There are several factors to be considered when choosing decorative concrete finishes for your project. Slip resistance is an extremely important consideration, given the safety implications of flooring surfaces in any environment. For instance, when deciding the slip resistance most suited for your project, your choice of texture, pattern and sealer will be influenced by the kind of traffic the floor will be subjected to in future.
Concrete Colour Systems (CCS) prioritises safety across their product suite, conducting site trials of their decorative flooring systems to provide information on various coatings, slip resistance ratings and maintenance among others.
For instance, CCS can advise you on the impact of each coating on surface texture and slip resistance; typical slip resistance ratings of exposed aggregate, honed and polished concrete, broom and coving finishes, and patterned/ stamped and stencil finishes for new concrete, as well as solutions for existing concrete surfaces; surface textures and coating combinations for slope driveways, pool surrounds and areas where food spills are likely; and cleaning and maintenance of coloured concrete and sealers.
CCS conducts an independent test program with the pendulum rating at actual sites rather than transport concrete to their laboratory due to its permanent and heavy nature.
Designers and builders can reference important Australian Standards documents such as AS4586 Slip Resistance Classification of New Pedestrian Surface Materials, HB197 An Introductory Guide to the Slip Resistance of Pedestrian Surface Materials, and HB198 Guide to the Specification and Testing of Slip Resistance of Pedestrian Surfaces when deciding which rating to specify in certain environments.
When it comes to achieving the P5-P0 slip resistance ratings (as quoted in Australian Standards), CCS can assist in many ways including providing suitable surface textures and coatings advice, preparing project specifications, offering design and on-site technical support, producing sample products for site trials, and supplying cleaning and maintenance guides.
Here are a few ideas on how to enhance traction and safety on surfaces, and get a good grip on your project:
1. Choose a surface finish that has texture: Stylepave, Stencilpave, exposed aggregate, sandblasting, coving trowel and broom finishes are examples of textured finishes.
2. Coving trowel and heavy broom finishes offer excellent resistance for driveways and pathways.
3. Choose a penetrative sealer rather than a film forming topical sealer.
4. Traction aids or grit medium that can be added to film forming sealer will eventually wear with constant abrasion – use them in low traffic areas.
5. Create a trial area in commercial projects and request a site sample of 1m x 1m to be completed by the contractor. CCS can supply sample products for this purpose.
6. Request a cleaning and maintenance guide on project handover.