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You will find useful info about the porcess of diamond grinding and polishing concrete flooring, concrete staining as well as an understanding of resurfacing and beautifying existing concrete slabs.

Below you can browse through an ongoing collection of blogs to familirize you with decorative concrete and epoxy flooring.

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Re-Leveling and Custom Resurfacing Existing Concrete Floors

Posted on January 29, 2015 at 10:55 AM

The surface that is continuously overlooked in many homes is the concrete floor in the basement areas and garage areas. Even though the floor is old and has many cracks, there is a way to give it a modern updated look.

To get a concrete floor fixed to create a new finish, at times, it is necessary to make some places smoother and this can be achieved by the use of self - leveling products.

This unique mixture can help solve a lot of problems that may be associated with a concrete floor. It does not matter if there are cracks, chipped areas, holes or uneven spots due to heaving. Self - leveling concrete can be made use of from ¼ inch up to one thick thickness to achieve floor expectations and requirements. This is very true in spaces where the concrete pad gets in touch with another floor or maybe doorway. Small rooms and narrow areas with plenty support posts are good candidates for this type of mix.

Another wonderful thing concerning a self levelling mix is that it is possible to get it tinted in a countless number of colorations. This makes the customization of these types of floors very easy. A few designers have gone far as to include different materials like recycled color glass, aggregates, and other mediums can be made use of to create a highly unique custom floor effects. When not set up, immediately the floor surface is washed with a hose, the additions are exposed, making a provision for a natural appearance.

Technology for new flooring has created a lot of new alternatives for homeowners interested in making a new decorative concrete look. Adding to all of these new options, self - leveling concrete mix can be cut through with a saw to make a brand new patio stone surface. This is awesome since a lot of other surfaces easily receive gouges and scratches easily and appear to be very hard to maintain. Comparing it to cement, cement just requires water and a soap solution, therefore no special chemical mixtures are needed.

A self levelling polished concrete flooring system may contain a blend of Portland cement, polymers and other proprietary ingredients when applied. It produces a floor that has nice looking natural shade differences with a beautiful and clean finishing. This great polishing system also opens up a group of different design possibilities. A floor just ¼ to ½ thick looks and feels exactly like a power trowelled polished concrete floor.

In this way, new concrete floors are converted to marvelous nice looking seamless floor finishes and also, newly poured concrete floors are transformed into unique and highly wanted flooring like polished concrete, metallic epoxy finish and a lot of protective and decorative floor finishes.

One of several options for self - leveling concrete floor finishes includes

Color – standard colors of many decorative floor self – leveling finishes appear either grey (light grey) or white. However, it is very possible to tint our concrete mixes to a lot of other many color shades, depending on one’s request.

 

More About Concre Polishing

Posted on January 15, 2015 at 10:30 AM

What is concrete polishing?

Concrete polishing is concrete that has actually been treated with a chemical densifier as well as ground with steadily greater grinding devices. The grinding devices are usually progressive grits of gemstone grinding mug wheels and ruby polishing pads. Normally, concrete is ruled out brightened before 400 grit, as well as it is typically finished to either the 800, 1500, or 3000 grit level. Discolorations as well as dyes are often applied to enhance refined concrete in addition to other alternatives such as scoring, developing radial lines, grids, bands, boundaries, and also various other layouts.

Concrete sprucing up is swiftly becoming even more of a requirement for commercial building proprietors as well as home supervisors. Also, some homeowners find that concrete refinishing can benefit older floorings as well as developing outsides. Suppliers of flooring surface products are likewise staying up to date with this rise in demand, as well as are regularly introducing brand-new items that make this task not just easier than ever before, yet also considerably boost the results.

Among one of the most popular sorts of flooring in business buildings as well as in residences is ceramic tile. The different forms, designs, and colors of ceramic floor tile make this a far more appealing choice for standard concrete floor covering. While older floorings typically have a plain gray appearance, ceramic floor tiles could be prepared in designs as well as offer a grid-like appearance. Still, concrete floorings have a more smooth and even look compared to the distinctive appearance of floor tiles.

 

Brightening gets rid of the plain gray look and also provides your flooring more of an appeal. Additionally, polished floor is stronger as well as much more resistant to surface scratches as well as damage from heavy things. Various kinds of polishes as well as the thickness of the application add to this tensile toughness, making it a far more ideal choice for big retail places and even office structures. Also for house owners, brightened concrete can repel stains and also supply a long-term surface that will need hardly any maintenance.

 

Although ceramic floor tiles provide a more attractive layout, installation can be costly as well as time consuming. The title needs to be outlined on an incomplete concrete floor with sticky. The rooms between the tiles are after that filled of grout, as well as a sealant is used over the leading. This procedure does not avoid harm to the tiles or the floor itself. When ceramic tiles are nicked or cracked, the expense of repair could be really costly. Furthermore, regular cleansing and also upkeep can become a huge task, particularly for a company owner or those with larger square video. Another downside of ceramic tile is that it is not efficient in standing up to a lot of weight. For retail stores and also businesses, this is frequently not a functional option.

 

In commercial plants, warehouses, workplace buildings, and also retail stores where there is a lot of website traffic as well as massive equipment, furniture, or supply polished concrete is a far more

Canadian TV Production REMEDY Season 2

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 10:55 AM

One of the coolest things about the decorative concrete business is our clients. In our day to day course of business we come across unique buildings and people that offer us a glimpse into the working of a business, or beautiful one of kind custom homes.

Concrete Art-FX, had previously worked on TV stage work for season 1 and 2 of CRACKED which aired on CBC weekly where we ground and polished concrete floors in the "Police Station" which most of the show's drama took place on the show and our floors were visible in every episode. However we reached a new milestone when we completed recently the largest Television stage floor work we ever done for season 2 of REMEDY (Hospital dram series). The TV stage work was a 22,000 SF of concrete floors which Concrete Art-FX helped to transform this area into full TV Hospital.

We love working on small or large projects to create beautiful new practical and functional concrete floor designs that meets our clients' economical budgets and our crews receive great gratification and pride in our workmanship and flooring we produce.

Stay tuned for upcoming photos to be posted in the Gallery section of this website.

Creating A Perfect Custom Polished Concrete Floor

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Polished concrete flooring has become a much more of a common place in 2014 then ever before. Yet new people are introduced to the natural beauty and the numerous advatages of polished concrete floor. For those people who are just familirizing themselves for the first time to polished concrete, the odds are that you have seen and walked on various forms of decorative and non decorative polished concrete floors when entering into grocery stores, big box stores, restaurants, galleries, museums, professional offices, homes and condos, as well as many private and public establishments.

Although not frequently,he biggest problem as a company that we encounter with grinding and polishing the existing concrete is that you do not have the option to select the concrete slab to polish, but rather the client must be ready to accept all or any faults in the concrete surface after the concrete  grinding and polishing process is complete. As a professional concrete grinding and polishing company, we are able to perfect out mechanical grinding and polishing process but what we can not do is camouflage the previous faults and repaired cracks or gouges on structural concrete surface. Most clients prefer and  enjoy  the uniqueness and the natural faults that is sometimes found in a polished concrete floor.

As the market for polished concrete is evolving into more sophistication, manufacturers of Portland cement mixes are taking advantage of the growth in the market by developing and producing new specialty hybrid self leveling concrete mixes designed to be poured at about 3/8"thickness and polished and can be customized to customer's preference and colour.

 

The new self-leveling concrete mix can be seeded or broadcasted with customer's choice of custom colour aggregate, or recycled colour glass, sea shell or even a combination of broadcasting materials can be embedded into the newly poured floor.

We at Concrete Art-FX Inc., specialize in self-leveling floor applications for retail and residential flooring. We use Mapei and currently working with new boutique products to offer our clients the finest polished concrete finishes in southern Ontario.

Decorative Concrete Flooring Trend In Ontario

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Over the last 10 years the decorative concrete flooring business has been evolving rapidly as new products and new application techniques  are constantly re-invented or updated.

We at Concrete Art-FX have evolved with our niche industry as well and continue to do so by offering customers the best practical options while considering client budget.

Back in 2005, our most common flooring work we were producing was mainly acid staining and decorative concrete overlays were our big sellers and the big trend back then. Today, in 2014 the new decorative concrete flooring leader in polished concrete. Concrete polishing has really taken off in Ontario as people and businesses alike are realizing the esthetic and the practical advantages and value of naturally ground and polished concrete flooring has to offer.

We also noticed a new trend developing in the last 2 years with our proprietary new flooring system called metallic epoxy or, metallic polyaspartic flooring. This floor system can be applied on any repaired or regular concrete with numerous vibrant and beautiful colour schemes available in metallic epoxy floors. This floor system perfectly camouflages any imperfections in  the concrete and is totally seamless and fault free.  For these reasons the popularity of metallic epoxy floors is growing rapidly and is highly recommended in any place where requiring a rich elegant and sophisticated floor finish.

If you have further interest in the floor finishes discussed in this blog, please feel free to browse our site for more info.

Planning The New Concrete Mix For Polishing Concrete Floors

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 3:25 PM

We at Concrete Art-FX, have been asked numerous times by clients, GCs, and architects alike as to what is the optimal concrete mix and guidelines to a new concrete floor pour to get the best possible result for concrete polishing?.

 Since the answer is not a simple one liner, we decided to turn to Canadian Polished Concrete Association for their recommendation on this question.

Although it is not mandatory to follow the recommendations and guidelines below to have a beautiful polished concrete floor, but it is certainly excellent advice that will eliminate all the potential errors we sometimes encounter by concrete contractors that have no knowledge of polished concrete process and how it works.

CONCRETE MIX DESIGN

 

In addition to ACI standards for mixing concrete, CPAA recommends the following:

For the portion of the concrete that will be polished, each mix ingredient should be from the same source, from the same respective batch, and each delivered to the concrete producer in one delivery.

Type I portland cement according to ASTM C150 - 09 Standard Specification for Portland Cement.

A water-to-cement (W/C) ratio is .45.

One of the strengths of diamond polished concrete is the range of aggregates that can be exposed, therefore a uniformly graded mix of not less than 3 aggregate sizes - fine, intermediate, and large - will yield the best visual quality. It should be understood that since aggregates are heavy and there is a cost for transporting aggregate from its source to the batch plant is a factor in the cost of the concrete, locally available aggregates are used to produce concrete. This is an important design consideration because, depending on the project location, there may be few, if any, opportunities for other aggregates to be used in the concrete mix.

The mix should not be air entrained.

Inclusion of admixtures, plasticizers, slag, fly ash, or other products replacing portions of the portland cement in the concrete mix is not recommended. If any of these are used, the total volume should not exceed 20 percent of the portland cement volume.

Admixtures should not be calcium chloride based.

If an integral color is included in the concrete mix, the minimum batch size should be 3 cubic yards.

During batching, the incoming material consistency should be monitored and controlled.

The compressive strength should not be less than 3,500 psi.

PLACING CONCRETE

In addition to ACI standards for placing concrete, CPAA recommends the following:

Transit mixer drums should be properly washed out after each concrete mix discharge and before a new batch is loaded.

Water added by the transit mixer driver should be monitored and controlled.

During mixing, transporting, and placing the concrete mix, monitor and control the temperature to not more than 85 degrees F.

The slump at the point of discharge should be 5 inches, plus or minus 1/2 inch.

FINISHING CONCRETE

In addition to ACI standards for finishing concrete, CPAA recommends the following:

After placement of the concrete mix, strike off the surface using a laser screed, then bull float at 90 degrees to the screed pull direction, vib and consolidate, and level to specified elevation. A 10 foot check rod is recommended, however, if not available bull floats should be 6 foot long; smaller bull floats may be used on sloping surfaces.

When placing concrete mix at edges, use a 36 inch long metal or wood edged screed and run parallel with the formwork or edge after the initial screeding and before floating. Hand floating should be parallel to the edge and performed in 24 inch increments to avoid lifting or depressing the surface. Avoid pulling excessive amounts of the concrete mix to the edges by either not using hand tools more than 24 inches from the edge, or floating in a fan direction.

When little or no bleed water is present and concrete mix has sufficiently hardened to support finishing equipment without causing imperfections in the surface, begin machine floating using pans and make two passes.

To improve the possibility of achieving the specified flatness/levelness requirements, check and re-straighten if necessary using a 10 foot or longer highway straight edge or bump cutter.

When machine floating edges, use pans and overrun the formed edge by 5 inches. For both walk-behind and riding equipment, make the first pass along the edge with the left side, or cutting side, of the equipment to pull down high spots of the surface. Make a second pass along the edge with the right side, or filling side, of the equipment to fill low spots in the surface.

Steel trowel the surface in three passes without burning the surface or burning the aggregate (plastic trowel blades will prevent burning the aggregate).

Lightly hand or machine tool edges construction joints and exercise care that edges are not depressed or chattered along bulkheads, formed edges, columns, and pipe penetrations.

Do not dust the finished surface with dry portland cement or sand to accelerate curing and drying.

CONCRETE CURING AND DRYING

CPAA recommends evaporation control and wet curing concrete slabs according to ACI 308R-01: Guide to Curing Concrete (Reapproved 2008) without the use of topically applied curing compounds. While topically applied curing compounds may assist with curing during the first few days after concrete placement, they retard concrete drying in the weeks and months after curing and may cause the slab to be too wet when the time comes for diamond polishing or floor covering application.

Densifiers and hardeners should not be applied to concrete.

FLOOR FLATNESS/LEVELNESS CRITERIA

CPAA recommends specifying the following tolerances:

Specified Overall Value Minimum Local Value FF Floor Flatness 50 35 FL Floor Levelness 30 20 The floor flatness and levelness should be tested within 8 hours after completion of the final troweling operation according to ASTM E1155 - 96(2008) Standard Test Method for Determining FF Floor Flatness and FL Floor Levelness Numbers by an independent testing agency experienced with the testing procedure and possessing the necessary equipment.

Additionally, a remedy for out-of-tolerance work should be specified.

CONTRACTION JOINTS

Based on independent studies, CPAA recommends saw-cutting slabs as soon as possible after finishing using a saw blade that has a triangular arbor configuration to reduce edge raveling or dislodging aggregates at the following spacing to minimize slab curling and cracking:

Slab thickness, inches Spacing, feet on centers each way 4 10 6 12 8 15 Since concrete shrinks during curing and drying in two directions, cracks are minimized when the area between contraction joints is as close to a square as possible.

 

Toronto's 42 Potential Flood Zones Could Be At Risk This Spring

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Toronto is and has experienced the most taxing winter in many decades on record. The huge snow fall sitting on the ground will need to eventually melt and drain way. Since there is so much snow  accumulation the possibility of flooding in Toronto's 42 identified flood zones is real possibility. There a few measures homeowners can do to minimize flooding by simply plowing the snow around the foundation of the house to reduce the flooding seeping through the concrete walls.


However the more common type of flooding one cannot prevent is when the municipal sewer system backs up into your home. In such cases having a ready to go automatic sump pump that kicks in when such an event occurs in the home. If you live in one of the 42 identified areas as flood prone zone then the best protection you can install to prevent disastrous flooding as seen in the above pics.

 In the summer 2013, Concrete Art-FX, had ground and polished more concrete basements then ever before in any one year due to the severe flooding that occurred in July, in Toronto and GTA.

Having professionally finished polished concrete floors will withstanding floods and in general can tolerate abuse like no other type of flooring without damaging the polished concrete floor.

So make every effort to flood proof your home if you live in any of the 42 known flood zones in the GTA. We have attached a PDF map of all  identified 42 flood zones in around Toronto.

If your home has been flooded and the insurer will not cover the next flood, then we highly recommend polishing your basement concrete floors.  Polished concrete floor is flood proof and is a unique beautiful lifetime floor finish ideal for any home, business, or industrial facilities. 

Concrete Art-FX Inc., specializes in the showroom quality concrete polishing and other decorative concrete floor finishes throughout the GTA and southern Ontario since 2005.

 

Perfect Polished Concrete Floor Is In The Details

Posted on November 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM

in last few years professional concrete polishing companies has to deal with a deluge of newly sprung concrete polishers in the Toronto area. As result, the quality of polished concrete floors produced by these new concrete polishers is at best hit and miss scenario. New contractors often skim on obtaining WISB nor liability insurance for their new business and often will economize on important equipment and tooling to save on costs. More importantly rookie contractors lack the many years of experience of know how to produce a professional polished concrete floor. Dealing with newly formed concrete polishing contractors is a very risky proposition.

Recently I received a referral from a previous client, asking me to drop in to a business a few doors away from his as he wanted me to look at the polished concrete floors another contractor created. When I arrived, I was horrified. The texture of the surface was totally inconsistent as it clearly looked as if the contractor was grinding and polishing the floor in random fashion. Furthermore the entire floor was full of scratches. Yes we get paid to grind and polish the concrete not to scratch and polish.

 

I asked my client's friend why did he select the contractor that he did?, His answer was the designer chose him and he was cheap in price. Now what a shocker?, It is very typical that new polished concrete contractors will drop prices promise the universe, and can't deliver the moon as saying goes. Although what I have just sighted is a major example of rookie polishing contractors, what is more common is the details missed. Very few concrete slabs do not have cracks or gouges or pitting. So an experienced polishing contractor such as Concrete Art-FX, uses expert products and techniques to blend in the repairs like a fine tailor. Where as a rookie contractor, often have no idea how to properly make the repairs that will blend into the polished concrete floor. Below are examples of professional crack and hole repairs.

 

Professional concrete floor patching requires experience and know how.

 

 

Outdoor Pollished Concrete Instead Of Stamped Concrete

Posted on October 23, 2013 at 4:25 PM

To many people the idea of having diamond grinding and polishing their structural concrete floors in their home or business is gaining popularity, yet it is still a relatively new phenomena for most people. It is even less common or rare to find a polished concrete or a honed concrete finish in an outdoor setting like patios, court yards, walkways, pool decks or any concrete slab where corrosive road salt is not used during winter month can be transformed into visually appealing polished or honed concrete surface that does NOT look like concrete after the transformation.

We have tested, and incorporated a new method of honing and polishing outdoor concrete slabs. This process exposes from slight to deep aggregate within in the slab while offering slight to no sheen finish. This process is ideal for most horizontal outdoor concrete surfaces

 

Outdoor polished concrete is a slightly different process then we use when grinding and polishing indoor concrete floors. We grind more aggressively and don't polish as heavily as indoors, but just as ethically beautiful, non slippery and practical outdoor surface.

Outdoor diamond polished concrete finish is suitable in any outdoor area with non corrosive environment and is way cheaper then stamped concrete and will outlast stamp concrete 3 times longer with minimal maintenance required. So before you consider stamping the concrete around your house, consider the beauty and elegance of an outdoor diamond polished concrete floor finish. You may be happy you did.

What Is Retro Plating? And How Is It Different Then Polished Concrete?

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Retro Plating a concrete floor really is no different then polished concrete at all. Well, there could be a difference, let me explain: The process of Retro platting is very much the same as a typical grinding and polishing process we all call polished concrete. The word Retro plating really means that you are applying a densifier as you normally would after any grind or before polishing. So Retro plating essentially is the name of the densifier that is being used by an authorized user of Retro Plate densifier manufacturer.

What most commercial and industrial clients are lead to believe that this Retro Plate is an entire process, but it's NOT!.

Simply put, Retro Plate is a good densifier that is sold exlusively to a limited number of concrete polishing companies which pay more for the right to use an exclusive product, thereby enabling them to charge a premium to clients by selling the Retro Plate process and as such most client who buy into the marketing gimick will end paying over  30% to 50% or more premium for Retro Plate process compared with our polished concrete finishes. However if you can get past the marketing fluff of Retro Plate, a professional contractor such Concrete Art-FX Inc., has over years of testing numerous densifier products, has identified the best densifier product that not just performs like a Retro Plate floor, but often even better then Retro Plate densifier. The result is you get a beautiful polished concrete floor with natural high sheen yet at up to 50% discount to a Retro Plate polished concrete prices.


So you decide?, should you buy into the hype of a Retro Plate densifier?, Or should you be the wiser, and save money with an experienced polished concrete contractor who understands the science and process of a quality workmanship of ground and polished concrete floor.

Taking Decorative Epoxy Floor Finishes to A New Level.

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 12:45 AM

In the past decade we have experienced explosive growth in decorative concrete floor finishes in both residential commercial market place. People and businesses are more made aware of the more Eco-friendly floor finishes such as diamond polished concrete or our newest specialty offering the highly unique 3D metallic epoxy flooring. We have taken decorative epoxy flooring to a new level offering one of kind decorative metallic epoxy flooring systems to wide range of clients.

The last several month, we at Concrete Art-FX, have been operating on full tilt working virtually seven days a week to keep up with demand while we train new technician to relieve the work due to the popularity of our new decorative epoxy floor finishes.

 Concrete Art-FX Inc., has earned steadily recognition for quality workmanship and outstanding customer service effort since our inception in late 2005. As a commercial and residential custom concrete flooring company, we strive to offer premium quality concrete floor finishes as economically as possible while offering environmentally sound flooring solutions that earn top points in LEEDS construction practices as well as a peace of mind for the consumer.

Our new decorative epoxy floor finishes offers one of kind unique flooring that is seamless, long lasting and will impress the most discriminating tastes that can be installed on almost any concrete floor slab. We are finding that interior designers have the ability to create a specific unique look that is both gratifying to the end user and interior designer alike.


Why No Two Polished Concrete Floors Are Never Exactly The Same

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 12:50 AM

Being one of the largest residential and light commercial polished concrete companies, we receive many calls about polished concrete flooring. Often people want to see samples of polished concrete floors. Some contractors carry around samples of a polished concrete which they created to show as samples but often these contractors may not tell you that your floor will not look as the sample.

The beautiful thing about polished concrete is it's unque appearance and its seamless look. Each and every ground and polished concrete slab is unique as result of the concrete mix composition varies from one mix to the next in terms of colour, aggreagte size, and faults found in the slab. The way the concrete was finished and cured is also a factor in the final appearance of diamond polished concrete floor.

As such for the above reasons mentioned, grinding and polishing concrete produces unique concrete flooring that will last the life of the space you have polished concrete floors in. When an old concrete slab is professionally diamond ground, densified with our premium lithium sealer, and resin polished by skilled technician,  is the key to a successful diamond polished concrete floor job..

Basement Floor Flooding? - No Problem

Posted on August 29, 2013 at 5:55 PM

As many Torontonians have witnessed first hand the devastation of a flooded basement. We recently received a call from a client for whom we installed a polished concrete floor after she had radiant heated floor installed in her newly renovated home about 2.5 years ago.

The client called us to thank us for persuading her to go with the decision of polished concrete floors instead of original expensive hard wood floor she wanted to install instead.

As the client went on to tell the story how,  that heavy rains pounded her whole street that hot summer July day in Toronto, as her home had a total loss of power for about 30 hour period, and as the result of the power failure, the sump pump was not able to turn on. Over 3 inches of water slowly filled her basement floor from the sewage back up which damaged some furniture and other items in the basement that were sensitive to water.

The next day, the power finally came back on and the sump pump kicked in to do it's work, and drained all the water that had flooded the basement floor over the next few hours. However to the client's most amazement, is that when the polished concrete floor fully dried, it looked just as beautiful as the day we finished polishing her concrete floor.

So if you were one of many casualties of Toronto basement flooding, or a builder wanting to build smart and avoid the possibilty of flood damaged floors, then consider polished concrete flooring not just as a practical choice for flooring it's also a custom, unique and beautiful floor that is virtually indestructible.

Don't wait till next basement flood occurs. Consider the Eco-friendly and uniquely beautiful naturally ground and polished concrete floor is the ultimate choice for flood proof flooring that will last the life of your home, and yet just as importantly will look awesome too. Then polished concrete floors is definitely it!

Metallic Epoxy Floor Finishes

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Amongst the more popular decorative concrete floor finishes is the highly unique and beautiful metallic epoxy flooring. This type of decorative concrete flooring finish is ideal for any concrete ffloor regardless of the condition of the concrete substrate.

Metallic epoxy floor finishes are multi-coat layering of 100% solid resin epoxy blended with nano particles of metallic colour pigments that are mixed in careful proportions to produce a colouration process that offers spectacular, unique look with smooth multi dimensional appearance. Metallic epoxy floor finish would be suitable for;


Showrooms/ retail stores

Residential Condos/Homes

Professional office spaces

Commercial/Institutional

We offer professional metallic epoxy flooring installations and work closely with interior designers, GCs, Architects, and directly with clients to produce metallic epoxy flooring that specifically designed and installed for them. As such if you are looking for custom decorative seamless floor with high gloss or without, we at Concrete Art-FX Inc., is the number one contractor in southern Ontario region decorative epoxy flooring.

Best Flood Prone Basement Flooring Solution

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Recently Toronto, had experienced a major flooding event as was the case in other parts of Canada, such as Calgary and Winnipeg, which almost experiences flooding every year after winters.

Since Concrete Art-FX, is a Toronto area based company, I would like to discuss in this post the best flooring solutions for home owners with flood prone basements or high moisture concrete floor slabs.

Since we specialize in concrete flooring we know for a fact that polished concrete floors withstand flooding very well.  Polished concrete is 99% pore free and thus will not damage, nor much water will penetrate into the polished concrete slab.  Certain parts of Toronto, are designated as flood prone areas and such home insurance companies do not extend flooding coverage, or charge outrageous amount to insure the home. Having polished concrete floors installed in the basement, will eliminate the need to re-place floors everyt time the sewer backs up, or a sudden hit of crazy amount of rain that floods the basement as we recently had here in Toronto.

http://www.gipdrs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/man-in-flooded-basement.jpg

FLOODED BASEMENT (above)

Meaning after cleaning up the flood, you will be ready to use the floor as if nothing was wrong. Similarly epoxy flooring will also mitigate any damage from a flood, but if the flooding isn't cleaned up within 24 hours, the epoxy floor may lose it's high luster, and would require a re-coating of epoxy or less expensive polyurethane to restore a high gloss shine if so desired.

The only caveat with epoxy flooring, and concrete staining, is that the concrete slab must be tested for moisture to ensure that there is not too much moisture within the concrete floor slab being emitted. If the test comes back showing too much moisture is being emitted from the concrete slab, then an MVP (moisture vapour reduction sealer) coating treatment must be applied prior to applying epoxy or polyurethane or these coating will haze and begin to lift off the concrete floor if too much emitting moisture is present in the concrete floor slab. So if you happen to fall in with many Torontonians who had suffered from basement flooding?. Then maybe you realy should consider polished concrete or epoxy floor finish for the basement.

POLISHED CONCRETE FLOORS BASEMENT

Complete the free estimate form, or contact us at 905-660-6884 for curtious professional service.



Semi Polished Concrete Pool Decks

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 12:10 AM

This summer, we have received many inquiries whether a concrete deck around the pool area could be polished?, At first it may sound a bit crazy to think that you could have polished concrete pool deck. After all, it will be slippery and dangerous.

Well, the real answer is YES. Concrete deck can be ground and semi-polished as to retain reasonable anti-slip properties, while still showing aggregate exposed semi-polished concrete deck. In the past 2 years, we have noticed an increase in requests for polished concrete in outdoor settings such as court yards and patios as well as pool decks.

Another popular concrete pool deck transformation is stained concrete, and sealed finish. This is an inexpensive process that involves grinding the pool deck surface with a diamond concrete grinder, and two coats of concrete stain is applied and covered with premium polyurethane coating. This process enriches any pool deck with natural colour, beautiful appearance, and it protects the concrete pool deck from premature wear or deterioration.

The two pool deck applications mentioned, are compatible with both indoor or outdoor concrete floor slabs.


Showroom Quality Polished Concrete Floors

Posted on June 10, 2013 at 9:50 AM

The term polished concrete is a broad term that describes a mechanical process of grinding and polishing concrete. However the amount of grinding and polishing required for each project is seldom exactly the same in terms of effort and time required to complete the project. The amount of work is determined by customer's choice of texture and shine. The more aggregate the client wishes to see in the polished concrete floor, the more work is required to grind the concrete floor. There is also another important factor that sometimes is over looked and that is the hardness of the concrete. There are generally 3 categories of harness; soft, medium, and hard. As the the terms used suggest, the harder the concrete is, the longer it will take to properly grind. The softer the concrete the easier it is to grind the concrete surface. However working with too soft concrete can cause problems when attempting to expose aggregate, slowing the job down significantly.


We frequently grind and polish retail store locations of average 5,000 sf or so in size, to a fine detailed polished finish that is designed to compliment the store decor and what we call as "showroom quality polished concrete floor". A retail showroom polished concrete of this size will take an average of 6 to 8 working days to complete. However when we grind and polish concrete floor in a warehouse area say of about 20,000 sf, it can take about 6 to 9 days to complete the process.  Polished concrete in the warehouse usually requires less grinding and polishing because the purpose of a polished warehouse floor serves more for practical purpose rather then esthetically, and we are able to use larger equipment which would not be suitable for "showroom quality polished concrete" to complete industrial polished concrete flooring.

As result prices for polished concrete could vary drastically from as low as $1.40 SF for large open areas, to as much as $ 8.50 SF for very detailed, hard to work with concrete floor. Experienced concrete polishing companies such Concrete Art-FX, will determine the best course of action and pricing. Before you commit to polished concrete, contact us to get polished concrete flooring quote.

Premium Concrete Coating Versus Concrete Sealers Part 2

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 4:30 PM

We sometimes come across job projects that do not specify the type and quality of the protective coating for the finished concrete floor which is left to the contractor to decide what he should use and often this can back figher on the client. 

There is a big difference between premium concrete coatings and concrete sealers. The best way to understand the difference between the two is similar to the analogy of wearing a cow hide leather coat versus wearing a light summer nylon jacket. A nylon jacket would be adequate for summer or spring use but would not be useful in the winter month due to lack insulation protection against the cold. Both premium coatings and urethane sealers offer protection to the concrete floor slab but you will get more quality floor finish and much more mileage out of premium coatings versus regular concrete sealer. Concrete sealers just don't wear as well and don't offer the same level of protection to the concrete slab.

Concrete Art-FX Inc., whenever possible or given the choice, will opt for premium protective concrete coatings such as cyclonic 100% solid resins epoxy, polyaspartic and polyurea concrete floor products, as well as aliphatic polyurethanes. These products can cost up to 3 to 4 times as much as an average concrete sealer but the result and long life of these products will often save more money in the long run by minimizing the re-coating cycle, inconvience resulting from having to re-coat more often and cost.

When we create a decorative concrete floor, we apply protective concrete coatings we know will last and is specifically selected for the intended purpose of the floor to ensure longevity and value.


So next time when considering to protect the concrete or a decorative concrete floor, make sure premium concrete coatings are part of the plan.

What is The Difference Between A Sealer And High-end Coating?

Posted on May 1, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Most people are not familiar with the difference between a concrete sealer and a coating. With huge variety of protective concrete sealers and coatings available on the market today how is a client suppose to know?.

what it is the best protective coating to use?  Frequently customers get mislead by the concrete flooring contractor, who himself may not be an expert on premium concrete coatings and their advantages and may overlook the importnace of using high-end concrete coatings for their clients, and will apply an inexpensive common concrete sealer with short life span.

People often think a concrete sealer and coatings are all the same, some being high gloss and some low gloss, and so on. But that is simply not so. The primary difference between a high-end concrete coating such as polyaspartic,  polyurea, or a a 100% solid resins epoxy coatings are applied in a thick build film versus a thin built film for most sealers. Acrylic based sealers are the most commonly used concrete sealers in the decorative concrete business due to it's low cost and relative ease of application. However acrylic sealers do not hold up very well over time since the best acrylic sealers have a maximum of 30% solids and is typically applied at only 2 mil thick therefore requiring constant re-coating which can be costly and inconvenient too. High-end concrete coatings usually start at 5 to 7 mil thick and usually considerably more, offering much better protection and extends the re-coating cycle by ten fold or more.

Furthermore most concrete sealers are sold as a one part sealer ready to apply. Most concrete coatings are two part (A + B) which offers more durability through cross linking technology of mixing resins with hardeners which exhibits a tight mesh like protection for concrete that acrylics do not offer.

If I have just confused you?, Well if that's the case then let me make a simple analogy that makes sense; Imagine it's a cold winter day and you are about to go outdoors. If you wear a warm winter jacket it is very likely you will be able to stay outside much longer then if you were wearing a plain leather jacket. This is exactly what happens when high-end coatings are substituted for average concrete sealers. Acrylic and most concrete sealers although look good when applied, does not have a long wear life and nor can concrete sealers will not endure heavy abrasion or foot traffic like a concrete coating.

As the old saying; "You often get what you pay for."

Polished Concrete On HGTV Canada

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Breaking News

Late yesterday afternoon, I received an email from the producer of BRYK HOUSE on HGTV, to let me know that an episode we filmed last year will be aired tonight at 9:00pm (Mar. 18th/2013). Quite the short notice I must say but we are still happy just the same. After all, how many decorative concrete companies get to be on TV?. 

Anyway here is the plot to the show;

In this episode, home owner after experiencing a major flood her basement, decides on a full basement renovation with a $100,000 budget and hires a contractor and designer (host of Bryk House). The contractor came in and dug out 2 feet out of basement, installed radiant heating and poured a new concrete slab. Then Concrete Art-FX Inc., was hired to diamond grind and polish the concrete to high aggregate exposure and high sheen finish. Last year I wrote a blog on this job as we had to put in alot of extra effort because of the poor concrete pouring job by the contractor. However at the end of the day the floors came out awesome and homeowner and Bryk House producer and host, both appreciated Concrete Art-FX, extra effort and more importantly, everyone loved the the final look of the polished concrete floor we did.

 
Nothing is Beneath Her


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