One of the biggest challenges in designing a hospital is the vast array of spaces which need to be created, maintained, and often prevented from contaminating other areas of the facility.  The different areas of a hospital require vastly different solutions based on how each individual space will be used.

Flooring is a key element that needs to be addressed from a hospital or medical center’s initial design or renovation project.  Whether patient rooms, common areas, surgical centers, storage\receiving space, the IT center, or mixed use spaces, virtually every individual area may require different flooring solutions.

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In the service industry, the client is always right. Except when they’re wrong.
What happens when people tell you what they want, but it’s not what they need?

While most partners select our team to help them determine the right solution, in some instances a client requests flooring that we know won’t provide optimal performance. Placating clients is not an option. Collaborating for the best possible outcome however, is our sole mission.

Black Bear has emerged as the leading coatings and commercial flooring expert in the Northeast – not by racing to install the fastest product – but rather by meticulously engineering longer-lasting solutions. We make this distinction because we aren’t in the business of just getting the job done. We’re in the business of getting the job done RIGHT.

Niche Industry
The Black Bear team has over 30 years of combined experience in this highly specialized division of contract labor. We’ve tested and created products and installation procedures that have set industry standard.  I feel confident in saying, we’ve seen it all, including a recent downside to our niche industry that has developed. An uprising of inexperience cashing in on a lucrative sector has resulted in casualties of flooring with costly repercussions.

Concrete coatings technology has evolved to become a viable solution used in just about every industry. This popularity has brought forth a host of charlatans promising quality and affordability at an expedited pace. Much to the dismay of businesses and GCs looking to save a buck however, these quasi-professionals’ obliging pacification are masking minimal knowledge and fewer experienced installers.

Clients defeated by the ill-equipped turn to Black Bear to help finish the job. We’ve witnessed the failures of botched construction, and attempts to pass off substandard floors with obvious compliance violations. We’ve speculated the reasoning behind products that should never have been used – only to surmise that it was either the customer’s own selection or the cheapest option.

A small subset of veteran professionals that understand the mechanics of this industry will help clients avoid the pitfalls of fly-by-night contractors and misguided solutions. Due diligence on the part of the client is necessary to minimize ramifications of inferior product and labor.

Need vs. Want
You’ve got a vision. We want to make that vision a reality. Though never at the expense of durability and integrity of flooring. Sometimes we disagree with our clients’ initial choice of product. The fool-hearted would say that translates into lack of customer service. We know better. And rather than debate the issue we focus on introducing the client to something better, something unexpected.

Black Bear works with you to present the best possible options for your business and your space. We are thorough, strategic, and downright fastidious because we have the best interests of our clients in mind. We’re not afraid to push the envelope and experiment with techniques to engineer individualized solutions – in fact we thrive on the challenge.

Black Bear’s unconventional, yet highly successful approach to coatings construction is recognized for excellence. From the initial on-site consultation to project completion, we remain steadfast in our commitment to honesty and integrity in everything we do.

We aim to deliver the best commercial and industrial floors. We do so with unmatched skill and support. Level of service isn’t necessarily judged by the customer always being right. It may be epitomized in the expertise to be candid about what the right solution really is.

To determine the most cost-effective flooring solution for your business, download our checklist, “Get More Value from Your Commercial Floor,” to learn more.

 

 

A Look Inside (and Out) at Commercial Concrete Coatings Used for Retail Construction

Every inch of a retail space is orchestrated to facilitate a sale.  As more stores incorporate custom colors and designs into their commercial flooring to complement the look of branded spaces, epoxy, urethane, and polished concrete products become an integral component in a buyer’s journey.

A popular solution for retail construction projects, these concrete coatings are typically engineered with safety and durability top of mind. Additives ensure slip and moisture resistance, as well as the integrity to withstand tough industry stressors – decreasing the need for flooring renovation and repair. They are also highly customizable.

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When they enter a store, most consumers are focused on locating the perfect find. Whether they are just browsing or there with intent of purchasing a specific item, buyers rarely notice the floors beneath their feet. Owners and managers however, are conscientious of the impact commercial retail flooring can have on their business.

Environmental Impact
Buying trends are continuously evaluated based on several factors, one of which is climate. Weather influences commerce. And, commercial flooring is also subject to the weather. Change in seasons and shifting temps in New England bring precipitation that can have a negative effect on floors. Tracking moisture from rain and puddles can lead to slippery surfaces and increase liability concerns for business owners. Salts and snowmelt can also deteriorate a store’s commercial flooring solution if it’s not engineered appropriately.

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Warning. Commercial flooring in food and beverage prep areas, storage facilities, and dining spaces are subject to extreme wear and tear. All vulnerabilities should be addressed prior to contracting for renovation, repair, and new solution installs or risk compliance violations and potential health hazards to occupants and employees.

3 Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

  1. Cracked or Chipped Floors – You may have a very serious problem to contend with other than just compromised durability. A lack of thermal resistance can lead to cracking and the distortion of a seamless system which can lead to contamination. Gaps and fissures could result in bacteria and mold.
  2. Buckled / Uneven Floors – Dangerous terrain for foot traffic and mobile workspaces can destroy valuable equipment and create unavoidable tripping and falling hazards on a regular basis.
  3. Stains & Discoloration – Not just an unsightly problem, it can be the result of toxicities in the environment that can be dangerous for workers and diners. Chemicals and food byproducts that permeate a commercial flooring system may leave stains that are warning signs that daily sanitization may not be enough to maintain the floors.

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As the school year winds down, maintenance crews prepare a rigorous schedule of repairs, restorations, and new additions during the school downtime period. It’s the optimal time to take on flooring projects – with minimal foot traffic on campus.

At Black Bear, we partner with public and independent primary and secondary schools, as well as universities to provide new flooring solutions. Cafeterias and dining halls are a common space that requires more frequent repair and presents a specific set of challenges. We find that epoxy and urethane products work well in this environment.

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Breweries pose a unique set of challenges for industrial flooring contractors. Part manufacturing plant, part retail store, and part dining experience, there are multiple considerations that need to be addressed before installing the appropriate commercial floor.

Craft brews have gained a cult following and their rise in popularity shows no signs of slowing. In the Northeast alone, microbreweries have increased tenfold, and Black Bear Coatings & Concrete has become the flooring contractor of choice to engineer the right solution for brewery owners. We’ve designed and installed floor systems for Wachusett Brewing, Madison Brewing Company, Idle Hands Craft Ales, Downeast Cider House, and other craft brands throughout New England.


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Polished Concrete, Idle Hands Craft Ales Brewery, Malden, MA

Polished Concrete, Idle Hands Craft Ales Brewery, Malden, MA

In most industries, flooring and floor coatings are a discretionary or even purely aesthetic consideration, but that’s not the case with brewery flooring. As with all food and drink-related industries, breweries have a huge number of regulations to contend with if they’re to successfully remain on the market, and many of those relate directly to the cleanliness of their production facilities.

In our own decades of experience working in industrial flooring, it seems that breweries are generally having to re-floor their facilities every seven years or so, to remain in compliance with health regulations. However, this is needlessly wasteful! Modern advances in brewery floor coatings allow for floors with far longer lifespans, which are also safer and more hygienic.

These solutions may cost a little more up-front, but they can save a brewery considerable money in the long run thanks to their low upkeep, easy cleaning, and reduced risk to workers.

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Facility managers face an uphill battle when trying to maintain the safety and reliability of industrial floors. With regular stressors that compromise the integrity of a floor and lead to dangerous working conditions, it’s important to select the appropriate solution that will hold up against the elements.

Ongoing Challenges
While the need to repair imperfections and keep a floor in tact should be a top priority, facility managers are met with hesitation when trying to renovate or replace commercial flooring. Numerous excuses given range from inconvenience to indifference.

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The sweet smell of success is in the air as many in the baking world profit from independent retail shops and online fulfillment. From cupcakeries to creative cakes, gluten-free to vegan options, specialty bakeries and confectioners have sprung up in virtually every town to satisfy a resident’s sweet tooth.

Whether you have a storefront or a delivery van, it’s a safe bet that as a food service provider, you have regulatory agencies to contend with. One of the biggest hurdles bakers face as they get off their business of the ground is licensing, and subsequently staying in good standing throughout the life of the business. A commercial flooring solution is an integral part of keeping your bakery in full compliance.

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