recommend sealing concrete countertops. There a several worthwhile products on the market for that purpose. Which one you choose depends on whenther or not you want to enhance or alter the appearance, and which contaminants you're most likely to see on the counter. No matter what product you choose, your best defense against stains from spills is rapid removal. Gary Henry 785-830-7343

Comment from gary henry, (12/14/2010, 1:07 PM)

Laurie, regarding slip resistance, David Burgess gave excellent information. I would only add that although highly polished floors look slippery, the reality is that they're not. That said, any floor can be slippery with spills of water or other contaminants. Gary Henry 785-830-7343

Comment from Brad Burns, (12/14/2010, 1:18 PM)

Regarding slip resistance of Polished Concrete, when the surface is processed properly, it provided increased surface contact and therefore creates a higher slip coefficient that what is expected from such a reflective surface. However, we recommend that each floor, since they are unique, be tested by a walkway auditor. A list of approved auditors can be located at Also, the National Floor Safety Institute ( and recently released the new ANSI B101 standard for testing the slip coefficient in the field. Brad Burns / Concrete Polishing Association of America

Comment from gary henry, (12/16/2010, 10:20 AM)

Thanks Brad, that's great! -- Gary

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