Spotlight on Surface Preparation

The long life of your new floor depends on it.

If you are wondering why your reasonably new concrete flooring system is not lasting as long as you expect, one of the causes may point to inadequate surface preparation before installation. Improperly prepared surfaces affect adhesion and accounts for up to 80% of all application failures.

Determining exactly how to prep exisitng surfaces for a successful industrial flooring installation is a combination of scientific knowledge and practiced art. Industrial flooring contractors consult the tech sheet for a flooring system, such as urethane concrete or Flowcrete, which defines the concrete surface profile (CSP) or tooth on the substrate that allows the best bond with the coating. What’s the best bond? A tight one. By preparing the surface with the right CSP, we can ensure a proper bond of the coatings to the substrate, extending your floor’s strength, durability and beauty.

Factors to Consider in Surface Preparation

When preparing concrete surfaces for coatings, overlays, stains or repair, your industrial flooring contractor should do a complete assessment of the existing surface and recommend the best flooring solution with a detailed breakdown of pricing. Factors include:

  • Surface type – What is the condition of the substrate? This helps gauge the depth of preparation needed to provide the best CSP for the coating to bond.
  • State of contamination – Is the substrate full of debris, grease, oils and acidic substances? Before anything goes on a surface, contaminantes must be cleaned and cleared away.
  • Facility environment – What conditions affect the floor’s sustainability? Moisture, temperature, traffic, use of chemicals from processing to cleaning, etc. This helps to specifiy a flooring system that will protect against damage.
  • Flooring specification – What flooring system is right for the job? Function is considered first, then appearance. Industrial flooring is available in a multitude of textures (for function) as well as colors and styles (for appearance).

Multiple Methods For Ready Floors

Industrial flooring contractors use a variety of techniques to prepare the substrate and are professionally trained in choosing the best option. It may take a multitude of procedures to get the surface in the right condition and include:

Cutting – A specialized saw used in masonry routes out cracks and joints as well as tuckpoints.

Shot blasting – This process uses a machine that aims a metal pellet at the surface, blasting away the existing flooring. Different results are produced by varying the shot size, rate of delivery and the speed of the shot blasting machine.

Grind & polishing – Used to remove built-up adhesives, elastomeric coatings and waterproof membranes, these diamond-pad grinders and polishers smooth and flatten concrete slabs. They work well on thin coatings and prepping for decorative applications.

Scarifying – This method uses steel or carbide tipped cutters to abrade the surface and eliminate oil, contaminants, traffic lines and remaining paint.

Scraping & stripping – These are ride-on machines that can remove anything from carpet and tile to grout lines. Different flooring products require different metal teeth.

Dust collection – Many pieces of equipment come with a dust collection system. They help prevent airborne contaminants making it a safer environment for the flooring installers as well as your employees.

Single Source Warranty Advantage

When soliciting bids for an industrial flooring project, it’s very important to verify the length and terms of the warranty. The warranty should not contain any ambiguity on guarantees against product failure. We recommend a thorough review of warranty documents prior to selecting an installation contractor.

Surface Solutions stands behind our work and industrial flooring solutions with a comprehensive single source warranty on all installations that covers both labor and materials against defect. As the customer, you have only one number to call should a question or problem arise.

Get a look at successful industrial flooring system installations completed by Surface Solutions by visiting our Work Showcase.


Recognized as a top UCRETE® Master Contractor since 2012, Surface Solutions, Inc. is an independent industrial floor contractor specializing in seamless, polymer flooring systems utilizing the most trusted brands in the industry. As a Flowcrete STAR Contractor, Surface Solutions, Inc. is a leading provider of industrial flooring solutions for the Food & Beverage industry. From testing to consultation and complete installation services, Surface Solutions is your premier source of non-toxic, safe and environmentally friendly flooring systems, offering turnkey installations using only in-house personnel. All installations come with a complete single source warranty. To learn more about how Surface Solutions can help provide the highest quality industrial flooring solutions for your business, contact us today!