Polished Concrete: Safest Floors Available?

Posted on January 7, 2018

Recently, the Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA) named polished concrete one of the safest floors available for consumers. This news has a big impact for floor polishing professionals and vendors–it will undoubtedly increase the demand for polished concrete floors. Not only are these floors aesthetically-pleasing and eco-friendly, they’ll suit the needs of clients who need high-traction flooring. Professionals in this industry now have the opportunity to sell clients a product with tested information.

Why Is This Research Important To Flooring Professionals and Their Clients?
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, floor-related accidents (slipping, tripping, etc.) account for about 8 million emergency hospital visits annually. For many clients, such as hospitals or schools, floor safety is obviously a major decision factor. Any professional who offers polished concrete, whether it be refurbished concrete or diamond polished concrete flooring, needs to be in a position to educate their clients on the benefits of choosing polished concrete flooring over other options. Having a firm knowledge of what constitutes a “safe” floor is instrumental.

The Basic Facts That Flooring Professionals Need to Know
Keeping abreast of the recent changes in safety standards is crucial in establishing a voice of authority in our industry. It’s not enough to tell clients that polished concrete is the safest; it’s also important to firmly understand the industry’s current safety measures. For instance: how slip-resistance is measured, what standards the U.S. has adopted to ensure quality, and what we professionals can do to test our products.

Measuring Slip Resistance
COF (coefficient of friction) is what measures a floor’s slip-resistance through an evaluation of its friction. In the past few years the U.S. has updated its COF standards and incorporated two kinds of testing: DCOF and SCOF.

DCOF stands for dynamic coefficient of friction, and it measures how much force or effort it takes to keep an object moving at a constant velocity on a floor. SCOF, or static coefficient of friction measures how much force is needed to get an object to move in the first place. While both are used to get a sense of how safe a floor is, DCOF is becoming the most used.

New Measures Adopted By the U.S.
Since 2009, there have been three updates to COF standards by the American National Standards Institute: a wet static and dynamic measurement test has been incorporated and the procedure for testing on wet tile has been specified. As a result, we have clearer and better standards for our polished concrete and tile floors.

How Flooring Professionals Can Position Themselves to Help Clients and Grow Their Business
Offering a quality product that adheres to the safety standards is key. In addition to equipping ourselves with the most up-to-date information and relaying it to our clients, we professionals can also verify the quality of polished concrete by using special tools.

polished concrete maintenance Tribometers, for instance, are relatively affordable and many are portable. They yield accurate measurements and can offer confidence when selling polished concrete to a client. Some popular brands are those produced by CSM Instruments or Excel.

For more information about the current findings regarding the safety of polished concrete as well as what facts flooring professionals need to know, you may visit the Concrete Polishing Association of America or the International Polished Concrete Institute. Concrete Polishing Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has various challenges with its vast historical buildings.

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