VARIOUS TYPES OF FLOOR FINISHES IN

 

DEFINITION OF FLOORS:

Floors are horizontal elements of building structures which divide building into different levels for the purpose of creating more accommodation with in the restricted space, one above the other and also provide support to the occupants, furniture and equipments of a building.

 FLOOR FINISHES

A floor finish is a liquid which is applied to a resilient tile floor and dries to a hard, durable and smooth film. This film is about the thickness of waxed paper and is expected to protect and extend the life of the floor while providing an attractive appearance and slip resistant surface.

WHAT’S IN A FLOOR FINISH

High quality floor finishes may contain as many as twenty-five ingredients. Some of these ingredients evaporate while others remain on the floor after drying. The ingredients that evaporate are called, "volatile" components and the ingredients that stay on the floor are called, "non-volatile" components. The volatile ingredients assist in the film formation, drying and curing of the finish and then evaporate. The non-volatile ingredients are the solid materials which stay on the floor and make up the floor finish film.

The ingredients used to make floor finishes combine to produce a balanced blend of physical and performance characteristics. Some of these characteristics include: hardness, gloss, clarity, scuff resistance, slip resistance, water and detergent resistance, buffability, removability, recoatability, and toughness.

There are five basic categories of floor finish ingredients, (1) polymer emulsions, (2) film formers, (3) modifiers, (4) preservatives and (5) water.

Summery of floor finishes FOR COMMERCIAL BUILDING

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF FLOORING

 

      It should be durable

      It should be easy to clean

      Noiseless

      Have Good Appearance

      Free from dampness

      Fire Resistant

      Low Maintenance cost

 

OPERATIONS REQUIRED BEFORE TAKING UP FLOORING WORK

 

      Laying of all services like cables, pipes, conduits should be completed

      Plastering works should be completed.

      Fixing of door and window frame should be completed.

      Heavy work in the room where flooring to be done should be completed.

      Marking of outlets and points of level wherever the slopes in the floors required.

 

 

Level Stubs indicating the Finish tiled surface

 

 

 

OPERATIONS REQUIRED AFTER TAKING UP FLOORING WORK

 

        Grinding of stone :

 

      Grinding is the process of making the stone surface levelled and uniform.

         This step removes all ledges, roughness and brings flatness to marble floors. Also, this step can remove the most deepest scratches and stains.

 

 

Honing of stone :

 

         Honing is the process of smoothening the surface.

          This step remove scratches,stains and make more uniform finishes.

Stone looks spectacular again.

 

Polishing Of Stone :

          Polishing is the process of creating a smooth and shiny surface by                                                     

         using rubbing or a chemical action.

 

      Polishing gives a mirror like look to Stone surface.

       Polishing protects the stone surface from scuffs and scratches.

      Proper polishing of stone surface increases its durability.

      Fine polishing give a glossy look to the stone surface.

      Polishing adds smoothness to stone’s surface.

       Polishing of stone will diminish the finger prints and smudge.

       Well polished stone is easy to clean and maintain.

       Polishing is the most important tool for beautification of stone.

       Polishing of stone also shield it from permanent stains.

 

Steps to Polish Stone

 

      Clean the Stone surface appropriately. Ensure that no stains smear left on it.

      Wipe the stone surface and wait till it gets properly dried.

       Spray the good quality polish on stone surface

      Take a white terry cloth and buff it properly.

       Buffing may be done by machine provided, expert to handle it.

      If observe any blotch then stop buffing for few minutes and then restarts the buffing.

       If the smudging continues, just spray again stone polish and without delay buff it. It will give a stripe free shine.

 

TOOLS USED FOR FLOOR FINISHES  :

·         Polishing machines : Electrically operated machine used for polishing the tiles

 

 

         Chisels and Hammers : To cut and dress larger thickness of tiles.

 

 

 

         Wooden Mallet : For hammering of tiles to get proper line and level

 

 

         Polishing Stone : Used to polish the cement based tiles and natural stone tiles.

 

         Skirting Farma :Used to measure proper line and level of skirting tiles.

         Set Square : To check the right angle of tiles at corners.

         Measuring tape : For measuring works

 

         Line Thread : For layout and levels

         Water Tube : To check levels

         Trowel : Use for laying mortar

         Plumb Bob : To check the verticality of the surface in case of fixing vertical tiles on vertical surfaces.

 

         Floating rule : used to check the level of mortar

 

         Tile Cutter : This is hand tool to cut the tiles manually wherever odd size gaps are required to be fixed.

 

 

 

 

·         Tile Spacer

 

 

                                  

=   Power Float : Over all height 980 mm, Floating speed 120 RPM, Over all length 980 mm ,Equipment weight 140 kg, Working diameter 890 mm Disc weight 30 kg.

                                            

=   Power Trowel: Over all height 980 mm, Floating speed 120 RPM ,Over all length 980 mm, Equipment weight 145 kg ,Working diameter 890 mm, Disc weight 9 kg.

                            

 

Types of floor finishes :

1)      Natural stone floor finish

 

a)      slate

b)      Limestone and Sandstone

c)      Granite

d)     Marble

e)      Mosaic

 

 

Slate

·         Slate is another form of metamorphic rock that consists of silica alumina and iron oxide.

·         It is easily split into layers that provide a rugged rustic look.

·         It has good abrasion resistance and high durability if it has been correctly cut.

·         It is impervious to water, cold hard and noisy under foot and can be slippery.

·         A non-slip variety is available.

·         It is difficult to lay as the product is quite brittle and heavy.

·         It is usually laid into a bed of cement over concrete.

Limestone and Sandstone

·         These are derived from sedimentary rocks; deposits of sediment being laid down under water or air formed these.

·         Sandstone comes from deposited sand grains i.e. quartz, pressed and held together by silica, calcium carbonate or other cements.

·         Limestone comes from deposited organic origin materials i.e. bones shells and consists mainly of calcium carbonate.

·         Limestone is rarely used for floors today as it becomes slippery when it is worn and not all products are hardwearing.

·         It is grey or beige in color.

·         Sandstone - is used more in outdoor paving than indoor, but looks great in an area that flows to the outdoors such as a conservatory.

·         Its irregular natural pattern is its best feature and can range from a grainy timber look to stripes and speckles.

·         It is beige, brown, reddish brown, in color and some stones are hardwearing.

 

Granite

Granite used for steps to a commercial building entry.

·         Granite is a form of Igneous Rock, created by the cooling of molten magma.

·         It is made up of feldspar quartz and mica.

·         This is a luxury floor covering and one that needs careful consideration before specification, as it is an expensive product.

·         The floor structure needs consideration, as it is very heavy.

·         Once laid, it will last for a very long time, as it is hardwearing and resistant to chemicals.

·         It has a timeless look.

·         If highly polished it is slippery, but a honed finish provides a more manageable finish.

·         It comes in limited colors - black, red, green, grey, blue, pink.

·         It is supplied in a slab form and is cold and noisy underfoot. But it looks great!

Marble

·         This is a form of metamorphic rock, a combination of igneous and sedimentary rocks undergoing a major change due to extreme influences of heat or pressure.

·         It is made up of calcium carbonate; it comes in numerous colors, white, grey, green, ochre, beige and is usually veined.

·         It is a hardwearing beautiful product, expensive to purchase and lay as it is heavy and comes in slab form.

·         It is cold and noisy underfoot.

·         From a designers point of view like granite it has a timeless quality.

Marble used of floor and walls of a hotel bathroom, very stylish.

 

2) Artificial semi hard floor finishes

         

                   

a)      Linoleum

b)      Rubber

c)      Cork

d)     Flexible vinyl

Linoleum

Linoleum is made up from natural ingredients, linseed oil, ground cork, resin, fillers and pigments. These are baked slowly at high temperatures and pressed onto a jute or Hessian backing.

It is a misunderstood product as in its early form it was thin and brittle but with new production methods and design development it is fast becoming a popular flexible flooring choice. It is available in numerous color combinations and can be plain, patterned or in a marbleized look.

It is warm and quiet underfoot. It requires sealing with a polish as if water penetrates under the surface it will lift. It comes in sheet or tile form and is fixed to the floor with an adhesive.

Rubber

Rubber is made from natural or synthetic rubber, fillers and pigments. It is available in single colors with relief patterns or marbled. It comes in sheet form or tiles cut from sheets. The sheet form is available with foam rubber backing which provides a form of sound insulation. It has good wear properties, is resilient and tough, warm and quiet underfoot. It can be loose laid on concrete.

 

Cork

Cork is a natural product that comes from the bark of the evergreen oak. It is most commonly available in tiles. These are cut from blocks of granulated cork that has been compressed with binders Cork is a natural product that comes from the bark of the evergreen oak. It is most commonly available in tiles. These are cut from blocks of granulated cork that has been compressed with binders

   

3) Artificial  hard floor finishes

 

                 

a)      Cement Resin

b)      Terrazzo

c)      Concrete Screeds

d)     Epoxy Resin

e)      Polyester Resin

f)       Polyurethane Resin

 

 

Cement Resin

This comprises of cement polyester resin and an aggregate (crushed stone or sand). It can be laid over concrete or a timber base. It provides a hardwearing non-slip surface, which has a slight texture.

Terrazzo

This is a composite material made up of cement and marble aggregate, it is then mixed and poured in situ onto a concrete base. It is then ground waxed and polished. It has a mosaic look. It can also be premade and is available in slabs or tiles. It is very hard wearing, if it is polished or wet it is very slippery. It is a suitable product to be used with under floor heating.

Terrazzo flooring in a mall situation.

It is very useful in commercial situations i.e. malls and shopping centers as it is very durable and easy to clean.

Over large expanses control joints are required to reduce the risk of cracking. It is expensive but worth it in these situations. It can be used to great effect in design work, using brass strips to define the edges with the use of different colored terrazzo between can be very effective.

Concrete Screeds

These are usually used as a base for other floor finishes. There are many forms, monolithic, laid over the concrete base within a few hours of the base being laid. Bonded - existing concrete base with aggregate exposed has a cement screed laid over it. Unbounded - a cement screed is laid over a plain existing concrete base. Floating - is laid over thermal or sound insulation materials.

Colored Concrete Screed in a mall situation.

Epoxy Resin

Produced by combining epoxide resin, fillers, aggregate and hardener. It can be laid over a cement screed, plywood or other surfaces. It provides a thin hardwearing layer available in numerous colors and textures. It can be made non-slip if required.

Polyester Resin

Produced by combining polyester resin, aggregates, fillers, glass fibers pigments and catalyst. It can be laid over a cement screed or plywood. It is a hardwearing product with a wide color range.

Polyurethane Resin

Produced by combining polyurethane resin and fillers. It can be laid over a cement screed or plywood. It provides a hardwearing non-slip surface available in numerous textures and colors.

All the hard flooring examples above are joint less liquid floor finishes. They start as a liquid form then harden to form the desired finish. Terrazzo and cement screed floors are required to be laid in bays with control joints to reduce the possibility of cracking and shrinkage. The majority of these products are best suited for commercial industrial and institutional applications.

 

4) FALSE FLOORING :

A FALSE FLOORING IS also called raised floor (also raised flooring) is a type of floor used in office buildings with a high requirement for servicing, such as IT data centers, to carry cables, wiring, electrical supply and sometimes air conditioning or chilled water pipes. Additional structural support and lighting are often provided when a floor is raised enough for a person to crawl or even walk beneath.

 

 

 

This type of floor consists of a gridded metal framework or understructure of adjustable-height legs called pedestals, that provide support for individual floor panels which are usually 2×2 feet or 60×60cm in size. The height of the legs/pedestals is dictated by the volume of cables and other services provided beneath, but typically arranged for a clearance of at least six inches or 15cm.

 

MATERIALS FOR FALSE FLOORING :

 

         Steel Clad Particle board with cementitious internal core.

         Carpets

         High Pressure laminates

         Marble stone

 

To Remove Panels :

         Floor Puller or

         Tile Lifter or                                

         Suction lifter and

         Hook and Loop Lifter on carpet

FIXING FALSE FLOORING :

 

STEPS FOR EXECUTING FALSE FLOORING :

 

         Identify the area where FALSE FLOORING  is required to execute.

         Clean the area by removing all loose,liatences etc..

         Floor to be coated with epoxy paint for reducing friction for airflow.

         Floor to be insulated in the case of higher floors since the floor is likely to be very cold and can cause sweating on the ceiling of lower floor causing damage to their false ceiling etc.

         Complete the services works like data cable,Wiring,lighting etc.. Before false flooring work.

         Fix the frame work of false flooring like pedestals etc..

         Fix the panels by using nut and bolts of suitable size.

         Make provision for opens and fix these opens with openable panels provided with hinges.

         Mark the ducts for repairs and maintenance of wires,cables inside the false flooring.

         Before closing the false flooring,prepare a diagram showing the rooting of the cables to enable for quick searching of cable.wires etc..in case of failures.

 

5) Concrete Floor Finishes

 

 

 

 

Concrete has a proven record for strength, durability, and cost effectiveness for a variety of applications including floors, walkways

and driveways. Concrete floors are found in a variety of residential settings, from high-rise condominiums, to basements remodeled for extra living space, and to slab-on-grade construction. Interior concrete is commonly covered with carpet, vinyl, or other flooring materials. For exterior surfaces, materials like slate, granite, or brick are preferred to standard concrete when budgets allow.

An increasingly popular alternative to covering concrete is to make the surface both decorative and functional. Concrete can be treated with stains or colorants to create a rich variety of hues and textures, or stamped with patterns to mimic natural

surfaces from marble to wood planks. The resulting floor finishes combine beauty and creativity with the economy, durability, and practicality of concrete.

The life expectancy of concrete slabs far exceed that of flooring materials often used to cover them. Carpeting and vinyl are subject to tears, staining, damage from flooding, and general wear. Persons with allergies may also have concerns about dust or molds that may be harbored in carpet fibers. In addition, many floor coverings need to be replaced every few years.

Decorative finishes can be applied to existing or new slabs. The finish can last the lifetime of the concrete, and are durable, sanitary, and easy to maintain. A wide range of effects is possible. The treatment may be as simple as coloring walkways to match architectural features or blend into the landscape. If the look of natural materials is preferred, a slab might be stamped to create the appearance of slate or granite, complete with subtle color shifts, surface texture, and real grout placed in the formed joints between pavers. A stained and scored surface can imitate terra cotta tile, or present a colorful palette of abstract intersecting shapes .

Below are brief descriptions of several methods used for creating decorative concrete surfaces. None of the materials listed below are paints, which would have a much shorter expected lifespan. Except as noted, the treatments become permanent elements of the concrete slab:

Chemical Staining - Special stains are formulated to chemically react with the concrete's lime content. They lightly etch and bond color into the concrete surface. This method can be used on new or old concrete slabs. However, the results are not always predictable due to lime leaching, weathering, surface texture, or exposure to other chemicals, and results may vary widely from project to project. Mottling that occurs in the stain process can create rich tones and complex, almost translucent textures to mimic granite, marble, or to highlight natural variegations in the concrete. Patches or cracks in existing slabs will not be concealed, but may add character and uniqueness. Skilled artisans can create a wide range of effects using, brushes, mops, sprayers, etc., or by creating patterns with leaves, sawdust, rags, or other inert materials. The full depth of color may not become apparent until waxes or sealers are applied to the surface. This is the most versatile and creative method of coloring concrete.

Scoring - Shallow-cuts can be made in existing concrete surfaces to suggest tile grout lines or simply create geometric designs and patterns to separate colors. Standard circular saws with abrasive masonry blades are used to make cuts no more than 1/8" deep. With tile patterns, borders are incorporated into the design a few inches from walls or other vertical surfaces that would prevent the saw from scoring lines all the way to the edge.

Integrally Colored Concrete - Colorant added to concrete during the mixing process produces uniform tinting throughout the slab and consistent results from batch to batch. The colorant may be in liquid or powder form. For small projects, home centers or concrete-product retailers may carry bottles of liquid colorant which can be added to bags of ready-mix. For larger flatwork projects like foundation slabs, walkways, patios, or driveways, bags of powdered water-reducing color admixtures can be ordered at the mixing plant. Admixtures are used to improve plasticity, workability, and to control set time. When pattern stamps are used, a longer period of workability may be needed to complete the process in large areas. Some manufacturers offer their products in pre-measured disintegrating bags designed to treat particular amounts of concrete. The unopened bags are simply tossed into the mixer with water and aggregate prior to adding cement and sand. When pattern stamping is planned, integral colorants may serve as a base tone that can be modified by color hardeners and release agents to achieve a more mottled natural look.

Colored hardeners - Hardening agents in powder form consist of colored, finely-ground, cementitious aggregates that are sprinkled (or "broadcast") onto freshly placed concrete. Moisture seeps from concrete into the powder to activate and monolithically bond it, creating a denser, harder finished surface. Surface strength may be increased up to 7,500 PSI compared to 3,000 to 4,000 PSI for standard 4" concrete. Because the colorant is concentrated into the top layer, hues can be more intense than integrally colored concrete. For improved surface durability, use of colored hardeners is recommended prior to pattern stamping, or in conjunction with chemical staining to produce brighter or deeper finished colors, but the results may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Colored release agents - Pigmented powder or liquid agents are used with pattern stamps to reduce friction and facilitate their removal from fresh concrete surfaces. Applicators may choose release agent colors that contrast or compliment hardener colors to produce a mottled patina or "antique" look on the patterned surface. Unlike the other methods described here, these pigments do not penetrate the concrete surface and must be protected by sealers or wax finishes.

Sealers and Waxes - Colored materials are available to seal and waterproof concrete surfaces, the final step in any finishing process. Manufacturers offer a broad range of products for different applications, ranging from buffing waxes for interior floors to industrial sealers for high traffic exterior settings. Choosing a matching color wax or sealer for integrally-colored concrete can intensify the hue and add gloss. Clear coatings can bring out the depth and luster of antiquing patinas or variegations from chemical staining. Depending on the how heavily the floor is used, sealers or waxes may need to be periodically renewed or reapplied, but maintenance might be as simple as occasionally mopping with floor wax.

Limitations

Very hard floor surfaces like tile, granite, or decorative concrete may not appeal to consumers with a preference for softer coverings like carpet or resilient vinyl. Objections may involve warmth underfoot, sound deflection, the likelihood of dropped objects shattering, or the safety of very young children who may crawl or fall on the floor surface. Many people with hard surface floors use area-rugs or runners for walkways, play areas, or aesthetic enhancement, but the additional cost of these items should be added to budget calculations when comparing flooring options.

Representative samples may be difficult to produce in some circumstances, especially when staining an existing slab. Color uniformity often cannot be guaranteed and may vary according to the composition of the concrete. Glue residue from previous floor coverings may be difficult or impossible to remove and can involve additional expense.

Ease of Implementation

Most areas have contractors who are trained and outfitted for pattern stamping and tinting exterior concrete surfaces. Some may advertise their specialties in local phone directories or the home improvement sections of newspapers or magazines. Staining specialists can be more difficult to locate. Some work through urban design centers or commercial referrals. The internet can be a valuable search tool in locating skilled local craftspeople.

Representative samples may be difficult to produce in some circumstances, especially when staining an existing slab. Color uniformity often cannot be guaranteed and may vary according to the composition of the concrete. Glue residue from previous floor coverings may be difficult or impossible to remove and can involve additional expense.

 

6) Wood Flooring :

 

Wood flooring is a type of flooring made from the timber of hardwoods, or of spruce or hard pine.

Thickness of the hard wood is 19mm,10mm and 8mm.

Hard wood finished with polyurethane that has made of aluminium oxide Also,metal oxides like titanium dioxide is used to finish hard wood for better wear.

 

HARD WOOD FLOORING

 

 

Fixing of wood floor:

          Clean the floor thoroughly and ensure there are mimnimum variations in the substrata level.The sub floor should be clean and free from dust. Use a broom or vacuum cleaner. The sub floor should not be washed or exposed to water prior to installation always make sure the floor is fully dry prior to installation.

         Apply the concrete sealer on the floor to ensure the moisture in the substrata does not affect the wood floor.

 

         Using good quality adhesive fix the wood floor panels from one end of the floor.

         Commence laying the flooring at the corner of the starting wall with the tongue of the first row of boards facing away from the wall.

         Glue the boards at the end joints together.

         Any excess of adhesive should be immediately wiped-off with a clean damp cloth. Wipe dry with a dry cloth to avoid "smearing".

 

         The first board of the next row is pressed into position and tapped into the other board by using a rubber mallet and a tapping block. Never hit the board directly with the mallet. This will increase the risk of damaging the board.

         Chances are that the last row will be less than the width of the boards – so you will have to cut it along the length of the board.

         Take the expansion gap into account when installing the last row of boards and thus cut the timber to the width of the gap of the last row minus the expansion gap (min. 15 mm for expansion joint) (don't include the tongue in this width).

         Apply the adhesive in the groove and put the boards into place with the spacing bar and wedges using a protective piece between wall and tool and between spacing bar and boards. Place the timber as low on the wall as possible and with the spacing bar force the board into position.

         Do this as many times as necessary to close the gap.

         Remove all the spacing wedges once all boards are glued and fitted and the glue is sufficiently dry (see advice on glue bottle).

         Install the trims by nailing or gluing directly to the perimeter walls or existing skirting. Never attach them directly on the installed floor.

 

Types of wood floor finishes

 

1. Oil-modified urethane is generally the most common surface finish and is easy to apply. It is a petroleum base with a blend of synthetic resins, plasticizers and other film forming ingredients that produces a durable surface that is moisture-resistant. It is a solvent-base polyurethane that dries in about eight hours. This type of finish ambers with age and comes in different sheen levels.
 

2. Moisture-cured urethane is a solvent-base polyurethane that is more durable and more moisture resistant than other surface finishes. Moisture-cure urethane comes in non-yellowing and in ambering types and is generally available in satin or gloss. These finishes are extremely difficult to apply, have a strong odor and are best left to the professional.
Curing of this type of finish is by absorbing minute quantities of moisture vapor from the air, which causes them to dry and harden. The curing process is very dependant on relative humidity.
 

3. Water-based urethane is a water-borne urethane with a blend of synthetic resins, plasticizers and other film forming ingredients that produces a durable surface that is moisture-resistant. These finishes are clear and non-yellowing and are  different sheen levels. They have a milder odor than oil-modified finishes have and they dry in about two to three hours. Water-based urethanes are generally more expensive.
 

4. Converstion-Varnish Sealers-(Swedish Finishes)- A two-component acid-curing, alcohol-based sealers. Because of their origin (country), conversion varnish sealers are often referred to as Swedish finishes

5. Penetrating Sealers - These sealers are spread on the floor and allowed to penetrate and are solvent based. The excess sealer is removed with rags or buffed in with synthetic or steel wool pads. This type of finish often have a color and can be used to stain and seal the wood floor. Penetrating Oil Sealers are made from tung or linseed oil, with  additives improve drying and hardness.
 

6. Paste Wax- The oldest, and in some ways the best. Wax is the easiest to apply, least expensive, fastest drying, easiest to repair, and with proper care will survive forever. Wax over a penetrating stain, and the system is in the wood so you wear the wood, not the finish. Wax is spread in thin coats for a surface protection after the stain and/or sealer is applied, then buffed to the desired sheen.
 

7. Varnish- Vinyl-alkyd varnishes have superseded natural varnish made from vegetable oils. This product was commonly used before urethane finishes where introduced.

 

8. Lacquer - The flammability and incompatibility of this floor finish is NOT a recommended by many manufacturers. This finish should avoided.

 

9. Shellac - This product (natural shellac) contains wax and is not widely used for top coating in today's wood flooring market. Dewaxed shellac is becoming used more and more for a wood floor sealer.

 

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