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Specifying the right solution: A guide to the considerations when specifying polymer flooring 
Specifying the right solution: A guide to the considerations when specifying polymer flooring

Choosing the right resin flooring for your project can be a daunting task. With a multitude of options available, each with its own set of specifications and considerations, it’s crucial to navigate through the complexities and make an informed decision. That’s where we come in. 

Resin flooring offers a versatile and durable solution that can transform any space into a functional and visually appealing environment. Whether it’s a commercial building or industrial facility, resin flooring has been proven as a reliable choice. 

However, not all resin flooring is created equal, and there are myriad options depending on the project’s unique set of requirements and challenges. That’s why it’s essential to have a solid understanding of the criteria that will influence your decision-making. 

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the crucial criteria that should be at the forefront of your decision-making process. From assessing the condition of the slab to considering installation logistics, evaluating service criteria and understanding the financial and environmental implications, we’ve got you covered. 

Are you ready? Let’s dive in! 

Slab condition: ensuring a solid foundation 

Think of the slab as the foundation upon which your flooring system will be built. A solid and well-prepared substrate sets the stage for a successful installation and ensures the long-term performance of your resin flooring. 

The first aspect to consider is the composition of the slab. Different types of resin flooring may have specific requirements in terms of the substrate they can be applied to. Understanding the compatibility between the resin system and the underlying materials is crucial to prevent any adhesion issues or future problems. 

Newly poured concrete and aged slabs can have different characteristics that can impact the resin flooring installation process. For instance, a freshly poured slab may require more time to reach the desired moisture content before being overcoated, or be treated with a particular type of primer prior to the installation of resin finishes. On the other hand, an older slab might have undergone shrinkage or settlement, requiring additional surface preparation to ensure a smooth and even surface. 

Contamination of the slab can also affect the performance and adhesion of resin flooring systems. It’s essential to assess the presence of oil, grease, chemicals, or any other substances that may hinder the bonding process. Proper cleaning and preparation methods should be employed to ensure a clean and contaminant-free surface, or appropriate primers chosen to mitigate the contamination. 

Moisture ingress and the surrounding water table are critical factors to consider, especially in below-grade or moisture-prone areas. Moisture can compromise the integrity of the resin flooring system, leading to delamination or other issues. Conducting a thorough moisture assessment and implementing appropriate moisture mitigation measures is vital to safeguard the longevity and performance of the flooring. 

If there are existing floor coverings in place, such as tiles, carpet or previous resin coatings, their removal is necessary before installing a new resin flooring system. Proper removal methods should be employed to ensure a clean and well-prepared surface for the new installation. 

By carefully evaluating and addressing these slab condition factors, you lay the groundwork for a successful resin flooring installation.  

Install considerations: smooth transition, minimal disruption 

Once the condition of the slab has been assessed, it’s time to delve into the installation considerations. A successful installation requires careful planning and coordination to ensure a smooth transition and minimal disruption to the project timeline and operations. 

Downtime restrictions are often a critical factor in commercial or industrial settings where interruptions can impact productivity and revenue. Even when choosing fast-cure resin flooring solutions such as methyl-methacrylate floors that cure in just 60 minutes, it’s essential to work closely with the flooring contractor to develop a well-thought-out installation schedule that minimises downtime. This may involve conducting the installation during off-peak hours, weekends or coordinating with other trades to ensure a seamless workflow. 

For large-scale projects or areas with ongoing operations, phased installation can be an effective strategy. By dividing the installation into manageable sections, site functionality can be maintained in certain areas while work progresses in others. This approach requires careful planning and coordination to ensure a cohesive and visually consistent flooring result. 

Adequate ventilation is often helpful during the resin flooring installation process. Proper airflow that factors in site conditions helps to facilitate the curing process and ensures the dissipation of any odours associated with the installation.  

Service criteria: tailoring resin flooring to specific needs 

When specifying resin flooring, it’s essential to consider the specific service criteria that align with the intended use and conditions of the space in order to ensure optimal performance, durability and longevity of the flooring system. Just a handful of examples are traffic conditions, chemical exposure, cleaning processes, temperature fluctuations and UV exposure. 

Traffic conditions

Assessing the level and type of traffic the flooring will endure is crucial. High-traffic areas may require more durable and abrasion-resistant resin flooring solutions. Factors such as footfall, wheeled traffic and the presence of heavy machinery will help to determine the appropriate thickness and formulation of the resin flooring system. 

Chemical exposure

Certain types of environments, such as laboratories, manufacturing facilities or food processing plants, may be exposed to chemicals, acids or solvents. It’s vital to understand the specific chemicals involved in order select a resin flooring system that offers chemical resistance to withstand these substances without compromising its integrity. 

Cleaning processes

Maintenance and cleaning regimes can vary significantly depending on the industry and space. A heavily textured finish, for example, might hinder certain cleaning processes, while a particular resin finish might not be fully resistant to a detergent, so considering the cleaning agents, methods and frequency expected within the space means the most appropriate finish can be selected. 

Temperature fluctuations

Some spaces may experience significant temperature variations, such as freezer rooms or manufacturing areas with hot processes. Resin flooring systems with excellent thermal shock resistance can withstand these fluctuations without cracking or delaminating, ensuring long-term durability and performance. 

UV exposure

Determining whether the resin flooring will be exposed to external elements like sunlight, weather conditions, or UV radiation means a UV-stable flooring system can be chosen to prevent colour fading or degradation if required.  

Budget & lifecycle considerations: balancing costs & longevity 

Balancing the budget with long-term performance and lifecycle costs is essential. By considering various factors, an informed decision can be made that optimises the investment value and sustainability. 

Understanding the financial constraints of a project by determining the allocated budget for the flooring helps to identify solutions that meet both budgetary requirements and performance expectations. 

Beyond the initial installation costs, there are potential long-term savings to be had. Resin flooring systems that require minimal maintenance, have excellent durability and resist wear and tear can result in significant cost savings over their lifespan. 

Considering factors such as the durability of the materials, the level of traffic and use and the maintenance practices, have help to identify the expected lifespan of the resin flooring system. While there may be a range of options at different price points, investing in a flooring system with a longer lifespan based on the specific usage criteria of the facility may result in reduced replacement and maintenance costs over time. 

What’s more, robust warranties can provide peace of mind and ensure that the flooring system is backed by the manufacturer’s confidence in its quality and performance. 

Naturally, there may be pros and cons associated with any flooring choice, so it’s important to compare resin flooring to alternative materials, such as tiles, hardwood or carpet. Factors like installation time, maintenance requirements, customisation options, durability and lifecycle costs often make resin flooring a competitive choice in many applications. 

In today’s environmentally conscious world, considering the environmental impact of flooring materials is crucial. Resin flooring options that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), have sustainable manufacturing practices and can contribute to LEED or other green building certifications can contribute to sustainability goals and demonstrate a commitment to a greener future. 

And that’s a wrap! 

Selecting the right resin flooring for your project is a critical decision that can have a significant impact on the aesthetics, functionality and longevity the space.  

The importance of thorough evaluation and understanding the unique requirements of each facility is clear. From assessing the condition of the slab to considering installation logistics, evaluating service criteria and factoring in budget and lifecycle considerations, each step plays a crucial role in selecting the most appropriate resin flooring solution. 

Our Global Specifications Director, Robert Gray, is on hand to support architects and specification professionals throughout the task of specifying polymer flooring solutions and screeds for commercial and industrial applications. Get in touch with the team today to discuss your project requirements. 

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