You find them on the floors of restrooms, kitchens and hospitals, among other places: curved, angle-free baseboards called “rolled radius cove.” Users have also called them “ship’s cove,” too. They called them this because inventors created them for use on ships to make floors easier to swab clean.
Why the curve? Doug Standal explains: “With square corners, junk gets stuck in there.”
A seamless epoxy floor with a cove base is the most sanitary, easiest-to-maintain floor a concrete contractor can install in a “high slop and mop” area, he says, which is why the baseboards are mandated by environmental health codes across the country.
Traditionally, epoxy floor contractors have constructed radius cove base on site by painstakingly wiping a thick paste of epoxy and sand along the wall, a method called “mechanical troweling.” The problem is, mechanical troweling is difficult and labor-intensive to do, and it can take years to learn how to do it well.
That’s where Standal, a general contractor, comes in. About three years ago, he began selling pieces of precast cement trim that curve like a mechanically troweled corner and take epoxy like a concrete floor.
Now, after more research and market testing with epoxy flooring contractors, SpeedCove Precast Cove Base Systems are on the market in earnest.
About Cove Bases
The cove base moldings are 48 inches long and have matching 90-degree and 45-degree inside and outside corners. To install the cement pieces, just fix them to the wall and floor. Designed for commercial and residential high-performance concrete floor coatings, you can coat the pieces with any type of finish as soon as you patch joints and transitions. When topped with resinous epoxy finishes, they provide a uniform, seamless job that looks beautiful. And unlike tile, these baseboards have no grout lines to collect unsanitary matter.
The preformed moldings meet the shape and height requirements for cove bases mandated in California environmental health codes. This state’s codes are the strictest in the nation, Standal notes. “For this product, if you meet the California code, you pretty much meet everywhere else.”
SpeedCove is made from GRG (glass-reinforced gypsum). The 7,200-plus psi proprietary gypsum cement formula includes polymer and fiberglass to add tensile and impact strength.
The company behind it
Standal’s company, Solid Rock Enterprises, manufactures the radius cove systems, which come in 4-inch, 6-inch and 1-inch heights. The 4-inch and 6-inch systems are actually 1/8-inch shorter than their names imply, so they fit easily under standard 4-inch and 6-inch cabinetry toe kicks. You can set the pieces in any tight spot where mechanical troweling is impractical or not cost-effective.
Standal patented the concept when he developed it more than three years ago. “A couple other people have tried it, but nobody else has ever taken it seriously.”
His project is faring better because it came out at just the right time, as epoxy-coated concrete floors are becoming more and more popular, he says.
“It’s one of the stupidest, simplest things in the world,” he says. “I have to laugh. I’m in business because crap sticks in corners.”
Standal will be traveling around the country this spring and fall doing demonstrations and answering questions about how to use the product. His company also has a few second-generation products in the works that will be more cost-effective and easier to apply than the current version.