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Why resin floors tick the awards box

When resin floors were entered into this year’s CFJ Awards, they won 50% of the categories they were entered into. Richard Renouf explains why this is something to think about.

HERE’s a quick quiz about this year’s CFJ Flooring Awards:

  1. In how many categories did resin flooring installations feature?
    a) 2 of 16 b) 4 of 16 c) 6 of 16
  2. What proportion of the overall entries featured resin flooring installations?
    a) 5% b) 8% c) 11%
  3. In how many categories were resin flooring installations winners?
    a) 1 b) 2 c) 3

    Try to resist the urge to peek, but the answers are printed at the end of this article and I think you’ll be surprised. I certainly was even though I’m one of the judges.

    More interesting than the hard figures, however, is the versatility that’s demonstrated by these awards entries. Most CFJ readers would consider resin floors to be for industrial use, and a significant proportion of contractor readers don’t supply resin floors. I wonder if they might be missing a trick? A quick scan through the entries and the winners shows:

    Jenflow systems floored a coffee shop with a combination of brown pigments and copper spray to create a uniquely beautiful floor which was easy to maintain, hard-wearing, and a contender for the Residential (Refurbishment) Award.

    They also used a similar technique, this time using grey pigments, in a residential development and this won them the award in that category. The competition included another resin installation from Abacus Flooring Solutions who had been called upon to provide flooring for a residential garage that would be home to cars, boats and gym equipment.

    Abacus Flooring Solutions also provided the resin floor for the Bradford Ambulance Workshop where it would be subjected to significant traffic – in the real sense of the word – and would help to maintain an important emergency service.

    Arturo entered two installations into the industrial floors category, against competition from TPS360. All three were industrial premises, of course, but in each case the customers’ requirements were not straightforward and suitable resin products were found to deal with heavy machinery, temperature fluctuations, cleaning regimes and even the prevention of static.

    Arturo won this category with their project at the Midlands Pharmaceutical facility, but TPS360 were the winners in the retail flooring category for their work on the Newport Market Regeneration Project where the competing installations were all wood, vinyl or ceramic tile flooring installations.

    And – perhaps the outstanding entry in terms of its unique challenges – the winner of the sports and leisure category was a resin installation by the IRL Group which worked with SIKA to create a racetrack capable of hosting the London Formula E event.

    When you consider that this started as a power-floated concrete warehouse floor, that the cars would be driving at very high speeds, and that this would become an annual event but the flooring needed to be used in the Excel exhibition centre in between times, you’ll understand something of the achievement, and all to a tight deadline.

    The awards entries show that resin flooring isn’t a marginal product, but is extremely versatile and capable of meeting demanding requirements and also of providing stunning aesthetics when planned and executed well.

    Resin comes in many different forms and it can vary in performance depending on the resins used and any additives put into it. Some are intended for use in thin layers as a decorative surface coating, and the application thickness can go up to the thickness of a screed. It can provide a very decorative, colourful appearance or it can be purely functional.

    It can be formulated to tolerate prolonged high temperatures and many kinds of chemicals, and it can be suitable for thin surface coatings on a well-prepared subfloor, or thicker screed-like coatings which even out damaged subfloors in one application.

    One final thought: many installers don’t consider resins because they assume they’re still full of VOC solvents and chemical compounds. They assume they would still be strong-smelling in use and would be harmful to the environment.

    Just checking through the data sheets for the products used to create the award winning installations shows the majority are solvent-free and that plant-based resins are becoming common to replace those produced from petrochemicals.

    When resin floors were entered into this year’s awards, they won 50% of the categories they were entered into. Something to think about, for sure.
    Answers: 1c, 2c, 3c
    Richard Renouf is an independent flooring consultant
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