January 9, 2020
Every space has its own unique challenges and requirements. Taking the time to thoroughly understand your end users’ specific flooring needs will empower you to choose the best solutions for them— and help avoid any surprises later on down the road. Let’s face it, surprises usually come at a cost, and the more we can control upfront the better for all involved.
There is a resinous flooring system for virtually every environment, but it is up to you as the flooring expert to gather as many details as possible to recommend the right floor. Outside of the conversation on budgets and pricing, these ten questions should be asked and answered before recommending a floor.
These ten questions will help you do that:
1. What is the main issue you want to solve with your new flooring? Find out what their current pain points are. Are there issues with drainage, loose tiles, mildew? Are the floors hard to maintain, keep clean, or are they just old and it’s time for a change? Knowing this information will help you recommend the correct resinous floor.
2. What condition is your substrate in? What is your substrate? Is it concrete, wood, metal? If concrete, is it green (less than 28 days old), is it older, does it need patching or major repairs? Find out as many details as you can so you can understand how much prep work will be involved and also which resinous flooring systems can be used. You can keep your notes organized by using the Dur-A-Flex Area Site Survey form.
3. Do you want a textured or smooth floor? Find out what is more important in the area: smooth floors for ease of cleaning or texture for traction. Both can be accommodated, and at varying degrees, but you’ll want to identify which is the priority, so you can specify the right floor.
4. Are aesthetics important? Depending on where the seamless floor is being installed, the look of the floor can be a huge consideration. Resinous floors have many options to choose from: flake, colored quartz, a wide range of color including custom colors, or even a design embedded in the floor. For places where metallic epoxy floors are a fit, the ReFLEXions line is an incredibly popular option.
5. How long can the area be shut down? This knowledge will help you determine what flooring systems are a possibility for installation. You also want to make sure your customer has reasonable expectations of how long the installation and cure times of the various resinous components will take.
6. What type of chemicals are used in these areas and may spill on the floor? Whether there will be cooking oils from a fryer or motor oil from a vehicle, you want to fully understand what the resinous floor is expected to withstand. Knowing this information will help you identify which seamless flooring systems will perform best and also which to avoid.
7. What other substances will the flooring system come in contact with? Really take the time to learn about the use of the space. What will the floors be exposed to on a daily basis? From foot traffic to vehicular traffic, water to acids, cold sources to heat sources, etc. Get the full picture, to understand their full needs.
8. What are your cleaning protocols? Daily? Weekly? A floor that will be power-scrubbed daily versus a floor that will be mopped daily may have different needs for durability and waterproofing. A floor that will be exposed to caustic chemicals will have different topcoat needs than a floor that will only be exposed to grime from foot traffic.
9. What is your expectation for the lifespan of the flooring system? It is easy to manage their expectations from the beginning by understanding their needs. There is no blanket answer to this, as each environment can introduce its own distinct conditions. Proper care and maintenance increases the life of a floor, but it is going to come down to how durable the system installed is and which topcoat was chosen. For instance, a kitchen with a cementitious urethane floor with a TF Plus topcoat will last longer than an epoxy system in that environment. (Assuming both are properly maintained.)
10. Have you ever owned or maintained a resinous flooring system before? Resinous floors are easy to clean and maintain. That said, the care and cleaning methods are slightly different than the facility owner may be used to. The more you can educate the end user on proper care and maintenance of resinous floors the better.
In closing, asking detailed questions and discovering as much as you can about the use of a space is the best way to determine which resinous flooring system you should specify. Don’t forget that you can always consult your local Dur-A-Flex sales or tech reps for additional help identifying the right floor for the job.
Author: Jim Wilson
Jim Wilson is the Dur-A-Flex regional sales manager for the western Unites States. With over 20 years of experience in the coatings and construction world, Jim is a trusted source for all things resinous flooring.