By Seth Warren Rose
Retailers have long known that a clean floor helps customers feel better about their store. But when a new flooring system comes along that shines like polished marble, is easy to maintain and is environmentally friendly, retailers take notice.
“You can actually walk up to our showroom and see the blue sky shining in the floor. That's how shiny this DiamondQuest is,” says Richard Smith, general service manager of the Ag-Pro Dealership in Arkansas.
Besides being a sustainable flooring technology, Smith says ease of maintenance was a major reason for Ag-Pro’s decision to buff the floor to a glossy finish.
According to the Eneref Group, both the installation and maintenance of polished concrete floors have positive environmental benefits. The floors don’t employ VOC materials and the sheen actually increases the room’s ambient light saving energy.
CentiMark of Canonsburg, Pa., developed the technology and employed it on Ag-Pro’s existing concrete floor. They used a multi-step fine grinding process and specialized high-tech resin diamond tooling. The concrete was first prepared by removing buildups of glue, or coatings. Then, liquid chemical densifiers were applied to ensure the floor was hardened to resist stains. Polishing with increasingly finer grits of diamond tooling ultimately produced the finished floor surface Ag-Pro wanted.
“It’s is a lot easier to clean because the DiamondQuest actually hardens the floor, so that oil and water can’t soak in” says Smith. “Sweeping the floor is just about all we have to do to keep the floor shining.”
The large floor was completed in just a day, and because there was no waiting for materials to cure the floor was immediately accessible after the process was completed.
In fact, the sales floor was never really interrupted during the flooring process.
Rubber tires were a particular problem on the floor of the showroom before the new installation, says Smith. “Before, we had to have something sitting under rubber tires because the tire would stain the concrete. That’s not a problem anymore.”
It seems that as long as the blue sky keeps reflecting off his polished concrete floor, Smith will keep smiling about his decision. “Like I said, if it will hold up under the conditions that we put it in, it will probably hold up under anything.”