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Specifying Floor Coatings for Performance

By Thomas A. Westerkamp - June 2014 - Flooring


Institutional and commercial facilities offer a range of challenges when it comes to the specification and use of floor coatings. These challenges for maintenance managers include varied flooring types, changing facility activities, and the demands created by various levels of foot and vehicle traffic.

To specify the most appropriate coatings and address facility needs, managers need to address a host of considerations. They include: floor-protection needs based on traffic levels; specification considerations based on flooring type; coating options and use based on facility needs and flooring types; and the challenges of floor protection needs during and after construction.

Flooring options, facility needs

Before selecting floor coatings, managers need to assess and evaluate conditions of floors and traffic levels. Floors might need to withstand heavy traffic, as well as static and dynamic loads, impact, abrasion, chemical attack, moisture, slip hazards, ultraviolet light, and high and low temperatures over their lifetimes. The first step in planning flooring is noting these conditions.

Managers also need to consider aesthetics in some areas, such as lobbies, exhibits, auditoriums, offices, and waiting and meeting rooms. The next step is to prioritize the conditions and survey the available solutions. All flooring and coating manufacturers offer websites, literature, selection charts, and representative's advice to help make the selection both long-lasting and economical. Some sites enable users to select floor covering, wall color, a trim and ceiling combinations to see how they look. Managers can instantly change combinations and evaluate which combination is the most suitable for the application. By using these sites, managers can see which combination of design parameters works best before committing any money to the project, thereby saving the investment resources until they can identify the best solution.





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