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March 21 - March 27, 2016

We’re converting a grocery store into a motorcycle dealership. Should we polish the concrete floor or coat it? The concrete seems in fair shape, from what we can see under the dried mastic where the old vinyl tiles have been removed.

Selected Answers

From David Burgess of Evershine on March 28, 2016:
As noted,there are many options for retro-fit floor conversions. If polished concrete is an option, its features and benefits are best addressed early in the selling cycle and prior to test panel presentation. Customer needs, wants and expectations vary. Establishing a baseline budget and ultimately customer satisfaction depends to a large extent on your level of expertise and service performance. That said, it's been my experience when removing vinyl tile, ghosting, as it's commonly called, is more often than not readily accepted by clients who are ok with that type of aesthetic, be it a commercial, industrial or residential retro-fit. Even when ghosting is inconsistent throughout, many clients prefer that look over the cost of topical failures. To avoid ghosting confusion, professional installers address ghosting in their quotation and again, prior to a test panel. Most clients seriously contemplating polished concrete in a retro-fit situation are looking to have informed representation of a product including but not limited to installation time, cure time (how soon they can return to the floor) durability, aesthetics, cost of maintenance, ease of maintenance and life cycle cost.

From Jaime Molina of Primary Materials Inc. on March 26, 2016:
Auto dealers seem to have good success with shiny, reflective floors, so it seems that a high-shine, resin coating should be the option to recommend. Old floors require careful preparation, so budget ample time and money for this phase. Since you might be able to remove the old mastic chemically, try that first but be prepared to do some grinding. Once the mastic is removed, expect a lot of surprises. Repair cracks and voids as needed. Apply cementitious topping if needed or desired. Chose the coating to suit the budget. For a low budget: Two solid-color epoxy coats. For medium budget: Single epoxy coat with flakes over it, with polyurea topcoat. For a comfortable budget, consider a metallic epoxy floor, perhaps over a self-leveling concrete topping. This highly reflective system should create a superb floor for displaying motorcycles. Notes: Topcoat with polyurea for more abrasion resistance. Add anti-slip granules to topcoat if desired. Leftover resins could be used for the floor of the service shop.

From Tim Davis of J3 Systems on March 24, 2016:
Do both.You are going to prep the floor to remove the mastic anyway, and will need to ensure that you "pull" any mastic out of the subsurface of the concrete to prevent future issues with mastic rising to the surface. Once you have prepped the floor, as noted by another respondent, there will most likely be staining. From an aesthetic concern, a coating would most likely be needed.

From Jim Cuviello of Cuviello Concrete on March 24, 2016:
What are you trying to achieve in a floor? Do you want consistency in the look like a manufacturered product or are you ok with imperfections, cracks, repairs, the natural characteristics? Do you want a refined industrial feel or are you looking for more of a refined sterile feel? Are you looking for durability and low maintenance? Both options are viable, but it comes down to what are you trying to achieve? What is your budget?

From travis gold of Mid Atlantic Coatings on March 23, 2016:
In order to be sure,you will want a test patch. Often, when mastic has been on the floor for an extended period of time, it will leave staining or "shadowing." This is not always ground out, or if it is polished out,  iy requires a deep, expensive polish. Aesthetic also plays a big role; a polished floor will never look like a coating and vice versa.

From Michael Quaranta of OPERATIONS 40 on March 22, 2016:
We did a MotorSports facility more than 10 years ago. Our coating is a premium finish floor coating and an excellent hard finish wall coating. They wanted bright yellow floor design and walls. The floor is installed under some rather simple requirements such as BeadBlast for a CSP-3/4 finish. Lots of other keen abilities like water clean-up and, in your sitaution any re-coat if required is also easily done. The failure about polishing is that it leaves the cracks with all of the dirt polished in the grooves. Our system fills the cracks before coating with, yes, a mixture of fine sand in the cracks with the coating into a paste before the finish coat. The coating is epoxy with a four-hour pot life.

From David Burgess of Evershine on March 22, 2016:
Further to my recommendation for polishing. If you like, I can send pics of a project where mastic was removed and concrete was polished out to 3000 grit. E-mail

From David Burgess of Evershine on March 22, 2016:
I would polish the concrete. The concrete polishing industry has light-weight polishing machines today that easily remove mastic quickly and effortlessly.

From Sarah Geary of RockTred on March 21, 2016:
I would suggest coating it with a impact-resistant, self-leveling coating, as we see many motorcycle dealerships doing this currently. This type of coating will protect the concrete against  wear and tear rom heavy machinery and can be finished in a number of chemical-resistant topcoats.

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Tagged categories: Concrete coatings and treatments; Concrete polishing

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