Resin Flooring & Client Expectations

One of the least rewarding parts of being a flooring consultant is when I am asked to give an opinion or to write a report on recently installed  resin flooring that for whatever reason has not lived up to the expectations of the client.

In the last two weeks I have visited four different sites, for four different clients in a wide range of market sectors; industrial, technology, commercial and a private domestic floor.

Although each floor could be classified in broad terms as ‘resin flooring’ they couldn’t be more different and the standards of the product, workmanship and client expectations are worlds apart.

The industrial floor was an epoxy SL, just 2mm thick, but installed upon an old industrial floor, prepared with a scabbler, but with no making good or intermediate levels between priming and pouring the SL. Add to this poor workmanship and the wrong choice of tools and the result is pretty ugly and probably one of the worst floors I have ever had the misfortune to view.

The floor for the client in a high technology area was also an epoxy SL, but this time it needed to be static dissipative. First and foremost a functional floor and being installed upon a new screed, the finish was superior to the industrial floor, but for a client in this sector, standards are much higher and the finish failed to impress. The material did not flow as well as it should and the carbon within the matrix was not evenly distributed so that the floor looked patchy. A decent product, but the workmanship has not reached the level required for this market sector.

The commercial floor was a decorative trowel applied microscreed for an Art Gallery in central London. Function is no longer the driving force, but the look of the floor was all important. However, the client asked for a ‘concrete look’ and the floor certainly met that criteria, but what the client really wanted was a polished concrete. So despite getting what he asked for, it is not actually what he wanted.

Finally, the domestic floor in a private home. Out of all the four floors, this one has been installed to the highest standard, using the best quality polyurethane materials. The floors are beautiful, seamless and perfectly flat. Installed on a timber substrate with a rubber crumb ‘shock pad’ to ensure there is no cracking. However, the owner a housewife turned project manager, with no experience of construction or flooring is not satisfied and until she is the flooring contractor will struggle to get paid.

So what do these four floors all have in common ?

None of the client’s expectations have been met, whether they have been mis-informed,  they have misunderstood the type of flooring that they were buying, or they were over sold the product’s capabilities none of them are happy with the result.

How can clients avoid finding themselves in this situation ?

Although it may seem like a false economy to get independent professional advice prior to a resin flooring installation this could not be further from the truth. Ensuring that you understand the type of flooring that will be installed, how it will perform and how it will look is the minimum of information that is needed when a sizeable investment is being made. The expense of getting an independent professional opinion and advice will certainly be outweighed by the saving of time, stress and further money spent to make repairs or adjustments additional to the initial spend.

Resin Comfort Flooring

My latest project has involved the installation of resin comfort flooring for Floored Genius. Comfort flooring systems offer the end user the benefits of a cushioned vinyl floor, but with the added benefits of a seamless and hygenic floor. Sometimes referred to as ‘Liquid Vinyl’ these floors from Floored Genius could not be further away from vinyl sheet, as they use  the highest quality flexible polyurethanes to form a seamless finish.

Comfort flooring is an interesting product from an installation point of view, as the initial stages require the skills and experience of a vinyl floor installer and the latter stages utilise the skills of the resin floor installer.

So why use comfort flooring ?

Well this project is for a contemporary residential project where the added comfort, acoustic benefits, crack bridging properties and the striking good looks of a seamless white floor to an open plan living quarter, make it a perfect choice.


Maslow’s Hammer

There is not one type of resin floor that suits every project.

Client’s need to be careful of the sales people who offer the same solution for every floor.

The Maslow Hammer

We offer independent advice, free of influence from manufacturers, contractors or hammers.





The Resin Flooring Association

My membership has been approved and I am now an Associate Consultant member of FeRFA (the Resin Flooring Association), which represents the leading manufacturers, contractors and associated companies involved in the resin flooring industry.

I will be at their AGM this Friday and I’m looking forward to meeting with some old and new colleagues.

Conductive Resin Floor Photos

A selection of photos taken from the installation of a conductive resin floor in Norway.

More photos of the installation of the conductive resin floor can be seen by following this link

First Project, a Conductive Resin Floor

I am currently managing a project in the beautiful surroundings of Bergen, Norway, and we have to install 1,500m2 of a self levelling resin flooring system. A relatively straightforward installation except this is not just any resin floor it is an ESD / conductive resin floor. Which got me thinking…

Why do clients install ESD / conductive resin floor systems ?

First some basics…

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is defined as the transfer of electrostatic charge between objects at different electrostatic potentials caused by direct contact or induced by an electrostatic field. Electrostatic discharge is most commonly created by the contact and separation, or friction, of two similar or dissimilar materials. Basically it is all about the balance, or imbalance, of electrons on the surface of each material. The electrons will try and reach equilibrium by transferring from one surface to the other creating an electrostatic discharge.

Insulators are materials with high resistance that restrict or prevent the flow of electrons across or through itself.

Conductors are materials with low resistance that easily allow the flow of electrons across it or through it’s material.

Concrete itself is a natural conductor and will dissipate any electrostatic charges (ESD) on the surface. However, once a resin flooring system is applied to the surface it will act as an insulator. So to get the many benefits of resin flooring, but maintain or improve the conductivity of the wearing surface calls for specialist conductive resin floor systems. OR in layman terms we have to make a flooring system that is essentially an insulator, conductive.

So going back to my original question, why do client’s install conductive resin floor systems ?

  • ESD is a significant cause of failures within the electronics industry.
  • ESD is a serious health and safety issue in industries such as munitions, pharmaceutical and chemical processing.
  • ESD control is a requirement in many areas of hospitals and in clean rooms

So it is an issue that can have an adverse affect on productivity, quality control, profitability and safety.


What are the different types of conductive resin floor systems ?

Static dissipative resin floor

Static dissipative resin flooring generally is defined as having a resistance of 10 6 – 10 9 ohms. They can drain off a 5,000 volt charge to zero in less than 0.2 seconds.

Static dissipative resin floor systems have greater resistance to electric current flow than conductive resin floor systems. At facilities where electronic components are manufactured or assembled, a static dissipative resin floor can be installed so that a static charge can be gradually transferred to ground. This will protect operatives from an electric shock while at the same time protecting sensitive electronic equipment.

Conductive resin floor

Conductive resin flooring generally is defined as having and electrical resistance of less than 1.0 x 106 Ω (I million ohms). They can drain a 5,000 volt charge to zero in 0.05 seconds.

A conductive resin floor system has a much lower electrical resistance than a static dissipative resin floor. It will carry a static charge to a grounding point quickly and efficiently and prevent the risk of accidental discharge and ignition. If the floor is too conductive, an operative on the floor could suffer electrical shock.

Conductive resin floor (Spark Proof)

The same qualities as above, but with the added benefit of being completely spark proof. So if tools or equipment are dropped on to the floor they will not cause a spark which could lead to ignition.

The floor in Norway is a static dissipative resin floor for an electronics manufacturing facility and regardless of all the usual issues that we face on resin flooring installations, the most important factor will be ensuring we fulfil the ESD performance requirements.

I’ll post some photos as we make progress with the project.