A major North American grocery chain is considering decorative concrete flooring for all its stores.
Before the chain’s officials make that decision, however, they want to know to what extent they can protect their decorative concrete floors from stains and etching caused by traffic and spills. It’s a valid concern.
Even though finished concrete floors are durable, low-maintenance, and last the life of the building, they are still subject to stains and etching from spills of acidic food products, like the pickle juice that caused the stain in the photo.
So the grocery chain’s officials invited seven manufacturers, including us, to come to one of the chain’s warehouses in Indianapolis, and test their protective treatments against one another. The test, and the products, went down May 24. Several manufacturers sent more than one product. In all, 10 products, including our own Consolideck PolishGuard competed.
The manufacturers got to send their own reps, as well, to ensure the products got applied exactly the way they’re supposed to be applied.
We sent our R & D Chemist Chris Moore. Chris said the surface was an old concrete floor, freshly ground to a 200-resin finish, and autoscrubbed clean. Each rep got an area about 5 x 12 feet to work in.
Once applied, everyone went home and let the sample areas cure for seven days.
Then independent test firm CRT Concrete Consulting, LLC, Fishers, Ind., conducted stain-resistance and slip-resistance testing on each of the 10 samples.
In the stain-resistance testing, each sample was tested for 30 minutes, one hour and 24 hours with salt water, salad dressing, vinegar and motor oil. The test official assigned points for passing each test — one point for no staining after 30 minutes, two for passing the one-hour mark, and three points for 24 hours without a stain.
PolishGuard scored the most points at 13, although three other products reached as high as 12. None of the other half-dozen products scored higher than six.
In the slip resistance testing, each product was tested with DIN 51130 DCOF (Dynamic Coefficient Of Friction); ASTM F489 SCOF (Static Coefficient Of Friction); and ANSI B101.1 SCOF (Static Coefficient Of Friction). The DIN test dragged wet rubber across the sample areas, dry leather got dragged across for the ASTM test, and neolite, that interesting substance used for shoe heels, did duty for the ANSI test.
Of the four products to score at least 12 on the stain-resistance tests, PolishGuard was the only product to pass all three slip-resistance tests.
That sounds like a pretty good performance to me — one that should reassure the grocery chain officials that they can adequately protect their beautiful, money-saving, low-maintenance finished concrete floors.
After all, it’s not like they’re the first ones to ever specify finished concrete floors for their stores.
Just ask Wal-Mart.
# # #