Looking for a cost-effective flooring system that’s quick to install and easy to keep clean? Then check out Westcoat’s Grind & Seal, a great-looking alternative for polished concrete. The popular system aims to revive and protect plain concrete in commercial establishments from showrooms to restaurants. Depending on the sealer or topcoat used, the finished floor can have a flat sheen or a level of gloss.
Subsequently, Grind & Seal is the system Brian Oberman, general manager of Life Deck Coating Installations in San Diego, used on the Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill in Ocean Beach. Life Deck, a locally owned and operated company, has been in business for 40 years and employs 60 people. It specializes in concrete coatings and waterproof decking.
The Life Deck crew ground the existing concrete with a Lavina 25-X electric planetary grinder, a machine designed to make any concrete resurfacing job easier. The Lavina 25-X is very dependable and versatile for grinding, polishing and buffing concrete, Oberman notes.
After grinding, the crew applied Westcoat EC-11, a chemical-resistant water-based epoxy coating with a long pot life. Tough, durable and moisture tolerant with very little odor, it quickly dries to a medium gloss.
Oberman followed the EC-11 epoxy coating with Westcoat EC-32, a 100% solids epoxy with high-build properties. Both crystal-clear epoxies contain no acidic ingredients, making for an environmentally friendly system. Westcoat designed them for interior use on existing concrete exposed to medium-to-heavy foot traffic to create a seamless floor.
Eyeing the tuna
The Blue Water Grill’s focal point was the tuna stencil, Oberman says. “We put it down to expose the negative and stained it with SC-36 Fast Stain in black.” Although the basic Grind & Seal System only involves grinding interior concrete floors and applying your choice of a water- or solvent-based sealer, you can also add Fast Stain to the equation.
The restaurant’s biggest challenge involved working around the other trades, Oberman says. But overall, the concrete was in top shape. Additionally, the stencil came out great. “That was my favorite part of the job,” Oberman says.
“We do a lot of grind and seals,” he continues. “Not only is it a fast system, but people often choose it because of its easy cleanability. You just have to mop it.”
Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill owner Judd Braun agrees it’s incredibly easy to keep the floor clean. “It doesn’t scuff, stain or crack and grease doesn’t affect it. It cleans right up with mild soap and water,” he says.
“Every time the floor’s washed, it looks brand new. I couldn’t be happier with this floor. In comparison to tile with grout joints, it’s not even in the same realm.”
The system, a chemical-resistant alternative to polished concrete, not only offers a fast turn-around time as one of its perks. It also complies with USDA and FDA guidelines, and may contribute to LEED credits.