Tested — An independent contractor matched Consolideck products against their counterparts from other companies in a four-month test to see which one could stand up the best against time, traffic and nightly maintenance cleaning in a Portland, Ore., “Food for Less” market. This photo shows the winning shine.
We didn’t know it was happening, but Consolideck LS (Lithium-Silicate) Hardener/Densifier and LSGuard just got put to the test, head-to-head with the products of competitors.
Fortunately, our horses won, or you’d probably be reading about this on the Brand X blog.
Here’s what happened. Our Concrete Products Group Manager Kevin Sigourney told me to call a contractor in Portland, Oregon — John Fotheringham, of Pride Building Services. John grinds, polishes and decorates concrete floors. He also has a janitorial business called Northwest Services.
In a different life he was a commercial pilot, but that’s another story.
John’s “old school” and has no website or blog. I don’t believe he even advertises. He just does real good work, so people want him and don’t mind paying top dollar. Here’s what John told me on the phone.
He has a maintenance contract with a “Food for Less” market in Portland. The place has a 70,000 square-foot slab-on-grade hard-troweled floor. Four nights a week, John’s crew scrubs and high-speed buffs the floor. Once a month the floor gets a new coat of soft acrylic wax. After six coats (and six months) the floor gets stripped and the first of six new coats of wax goes on.
John thought grinding, hardening, densifying, polishing and sealing might be a better deal, since it would eliminate the waxing and stripping, and dramatically reduce the high-speed buffing. But which products to use?
“Everyone’s trying to sell me their stuff,” he says. “It’s a nightmare. Everyone’s got a better snake oil.”
The products all look good when they first go down, John said. The key is how do they look after 4-6 months of maintenance, foot, forklift and shopping cart traffic?
The only way to find out, John said, would be a controlled test on the same floor, where the products being tested all got subjected to the same maintenance and traffic.
“So I called up the owner of the Food-for-Less store. ‘Have I got a deal for you,’ I told him.” John’s deal — Food-for-Less gets a polished floor – FREE – in exchange for letting John evaluate several different finished floorng products. The owner agreed.
John decided to test PROSOCO’s Consolideck products after one of his clients recommended them. He chose similar products from a well-known manufacturer and from a small, local manufacturer.
John ground the floor up to a 200 grit finish. He hardened and densified nearly half the floor with Consolideck LS and nearly half with the well-known competitor. The small manufacturer got about 5 percent.
Then he took the floor, in stages, up to an 800 grit finish. He high-speed burnished LSGuard onto to the Consolideck section, and did the same with the competitors’ “guard” product on their sections. It all looked good and shiny.
That’s when the test started.
Four nights a week, the floor got cleaned with an auto-scrubber and plain water.
“I know that’s not the best way to clean the floor,” John said. “But using proprietary cleaners, like LSKlean in PROSOCO’s case, just wasn’t practical for the purposes of the test. We’d have to spend too much time filling up and emptying out the auto scrubber with exact amounts of each company’s cleaners.
“So I said the floors would be on a water diet until further notice.”
After four months, John said, the various areas of the floor all had different levels of shine.
The small manufacturer’s section over by the beer? “Not shiny,” John said.
Over by the check-out lanes, the well-known competitor’s section of floor lost quite a bit of shine, John said. Those products also got applied in the toughest area of all — the condiment aisle. After four months, the condiment aisle looked like nothing had ever been put down to begin with, John said. It didn’t even look polished — more like what you see after grinding with a 50-grit metal.
The Consolideck floors held a real high gloss, even in the Produce section, which gets almost as much abuse as the condiment aisle, John said. They cut a lot of acidic veggies in that area. Onions peelings for instance, get dropped on the floor, trod on, and cleaned up later when it’s convenient.
The floors stayed shiny, even so.
“That settled my hash,” John said. “I do premium jobs and I need the best products. PROSOCO is it.”
That’s what happened. True story.
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