Portland Cement Shortage Causes Supply Chain Delivery Issues

Concrete pouring off of concrete truck into frame into dirt.


"Cement is the one thing you've got to have to make concrete," said Ron Hartman, vice president of sales of Ernst Concrete. "There's only so much of it being made right now, and the current demand is pushing supply to its limits." 


In the construction industry, few materials are as essential as Portland cement. This versatile binding agent forms the foundation of countless structures, from towering skyscrapers to humble sidewalks. However, recent developments have stirred up a storm in the construction industry, particularly here in Ontario. A significant shortage of Portland cement is causing a ripple effect that's being felt not only in construction sites across Ontario but also across the border in New York State. 


Ontario's construction boom has long been powered by an abundant supply of Portland cement. But the situation is changing. The province has traditionally sold a substantial amount of Portland cement in bulk to its neighboring state, New York.  


While this cross-border trade has helped reduce the overall carbon footprint of both regions by minimizing the need for long-haul transportation, it has come at a cost—a supply shortage in Ontario. 


As a result of this supply chain shift, Ontario's construction projects are now grappling with dwindling reserves of this critical building material. Cement, a key ingredient in making concrete, has become scarce, and the shortage — caused by a confluence of increased demand, labour shortages, inflation and issues at major plants — is creating serious problems for the construction industry across the country. 


This scarcity is not only disrupting construction timelines but also driving up prices, leaving builders and developers in a tight spot.  



A Versatile, Yet Essential Building Material 

Portland cement is a fundamental building material used in a wide range of construction projects.


Here is a list of various types of construction projects where Portland cement is commonly used: 


Residential Construction

  • Single-family homes 

  • Multi-family apartment complexes 

  • Condominiums and townhouses 


Commercial Construction

  • Office buildings 

  • Retail stores and shopping malls 

  • Restaurants and hospitality establishments 


Infrastructure Projects

  • Roads and highways 

  • Bridges and overpasses 

  • Tunnels and underground infrastructure 


Industrial Facilities

  • Factories and manufacturing plants 

  • Warehouses and distribution centers 

  • Power plants and refineries 


Public Buildings

  • Schools and universities 

  • Hospitals and healthcare facilities 

  • Government offices and administrative buildings 


Transportation Projects

  • Airports and runways 

  • Ports and docks 

  • Railways and train stations 


Sports and Recreation Facilities

  • Stadiums and arenas 

  • Tennis courts and sports complexes 

  • Recreational parks and playgrounds 


Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

  • Water treatment plants 

  • Sewage treatment facilities 

  • Dams and reservoirs 


Specialty Construction

  • High-rise buildings and skyscrapers 

  • Historical restoration and preservation projects 

  • Residential and commercial renovations 


Agricultural Projects

  • Silos and grain storage facilities 

  • Agricultural processing plants 

  • Livestock housing structures 


Energy Projects

  • Wind turbine foundations 

  • Solar farm foundations 

  • Hydroelectric dams and facilities 


Mining and Quarrying

  • Extraction and processing facilities 

  • Conveyor belt systems 

  • Infrastructure for resource transportation 

As you can see, nearly every industry is affected by the supply chain shortage of this essential building material.  



The Rising Costs of Materials 

Canada imported about $895 million in cement and concrete-related goods in 2021, according to Industry Canada, mostly from the U.S. and China. 


Inflation is also a factor. Prices for many raw construction materials have risen over the last 12 months. Costs for categories like gravel and clay have also risen, up eight per cent since last summer, according to Statistics Canada's raw materials price index. In April 2022, the National Association of Home Builders in the U.S. released numbers showing that ready-mix concrete is nine per cent more expensive than it was at the start of 2021. The association also found building material prices for items like lumber, paint and concrete, have risen more than 30 per cent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 



Lack of Manpower 

The supply shortages of concrete during this period were further compounded by several other factors.  


Concrete truck driver


The breakdowns at Readimix plants contributed to interruptions in the production and delivery of concrete. There was also a shortage of concrete truck drivers, stemming from manpower issues within the industry. To address this challenge, Readimix plants took the proactive step of hiring drivers from other companies, which helped alleviate the driver shortage and improve the reliability of concrete deliveries.  


These additional reasons for supply shortages only go to prove the complex and interrelated nature of the challenges faced by the construction industry during that period. There was a constant need for collaborative solutions to ensure a consistent and timely supply of essential materials to construction businesses across Ontario. 



How Did This Affect Us? 

The reduced supply of concrete during the period from 2022 into 2023 had several significant impacts on our construction operations.  


First, it resulted in smaller pour sizes, with our daily concrete supply decreasing from the previous 600-800m3 to 400-500m3. This reduction not only disrupted project timelines but also forced us to allocate more labour resources to complete the same amount of work, thereby driving up our labour installation costs.  


The extended delivery times from Ready mix plants added to our construction challenges, as the supply rate dropped from an average of 60m3 per hour pre-COVID to as low as 30-40m3 per hour during the height of shortages. Fortunately, the situation has now improved, with supply levels returning to pre-COVID norms at 70-80m3 per hour.  


These supply constraints have certainly posed significant logistical and financial challenges for our construction projects, but we have remained nimble and solution-oriented through each challenge. 



So, Where Do We Go From Here? 

As we’ve seen over the last few months, the shortage of Portland cement is sending shockwaves through the construction industry, not only here in Ontario but also across the border in New York State.  


This essential building material is the backbone of countless construction projects, spanning from residential and commercial structures to infrastructure, industrial facilities, and more. The impact of this shortage is far-reaching, disrupting construction timelines and driving up costs, creating challenges for builders, developers, and ultimately, everyone involved in the construction process.  


The combination of increased demand, labor shortages, inflation, and issues at major plants has created a supply chain crisis that demands our attention.  


So where do we go from here? It's clear that addressing this issue needs a multifaceted approach, from exploring alternative materials and production methods to fostering collaboration between industry stakeholders and policymakers. Only by working together can we hope to soften the impact of this shortage and ensure a more resilient future for the construction industry. 




Bryson Henderson at 1:14 PM
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Epoxy Flooring for Automotive Shops

Automotive shop, close-up of a red car with flooring and other cars in the background.


Picture this: a busy automotive shop filled with skilled mechanics working diligently on cars, with tools clanging and engines roaring. Now, beneath all this organized chaos lies a critical but often unnoticed element that plays a pivotal role in the success of any automotive workshop – the flooring.


In the past decade, auto dealerships have transitioned from dingy, uninviting service areas to well-lit, aesthetically pleasing spaces for both customers and mechanics. With the increasing demand for skilled mechanics, it's essential to provide them with a bright, clean, and safe working environment. This shift has led to the adoption of light-reflective epoxy and resinous flooring, prioritizing the well-being and efficiency of the mechanics.


The choice of flooring material in automotive workshops is a decision that can impact productivity, safety, and the overall efficiency of your operations. Whether you run a bustling repair shop, a custom auto body garage, or a tire service centre, the type of flooring you choose can make a world of difference in how smoothly your day-to-day operations run.


In this blog post, we're going to learn why epoxy floorings are the ideal solution for automotive shops. From durability to safety and everything in between, we'll explore why having the right flooring in your workshop is not just a matter of aesthetics but a fundamental necessity.


At BNE, we are trusted experts in concrete finishing. We have the knowledge, equipment, and skills to properly install concrete for any type of project. We use industry-leading technology and expertise to provide the client with a concrete structure that will last. Our clients seek us out because we are a single source providing concrete finishing, polish and epoxy. This saves them time, money, and the hassle of communicating their needs to various contractors. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for your next construction project. We are just one phone call or email away!



Why The Flooring Choice Matters

An automotive shop’s flooring is a foundational element of its operation. It must endure the weight of heavy vehicles, withstand chemical spills, and provide a secure and comfortable workspace for mechanics.


The right flooring choice can streamline workflow, diminish maintenance expenses, and elevate safety standards, making it an essential consideration for any automotive shop owner.


However, automotive shops face distinct challenges, including rapid wear and tear, leading to structural issues and safety concerns. These problems are exacerbated by frequent occurrences of chemical spills, oil leaks, and grease buildup.


This results in the need for ongoing maintenance that can be both time-consuming and costly, diverting resources from core automotive services.


Epoxy floorings are the optimal solution to these challenges. Engineered to bear the substantial loads of vehicles, resist chemical damage, and offer a durable, smooth surface, epoxy flooring is tailored to meet the daily demands of an automotive shop.


Its seamless design minimizes tripping hazards and simplifies cleaning, ensuring a safer and more efficient working environment. By selecting epoxy floorings, shop owners can notably reduce flooring wear and tear, enhance safety, and realize long-term savings on maintenance expenses.



Benefits of Epoxy Flooring


Durability and Longevity

Epoxy floorings are renowned for their exceptional durability. They can withstand heavy loads, including the weight of vehicles and equipment, without cracking or breaking. Concrete floorings have a long lifespan, making them a cost-effective investment for automotive shops.


Resistance to Heavy Equipment and Chemicals

Epoxy floorings are highly resistant to the wear and tear caused by heavy automotive equipment, such as vehicle lifts and jacks. They are also resistant to the chemicals commonly used in automotive maintenance, such as oils, lubricants, and solvents.


Easy Maintenance and Cleaning

Concrete floorings are relatively easy to maintain, requiring minimal upkeep. Regular cleaning with mild detergents and water is usually sufficient to keep them in good condition. The smooth, seamless surface of epoxy floorings makes sweeping debris and spills easy.


Enhanced Safety Features

Concrete floorings can be customized to include anti-slip additives or coatings, enhancing safety in the automotive shop. The absence of seams or grout lines reduces tripping hazards and creates a safer working environment for mechanics. They are fire-resistant and don't emit harmful fumes, contributing to overall shop safety.


Cost-Effectiveness in the Long Run

While the initial installation cost of epoxy floorings may be higher than some alternatives, they offer substantial long-term cost savings. Their durability means fewer repairs and replacements, reducing maintenance expenses over time. The resistance to chemicals and stains also minimizes the need for costly flooring treatments or coatings.



Types of Epoxy Flooring

Each type of epoxy flooring has unique characteristics and advantages, allowing automotive shop owners to choose the one that best suits their needs and preferences.


Overview of an automotive shop with large windows and shiny, epoxy flooring.


Let’s explore a few.

  • Traditional Concrete: Traditional concrete floorings are a straightforward and cost-effective choice. They are poured on-site, smoothed, and finished to create a solid, durable surface. While simple, they offer excellent strength and durability, making them suitable for many automotive shops. If you’re using traditional concrete, the use of a densifier and/or concrete sealer is important.

  • Epoxy Coatings: Epoxy coatings are applied over existing concrete floorings. They consist of epoxy resin and a hardener that creates a seamless, glossy surface. Epoxy coatings are known for their chemical resistance, making them suitable for automotive shops where spills are common. They can be customized with various colours and textures.

  • UV Epoxy Coatings: UV epoxy coatings in automotive shops provide protection to the floorings and surfaces from the harsh conditions commonly encountered in these environments. These coatings not only offer excellent resistance to UV radiation but also enhance the overall durability, chemical resistance, and aesthetic appeal of the flooring.

  • Polished Concrete: Polished concrete involves grinding the surface of the concrete to create a smooth, glossy finish. This process not only enhances aesthetics but also improves the flooring's durability. Polished concrete is easy to clean and maintain, making it a popular choice for automotive shops. If you’re using polished concrete, the use of a densifier and/or concrete sealer is important.



How To Choose the Right Epoxy Flooring

Before selecting an epoxy flooring, carefully assess your shop's requirements and priorities. Consider the types of vehicles serviced, the equipment used, and the areas where the flooring will be installed.


Factors to Consider When Selecting the Flooring Type

  • Purpose: Determine the primary purpose of the area where the flooring will be installed. For example, service bays may have different requirements than customer waiting areas.

  • Durability: Consider the expected wear and tear, including heavy equipment and vehicle traffic.

  • Chemical Resistance: If your shop deals with oil, grease, or chemicals, prioritize flooring options that offer chemical resistance.

  • Aesthetics: Think about the appearance you want for your shop, as different flooring types offer various design options.

  • Safety: Assess the importance of safety features, such as slip and fire resistance.

  • Budget: Determine your budget for both the initial installation and long-term maintenance, as some options may have higher upfront costs but lower maintenance costs.


The Importance of Professional Installation

Regardless of the type of epoxy flooring you choose, professional installation is crucial.


Skilled installers have the expertise to prepare the substrate, apply the flooring correctly, and ensure it meets safety standards. Professional installation minimizes the risk of issues like cracks, uneven surfaces, or adhesion problems. It also helps ensure that the chosen flooring type performs as intended and has a longer lifespan.


At BNE, we are trusted experts in concrete finishing. We have the knowledge, equipment, and skills to properly install concrete for any type of project. We use industry-leading technology and expertise to provide the client with a concrete structure that will last. Our clients seek us out because we are a single source providing concrete finishing, polish and epoxy. This saves them time, money and the hassle of communicating their needs to various contractors. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for your next construction project. We are just one phone call or email away!




Bryson Henderson at 9:00 AM
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Polished Concrete Floors for Retail and Grocery Spaces

Couple putting produce into cart at grocery store.


There are currently 5,583 grocery stores in Ontario. As of June 2023, there are 52,800 retail store locations across Ontario. These grocery and retail stores across the province are high-traffic locations, which individuals visit ongoingly to purchase food and home goods.


These establishments are pillars in every community, and they are constantly evolving to meet a growing population and people’s immediate needs. Businesses are seeking innovative ways to create attractive, functional, and inviting environments for their customers.


One crucial aspect that often shapes the overall ambiance and customer experience is the choice of flooring. In this blog post, we will explore the advantages of polished concrete floors in retail settings. Polished concrete has emerged as a remarkable solution that combines both aesthetic appeal and practicality, making it an ideal choice for modern retail and grocery spaces.


The flooring in retail and grocery spaces plays a significant role in setting the tone for the entire establishment. It's not just about providing a surface to walk on. It serves as the foundation upon which the entire customer journey is built. From the moment shoppers step inside to the final interaction at the checkout, the flooring has a subtle, yet powerful impact on how visitors perceive the store's atmosphere, cleanliness, and overall brand identity. The right flooring choice can enhance the overall experience and leave a lasting impression on customers.


At BNE, we are trusted experts in concrete finishing. We have the knowledge, equipment, and skills to properly install concrete for any type of project. We use industry-leading technology and expertise to provide the client with a concrete structure that will last. Our clients seek us out because we are a single source in providing concrete finishing, polish and epoxy. This saves them time, money and the hassle of communicating their needs to various contractors. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for your next retail construction project. We are just one phone call or email away!



Advantages of Polished Concrete Floors

By capitalizing on the following advantages of polished concrete flooring, retail and grocery spaces can create a dynamic and functional environment that not only impresses customers but also contributes to long-term cost savings and sustainable practices.


Durability and Longevity

Polished concrete floors are renowned for their exceptional durability, making them well-suited for high-traffic retail and grocery spaces.

The dense and solid nature of concrete makes it resistant to wear, abrasion, and impact, ensuring the floor maintains its integrity over time. This durability translates to a reduced need for frequent repairs or replacements, leading to long-term cost savings.


Low Maintenance and Easy Cleaning

Polished concrete floors have a smooth, seamless surface that minimizes the accumulation of dust, dirt, and allergens.

Routine maintenance involves simple cleaning methods like sweeping, mopping, and occasional buffing, eliminating the need for harsh chemicals or specialized cleaning products.

The absence of grout lines or grooves prevents the buildup of grime, making maintenance hassle-free and promoting a cleaner environment.


High-Traffic Suitability

Retail and grocery spaces experience constant foot traffic, shopping carts, and heavy loads.


Polished concrete's sturdy composition enables it to withstand the rigors of these environments.

The surface resists scratches, scuffs, and dents caused by various activities, ensuring the floor maintains its polished appearance even in busy areas.


Aesthetic Appeal and Customization

Polished concrete floors offer a sleek, modern aesthetic that can complement a wide range of interior designs and branding strategies. The shine and reflective qualities of polished concrete contribute to a visually appealing atmosphere, enhancing the overall appearance of the space.


Cabela's logo on polished concrete floor.

Customization options include different levels of sheen, decorative scoring, staining, and embedding designs or logos, allowing businesses to tailor the floor's look to their specific needs.



Polished concrete floors often utilize existing concrete slabs, reducing the need for additional materials and minimizing waste.

The process of polishing concrete involves using non-toxic chemicals, making it a more environmentally friendly choice compared to certain floor coverings that release VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Polished concrete's reflective properties can enhance natural lighting, reducing the need for artificial lighting and promoting energy efficiency.



Polished Concrete vs. Other Flooring Options

Comparing polished concrete with traditional flooring alternatives allows businesses to make informed decisions that align with their objectives for longevity, cost-effectiveness, and design adaptability in their retail and grocery spaces.


Let’s further explore:


Comparison with Traditional Flooring Materials (e.g., tiles, vinyl, carpet)

  • Polished concrete offers a distinct advantage over traditional flooring materials like tiles, vinyl, and carpet in terms of durability and longevity.
  • Unlike carpet, polished concrete doesn't trap allergens, making it a healthier option for retail and grocery environments.
  • Polished concrete eliminates grout lines and seams, reducing the potential for dirt and debris buildup compared to tiled floors.


VCT vs. Polished Concrete

  • In the retail world, VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile) remains the dominant floor covering in use. A VCT floor costs $3.00 per foot to install on average across the country. Standard VCT has to be waxed, as the finish provided by the factory does not last long as the wearable surface. Maintenance for VCT averages $2.00 per foot per year. The cost of maintenance includes scrubbing the floor nightly, buffing the floor regularly to remove scuffs from foot traffic and regular strip and wax services. Generally, VCT lasts seven to ten years before it deteriorates to the point where it needs to be replaced.
  • Polished concrete has an average install cost of $5.00 per foot in a remodel environment. If installed at the time of a remodel (versus new construction which generally has a cheaper price) polished concrete costs $2.00 more per foot to install, but a good maintenance program has an average cost of $1.00 per foot per year. In two years, the difference of the install costs has been recovered. From that point forward, the floor maintenance is actually saving money for the customer. Polished concrete never has to be completely redone and there is no removal.



  • While the initial installation cost of polished concrete may be higher than some flooring options, its long-term cost-effectiveness becomes evident. Polished concrete's durability and low maintenance requirements result in reduced repair and replacement expenses over time.
  • Businesses can benefit from extended lifespan and minimal maintenance costs, ultimately contributing to a more efficient use of resources.


Adaptability to Changing Design Trends
  • Polished concrete's neutral and contemporary aesthetic lends itself well to various interior design styles and trends.
  • Unlike certain flooring materials that may become outdated quickly, polished concrete remains versatile and can easily be paired with evolving design concepts. The surface can be customized with different finishes, stains, and patterns, allowing retail and grocery spaces to stay current with design preferences.



Enhancing Retail and Grocery Spaces

Through the use of polished concrete flooring, businesses can elevate their retail and grocery spaces, cultivating a modern, brand-consistent, and customer-centric environment that resonates with visitors and encourages repeat visits.


Grocery store isle, polished concrete flooring.


They do so by:


Creating a Modern Environment

Polished concrete floors inherently exude a modern and sophisticated ambiance that aligns well with contemporary retail and grocery aesthetics. The seamless and reflective surface of polished concrete contributes to an open and spacious feel, enhancing the overall visual appeal of the space. The sleek appearance of polished concrete complements various design elements, allowing for a cohesive and inviting environment.


Establishing A Brand Identity

The choice of flooring plays a pivotal role in communicating a brand's identity and values to customers. Polished concrete floors can be tailored to match the brand's colour palette, logo, and overall design theme, reinforcing brand recognition and creating a consistent experience.


Contributing to The Customer Experience

The customer experience is heavily influenced by the overall ambiance and aesthetics of the retail or grocery space. Polished concrete's reflective properties create a brighter atmosphere by maximizing natural and artificial light, creating a welcoming and warm environment for shoppers.


The clean and polished surface of the floor contributes to a sense of cleanliness and order, enhancing the overall perception of the store's hygiene and quality. The smoothness of the polished concrete surface also contributes to a comfortable and effortless shopping experience, reducing fatigue from walking and pushing carts. When customers feel comfortable and engaged within the space, they are more likely to spend time exploring and making purchasing decisions.



Final Thoughts

Through this blog post, we shared how to elevate retail and grocery spaces to new heights through the application of polished concrete floors.


These floors, renowned for their durability and low-maintenance attributes, present an ideal solution for high-traffic environments. The seamless and reflective surfaces not only foster a sleek and modern atmosphere but also provide a canvas for brand identity, incorporating customizable designs and logos.


At BNE, we are trusted experts in concrete finishing. We have the knowledge, equipment, and skills to properly install concrete for any type of project. We use industry-leading technology and expertise to provide the client with a concrete structure that will last. Our clients seek us out because we are a single source in providing concrete finishing, polish and epoxy. This saves them time, money and the hassle of communicating their needs to various contractors. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for your next retail construction project. We are just one phone call or email away!




Bryson Henderson at 10:00 AM
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Mastering Placing and Finishing Concrete in Ice Rink Pours

Close up of figure skates on an indoor ice rink.\


Ice rinks are marvellous structures that bring joy to ice skaters and hockey enthusiasts alike. Beneath their smooth surfaces lies a critical component that ensures their stability and longevity — concrete. Placing and finishing concrete in ice rink pours requires precision and expertise to create a smooth and durable surface.


The significance of concrete placement and finishing cannot be overstated in ice rink construction. The slab is pivotal for performance and durability, impacting aesthetics, functionality, and safety.


Precise placement and finishing are essential to avoid uneven surfaces and compromised integrity. A smooth concrete surface marks the success of the ice rink, enhancing skater experience and safety, and facilitating ice adhesion. In today’s blog post, we will explore a deeper understanding of concrete in ice rink construction, preparation, placement techniques, and curing strategies, providing you with valuable insights and best practices to ensure both structural integrity and heightened performance of the ice rink.


At BNE, we are trusted experts in concrete finishing. We have the knowledge, equipment, and skills to properly install concrete for any type of project. We use industry-leading technology and expertise to provide the client with a concrete structure that will last. We are proud owners of four Golden Trowel Awards for placing and finishing ice rink slabs. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for your next ice rink construction project. We are just one phone call or email away!



Understanding Concrete in Ice Rink Construction

Concrete serves as the fundamental building block of any ice rink construction project. It acts as a reliable support system that bears the weight of the ice surface, spectators, and infrastructure.


Beyond its load-bearing capabilities, concrete also plays a crucial role in maintaining the overall stability of the ice rink. By distributing loads evenly and providing a solid foundation, ensures that the ice surface remains level and free from structural issues. The concrete base sets the stage for the rest of the construction process, impacting factors such as ice quality, safety, and long-term durability.


Importance of Selecting the Right Concrete Mix

Choosing the appropriate concrete mix is a pivotal decision in ice rink construction. The mix's composition, including the ratio of cement, aggregates, water, and additives, directly influences the concrete's strength, durability, and performance. When crafting the mix for an ice rink project, considerations extend beyond the conventional requirements of strength and durability. Factors like freeze-thaw resistance, workability, and compatibility with the ice surface are equally vital. Selecting the right mix ensures that the concrete not only withstands the demanding conditions of ice rink environments but also contributes positively to the overall ice rink experience.


Challenges Specific to Concrete in Cold Environments

Cold environments pose specific challenges to concrete placement and curing due to lower temperatures affecting setting time and curing. These challenges, including potential cracking and compromised strength, demand specialized techniques and careful planning to ensure the success of ice rink construction in cold conditions.



Preparing for Concrete Placement


Shovel moving gravel off of concrete foundation.


Site Preparation and Excavation Considerations

Before concrete pouring, meticulous site preparation is crucial, involving:

  • Proper excavation and levelling of the foundation to prevent inconsistencies
  • Removal of debris, rocks, and organic materials to maintain concrete integrity
  • Grading for efficient water drainage, avoiding pooling and damage
  • Creating a level and well-prepared site as the base for successful concrete placement


Importance of Proper Formwork and Reinforcement Installation

Formwork serves as the mold that shapes the concrete into the desired structure. Accurate formwork installation ensures that the concrete is poured to the intended dimensions and contours.


Formwork plays a pivotal role by:

  • Molding concrete to the desired shape
  • Ensuring accurate dimensions and contours
  • Providing support to prevent uncontrolled flow
  • Reinforcement (like steel bars or mesh) adds strength
  • Proper reinforcement placement counters tensile forces
  • Neglecting these steps risks uneven surfaces, structural weaknesses, and safety issues


Addressing Weather Factors and Temperature Control During Placement

Weather has a notable impact on concrete placement, especially in cold climates where freezing can disrupt setting and curing. Preventive steps like using heated materials, insulating blankets, and tent structures are crucial to maintain optimal curing conditions. Similarly, in hot weather, managing concrete temperature is vital to prevent rapid drying and cracking, ensuring consistent, durable, and high-quality concrete.



Placing Concrete for Ice Rinks


Techniques for Efficient and Uniform Concrete Pouring

When it comes to placing concrete for ice rinks, efficiency and uniformity are key. Pouring techniques can significantly impact the quality of the finished surface. Using controlled and consistent pouring methods ensures that the concrete is evenly distributed, preventing variations in thickness that could lead to structural issues or uneven ice surfaces. Techniques such as properly calibrated lasers and transits help achieve a level and flat slab, ensuring a solid foundation for the ice rink.


Managing Concrete Flow and Avoiding Air Pockets

Maintaining a consistent and smooth concrete flow is vital to prevent surface defects and weaknesses, with techniques such as proper pouring height, steady pouring rate, and precise equipment placement reducing the risk of air pockets that compromise strength and longevity, ultimately ensuring the ice rink's foundation quality and integrity.


Special Considerations Ice Rink Pours

Concrete placement for ice rink projects necessitates meticulous planning, a well-coordinated team, and precise timing to ensure consistency among sections, avoid cold joints, and prevent visible seams, highlighting the amplified significance of coordination and timing for successful outcomes in larger endeavours.



Finishing Techniques for a Smooth Surface

The art of achieving a smooth and flawless concrete surface involves an array of specialized tools and equipment.


Man smoothing concrete surface with trowel.


Finishing tools, such as floats, and trowels, play a crucial role in refining the concrete's texture and appearance. Each tool serves a unique purpose in the finishing process, contributing to the overall quality and aesthetics of the ice rink surface.


Step-by-Step Guide to Screeding and Leveling the Concrete Surface


Screeding as the initial finishing step:

  • Uses a laser screed to level fresh concrete
  • Achieves a flat and uniform concrete surface
  • Demands a steady hand and attention to detail
  • Creates an even and consistent foundation for further finishing


Power Troweling and Its Impact on Surface Quality

Power troweling is a critical phase in achieving a smooth concrete surface. A power trowel is a machine equipped with rotating blades that mechanically smooth and polish the concrete. This process not only enhances the surface's smoothness but also helps close the surface pores, improving its resistance to moisture penetration and wear.




Proper curing is a critical phase that significantly impacts the strength, durability, and long-term performance of the concrete surface in ice rink construction.


Curing involves maintaining adequate moisture and temperature conditions to facilitate the optimal hydration of the cement particles. This process ensures that the concrete achieves its intended strength and develops the necessary resistance to cracking and wear over time.



Enhancing Ice Adhesion and Performance

In ice rink construction, the quality of the concrete surface directly influences ice adhesion.


View of indoor ice rink from center red line.


A well-prepared and finished concrete foundation fosters uniform ice bonding, enhancing skater safety and ice quality by promoting improved glide, better edge control, and overall enhanced performance on the ice.


Using Additives and Surface Treatments

To optimize ice adhesion and overall ice rink performance, additives and surface treatments can be employed.


  • Chemical additives, such as bonding agents and admixtures, enhance the bond between the ice and the concrete surface. These additives can improve both initial ice formation and long-term adhesion, contributing to a stable and resilient ice layer.
  • Surface treatments, like texturing or profiling, provide the desired balance between smoothness and grip, influencing how skaters interact with the ice while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.


Achieving a Balance Between Smoothness and Grip

Achieving a harmonious equilibrium between a smooth concrete surface and the necessary grip for skaters is a delicate task in ice rink construction. While a smooth surface aids speed, excessive smoothness can diminish grip and skater control. By introducing subtle textures or profiles into the concrete, a balanced grip can be achieved without compromising the desired smoothness, requiring a thoughtful approach that bridges technical ice adhesion requirements with the experiential needs of skaters.



Preventing Cracking and Ensuring Longevity

Preventing cracks and ensuring the long-lasting quality of an ice rink involves understanding common crack causes, such as temperature changes and shrinkage, and countering them with proactive measures.


Using proper construction practices like controlled curing and reinforcement methods such as steel bars or mesh significantly reduces the likelihood of cracks. Properly executed expansion joints accommodate movement. Maintaining the concrete surface through regular inspections, addressing minor issues promptly, and applying protective coatings ensures the ice rink's structural integrity over time.



Final Thoughts

Ice rinks' concrete placement and finishing are pivotal for stability and longevity, with proper preparation, accurate formwork, and reinforcement installation essential for a solid foundation.


At BNE, we are trusted experts in concrete finishing. We have the knowledge, equipment, and skills to properly install concrete for any type of project. We use industry-leading technology and expertise to provide the client with a concrete structure that will last. We are proud owners of four Golden Trowel Awards for placing and finishing ice rink slabs. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for your next ice rink construction project. We are just one phone call or email away!




Bryson Henderson at 10:00 AM
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Epoxy Floor Coatings for Warehouses

Epoxy flooring in warehouse with garage doors.


Warehouse environments are the bustling hubs where businesses store, process, and distribute their products. Amid the constant movement of goods, heavy equipment, and foot traffic, the need for a resilient and reliable flooring solution becomes paramount. This is where epoxy floor coatings step in as a game-changing solution.


Epoxy floor coatings are designed to provide exceptional durability, even under the most challenging conditions. They are engineered to resist abrasion, chemicals, and impacts, ensuring that your warehouse floor maintains its integrity over time. Beyond durability, these coatings enhance functionality with their customizable features, such as slip-resistant textures and designated traffic zones.


In this blog post, we'll further explore epoxy floor coatings and share why they have become the go-to choice for warehouses seeking both durability and functionality in their flooring.


At BNE, we are trusted experts in concrete finishing. We have the knowledge, equipment, and skills to properly install concrete for any type of project. Our clients seek us out because we are a single source in providing concrete finishing, polish and epoxy. This saves them time, money and the hassle of communicating their needs to various contractors. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for your next construction project. We are just one phone call or email away!



Benefits of Epoxy Floor Coatings

Epoxy floor coatings offer many advantages to warehouses that extend beyond their initial application.


Here's how epoxy coatings can transform the warehouse environment:


Durability and Longevity: Epoxy floor coatings are engineered to withstand the heavy demands of warehouse activities. The strong chemical bond they form with the concrete surface creates a resilient barrier that can endure the weight of forklifts, pallets, and heavy equipment without showing signs of wear or deterioration.


Resistance to Chemicals, Stains, and Impact: Warehouses often handle a range of substances, from oils and lubricants to harsh chemicals. Epoxy coatings act as a protective shield, offering remarkable resistance to chemicals that might otherwise erode traditional flooring materials.


Easy Maintenance and Cleaning: Maintaining a clean and organized warehouse is essential for operational efficiency. Epoxy-coated floors simplify this task by providing a smooth, seamless surface that is easy to clean. Spills and debris can be swiftly wiped away, reducing the likelihood of accidents and the time spent on maintenance.


Enhanced Safety with Slip-Resistant Coatings: Safety is paramount in warehouse environments, where the risk of slips and falls is a constant concern. Epoxy floor coatings can be customized with anti-slip additives that improve traction, even in wet conditions.


Aesthetic Improvements and Customization Options: Warehouses no longer need to sacrifice aesthetics for functionality. Epoxy coatings come in a variety of colours, finishes, and patterns, allowing you to customize the appearance of your warehouse floor to align with your brand or specific requirements. Whether you prefer a high-gloss finish or a more subtle matte look, epoxy coatings offer aesthetic versatility.



Types of Epoxy Coatings for Warehouses

Epoxy coatings offer a range of specialized formulations to cater to diverse warehouse requirements.


Epoxy flooring in warehouse with industrial equipment.


Here are a few:


Self-Leveling Epoxy Coatings: These coatings are designed to create a perfectly smooth and level surface, making them ideal for warehouses where a seamless, even floor is essential. They can cover minor imperfections in the substrate, resulting in a visually appealing and functional floor that's easy to clean and navigate.


Epoxy Mortar Coatings for Heavy-Duty Areas: In sections of the warehouse subjected to extreme impacts, such as loading docks or areas with heavy machinery, epoxy mortar coatings excel. Formulated with aggregates like quartz or silica, these coatings provide exceptional durability and impact resistance, effectively withstanding the stress of heavy equipment and frequent movement.


Anti-Static Epoxy Coatings for Electronics Storage: Warehouses dealing with sensitive electronic components or equipment must mitigate the risk of static electricity, which can damage these items. Anti-static epoxy coatings contain conductive materials that help dissipate static charges, ensuring a controlled electrostatic discharge environment and safeguarding valuable electronics.


UV-Resistant Epoxy Coatings for Outdoor Warehouses: For warehouses with outdoor sections or those exposed to natural sunlight, UV-resistant epoxy coatings are vital. These coatings are formulated to withstand the fading and degradation caused by prolonged sun exposure, ensuring that the floor maintains its appearance and performance over time.


High-Build Epoxy Coatings for Enhanced Thickness: In areas where added durability and thickness are desired, high-build epoxy coatings excel. These coatings can be layered to achieve a greater thickness, providing increased resistance to impacts, abrasion, and heavy loads. They're especially useful in sections of warehouses where extra protection is needed.



Things to Consider Before Applying Epoxy Coatings

Before applying epoxy floor coatings to your warehouse, several crucial factors deserve careful consideration. These considerations will not only influence the success of the application but also determine the longevity and performance of the epoxy-coated floor.


Here's a breakdown of what to keep in mind:


Surface Preparation and Repair: The quality of the substrate plays a significant role in the effectiveness of epoxy coatings. Before application, the concrete surface must be prepped thoroughly by grinding, shot blasting or scarifying and potentially degreased. This includes addressing cracks, divots, and other imperfections. A properly prepared surface ensures proper adhesion and prevents future issues.


Moisture and Temperature Conditions: Epoxy coatings are sensitive to environmental conditions during application. Moisture content in the concrete should be assessed, as excessive moisture can hinder adhesion and lead to delamination. Temperature also matters — epoxy application should ideally occur within a specific temperature range for optimal curing and bonding.


Traffic and Usage Patterns: Understanding the intensity and types of traffic your warehouse experiences is essential. High-traffic areas might require more robust epoxy solutions, such as epoxy mortar coatings, to withstand heavy loads and impacts.


Specific Chemical and Spill Resistance Requirements: Warehouses dealing with chemicals, oils, or other substances need epoxy coatings with corresponding resistance properties. Different epoxy formulations offer varying levels of chemical resistance. Assess the types of chemicals present and choose an epoxy coating that can handle potential spills without deteriorating.



Installation Process

Installing epoxy floor coatings in warehouses involves a systematic process that ensures proper adhesion, durability, and the desired visual appeal.


Let's explore the step-by-step journey of transforming your warehouse floor with epoxy coatings:


Clean and Prepare the Surface: Before any coating is applied, the concrete surface must be mechanically prep by grinding, shot blasting and / or scarifying meticulously to remove dust, dirt, existing coatings and contaminants. Any cracks, divots, or imperfections should be repaired.


Apply Primer: Applying a primer is crucial to create a strong bond between the epoxy coating and the concrete substrate. The primer acts as a bridge, enhancing adhesion and preventing any potential issues. It's essential to choose a primer that complements the specific epoxy system you're using. The use of a moisture tolerant primer is used when elevated moisture levels exist and time is of the essence.


Apply Epoxy Base Coat: The base coat is where the magic begins. This layer consists of the epoxy resin mixed with a hardener. It's spread evenly across the surface, creating a foundation that's not only functional but also visually appealing. The base coat provides the foundation for subsequent layers.


Apply Topcoat for Sealing and Protection: The final step involves applying a topcoat, also known as the seal coat. This layer provides protection against abrasion, chemicals, and UV exposure. The topcoat adds depth to the floor's appearance, enhances the gloss, and ensures the longevity of the epoxy coating system.


Throughout the installation process, precision and attention to detail are paramount. Proper mixing of the epoxy components, uniform application, and adhering to recommended curing times are critical for achieving the desired results. Each step builds upon the previous one, culminating in a floor that seamlessly combines durability, functionality, and aesthetics.



Maintenance Tips

While epoxy-coated warehouse floors are renowned for their durability and resilience, proper maintenance is key to ensuring their longevity and continued performance.


Person mopping epoxy flooring in warehouse.


Here's a guide to maintaining your epoxy-coated warehouse floor:


Perform Regular Cleaning Routines: Establishing a consistent cleaning schedule is essential to prevent the buildup of dirt, debris, and contaminants. Regular sweeping or dust mopping removes loose particles that can scratch the epoxy surface. Use a soft-bristle broom or dust mop to avoid damaging the floor.


Use the Right Cleaning Agents: When it's time for more thorough cleaning, choose cleaning agents that are compatible with epoxy coatings. Mild, pH-neutral cleaners are generally recommended. Harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners can erode the epoxy's protective layer and compromise its appearance.


Address Any Damages Promptly: Accidents happen, and while epoxy coatings are durable, impacts can lead to scratches, chips, or dings. Address any damages promptly to prevent moisture from seeping into the substrate and compromising the adhesion. Minor damages can often be repaired using epoxy filler kits.


Reseal From Time to Time to Extend the Coating's Life: Over time, the topcoat of your epoxy floor may experience wear due to foot and equipment traffic. Periodic resealing helps maintain the floor's protective layer, enhancing its resistance to abrasion and chemical exposure. Consult the manufacturer's guidelines for recommended resealing intervals.


Avoid Harsh Cleaning Equipment: While epoxy coatings are robust, it's advisable to avoid using abrasive scrub brushes or aggressive cleaning machinery. These can scratch or wear away the epoxy's surface, diminishing its gloss and protective qualities.


Prevent Standing Water: While epoxy coatings are water-resistant, allowing standing water to pool on the surface for extended periods can potentially lead to delamination or other issues. Promptly remove any spills or standing water to maintain the floor's integrity.


Apply Mats and Protective Coverings: In high-traffic areas or under heavy equipment, consider using mats or protective coverings. These help distribute weight and reduce wear and tear on specific sections of the floor.



Final Thoughts

Epoxy floor coatings offer warehouses a durable and functional solution that withstands heavy traffic, chemicals, and impacts.


The installation process involves meticulous surface preparation, primer application, epoxy coat layering, and optional decorative elements, all contributing to a visually appealing and resilient floor.


Maintenance, from regular cleaning to prompt damage addressing and periodic resealing, ensures the floor's longevity and optimal performance. Whether your warehouse requires customization, heavy-duty protection, or an anti-static solution, epoxy coatings enhance both aesthetics and practicality, providing a lasting foundation that meets the demands of your unique space.


At BNE, we are trusted experts in concrete finishing. We have the knowledge, equipment, and skills to properly install concrete for any type of project. Our clients seek us out because we are a single source in providing concrete finishing, polish and epoxy. This saves them time, money and the hassle of communicating their needs to various contractors. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for your next construction project. We are just one phone call or email away!




Bryson Henderson at 10:00 AM
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