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Feature: Cement & Concrete

Pan Mixers South Africa

Strong, versatile and beautiful! Concrete floors are now universally used in a wide range of high-quality applications from industrial spaces to floors in upmarket residences and entertainment areas.

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hey can be colour-impregnated, stained, provided with a decorative layer, painted, polished, etched, stamped and used

in combination with most other flooring materials to good effect – and in truly hardworking areas they can be provided with a dryshake hardener application. One development in the concrete floor arena is the use of steel fibres for the reinforcement of concrete used for highways, floor slabs and heavy duty floors, which is almost a standard practice in the UK and other parts of Europe. This technology is relatively unknown in South Africa, but is rapidly gaining interest in this country, and it is already in use by major contractors for road building and flooring, with the use of specialist fibres being provided in the correct length and size to meet the requirements of individual projects, and enabling hardworking and relatively joint-free floors to be provided as required.

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In the past a concrete floor finish was restricted to the industrial sector, but in recent years it has rapidly gained popularity with

F LO O R S S e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 0

designers for use in interiors to deliver floors that complement the requirements of trendy clothing stores or restaurants. It is now regularly seen in residential and other upmarket installations in a highly polished format, and it can also be stained and etched in a variety of attractive colours and designs. Concrete is incredibly durable, strong and long-lasting, although it may be hard underfoot – particularly if employees are required to be standing on it for long periods. It is also extremely cost-effective which makes it a popular choice for areas which may not need to convey a premium image. However, as concrete is porous, it should be treated with a protective sealant in order to be protected against staining and damage from chemicals.. Recent issues of FLOORS in Africa have shown a considerable upsurge in the use of polished concrete by architects and interior designers as a favoured finished material for floors in the most upmarket of homes, and there is no doubt that in the right setting it can provide the ultimate in good looks, low maintenance and durability. The modern polishing equipment and techniques available enable contractors to grind concrete floor surfaces, new or old, to a permanent high-gloss finish that never needs waxes or coatings. Polished concrete floors can also be stained to replicate the look of polished stone, and this has led to retail, office and even upmar-

FLOORS in Africa Journal 6'2010  

Africa's leading flooring magazine

FLOORS in Africa Journal 6'2010  

Africa's leading flooring magazine

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