There are a number of elements that impact the long-term durability of a floor - how it was finished, the conditions during slab placement, conditions of where the floor will be used, joints and their placement, and subgrade, placement method, finishing techniques, surface hardeners and application -- but at the end of the day, it’s the ingredients that are the most important thing: the concrete mix.
When durability of a floor is critical, concrete mix is even more important. It’s one thing to install a conventional concrete floor that need only accommodate light forklift traffic, but we work with clients who rely on damage-free floors to run heavy or sensitive equipment on every day of the year.
FRICKS professionals design concrete mixes that are tailored to the needs of each client. We use a shrinkage compensating mix that minimizes cracking and curling, but delivers a great deal of strength. We focus on a series of mathematical equations and a lot of experience and history to arrive at the right mix, referring to coarseness factor charts along with material distribution charts to see what mix will work best on a given floor. We also look at the local materials that are available so that we’re never making assumptions about the concrete mix that we use at a particular site - our technicians look at it first and deliver precise test results and conclusions about the materials.
As we develop the right mix, our team is also working on understanding the site and thinking through factors that could impact the durability of a concrete floor. We consider environmental factors that might be in play when we’re installing the floor, and get precise information about the amount of water we’ll need in the mix. We have a plan mapped out for placing and finishing, and trained professionals on-site who work with our specific mixes and techniques all the time - their attention to detail on each job combined with the accuracy of our mix delivers the highest quality durable floor available today.
We’re looking for a hard, dense, burnished trowel finish, and we’re not willing to cut any corners or settle for anything less. We look closely at ratios of aggregate, sand, water, cement, and admixture to make sure we’re delivering the optimal mix at your site. There are so many details that go into the right concrete mix - beginning in our lab, and extending to the moment when the last bit of concrete is installed and finished.
We also work with our client to make sure they understand how to maintain their new floor for the long-term. For example, to increase the floor’s durability, we might ask clients to refrain from using harsh detergents and other cleaning chemicals for the long-term.
That sounds like a lot of work (and it is) but it is worth it.
Talk to a Fricks representative about your next project. We are familiar with all aspects of design/build and can help you design, build and maintain a superior, long-lasting durable floor.