Concrete floor, cement floors, epoxies, anhydrite, coatings, screeds, self-leveling compounds… Do you know what the difference between them is? Feel like getting acquainted with the expert terminology of floors? As if that weren’t enough, some types have more than one name. Let’s take a good look at it from the floor.
When someone mentions concrete floors, it usually conjures up the image of the very bottom layer on the ground. This is about 20 cm high and deals simply with a rough foundation. Think well about the quality of this base concrete, because it’s usually made during construction and so will stay with you forever. Just as a wall is built out of brick and then covered up with plaster, a concrete floor is given a top layer made out of cement or other material.
During subsequent renovation then, you need to focus only on the top layer. This can be polished and replaced or penetrated with a topcoat, cracks can be repaired, impurities sucked out, etc. It all depends on what material you use for the topcoat. Renovation options include the fast installation of Fortelock interlocking tiles. Fortelock PVC floor tiles can be laid on a concrete surface of varying quality.
There are many topcoats to choose from
Cement, epoxy or anhydrite floors and also screeds can be installed on bottom concrete. You will often see epoxy floors under the name of resin-poured floors, which are being used more and more frequently. They go well in both industrial plants and garages and apartments (they transmit heat well, so also in bathrooms), but are a little more expensive. Anhydrite floors also have good thermal conductivity, but of course don’t go well in bathrooms because they can’t handle being wet for long. We will have a look at these floors in more detail in the next article.
And cement floors? We will go into detail about them right now.
Just what are cement floors?
Cement floors include cast concrete floors, self-leveling compounds/mixes, screeds and pours. Although it doesn’t look like it at first glance, all these floors contain cement. As already mentioned, they are used as a finish for bottom concrete slabs, which is why they are pretty thin — usually 0.5-1 cm.
What’s the difference between them?
Cast cement floors (they are also called concrete, but contain cement, which is why you see this name) are good for the home, office, shower stall, and for industry, because they can withstand moisture. They conduct heat and create a perfectly flat surface.
Cement self-leveling screeds (anhydrite and epoxy as well) are a good choice for home improvement, for those who want to fix their floors themselves. They work wonders with an old floor, helping to even it out and cover up cracks. It is often chosen because laying down a concrete screed is relatively easy. It is sold in powder form, mixed with water, and creates a compound that is spread across the floor and allowed to dry. Inexperienced home-improvement hobbyists are usually surprised by how quickly a concrete screed on the floor dries.
Cement coatings are similarly applied. A harder mixture is produced, however, when the compound is mixed in water. A concrete screed practically spreads itself on the floor, but not a coating compound. Of these concrete floor modifications, a concrete coating is the thinnest. It is not just that it’s a thin layer to help protect the floor against moisture, mechanical wear and tear, etc., but it’s also a temporary one, for one or two seasons. It’s not particularly good for evening out the surface.
Special categories are poured floors. Of the named options, these are the only ones that must be applied to fresh concrete prior to letting it dry. This is a powder that contains cements, chemical additives and other fillers. This mixture is poured over fresh concrete for the purpose of increasing its durability against mechanical damage and to make maintenance easy.
What’s best for your needs?
It depends on what you’re after. If you are looking to improve the properties of a concrete floor you are preparing to make, then think about pours. If you would like to repair an older surface, then concrete coatings and screeds are your best bet for household needs. But feel free to get advice from the experts. At least you will now know what they’re talking about when they start flinging expert terminology at you.
And to conclude with some concrete examples. Good for repairing industrial floors is the thin-cast Fortedur Wet screed or Fornivel self-leveling compound. Good for a quick renovation are Fortelock plastic interlocking floors. Fortedur pours can also be used for new floors.
For more details, have a look at www.fortemix.cz, where you will find all products for industrial use.