The healthcare industry requires mission-critical performance from a commercial flooring system. The versatility of polished concrete offers an array of benefits that facilities should recognize.
Polished concrete has become the solution of choice for many commercial clients including healthcare, medical device and drug production manufacturers. Healthcare organizations take advantage of the durability and chemical resistance without sacrificing the look and feel of a space. From office spaces to storage facilities and hallways, polished concrete can be a single source solution for the hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, and healthcare providers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.