Skating to the finish
Ice hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer Hockey announced plans to open a chain of ‘Own the Moment’ retail stores, with the first opening in the Boston suburb of Burlington. The 1860-m2 (20,000-sf) stores include indoor ice rinks, so customers can test ice skates and equipment under the guidance of highly trained associates. With the first store serving as the prototype for eight to 10 additional stores in key markets, the look had to be right.
Bauer was searching for a natural, high-shine, polished concrete floor, but the space consisted of an old beat-up concrete slab with many trenches throughout from past and present tenants. Industrial Concrete Services (based in Gorham, Maine) presented CSA-based self-leveling topping to be installed over 1070 m2 (11,500 sf) of floor space with multiple colors and polished at the Burlington store. With the floor samples and the selected colors chosen, the project was approved for a very aggressive construction schedule prior to the fixtures arriving for installation.
CSA cement topping is known for being fast-setting to the point where it can be polished the next day, making it ideal for the aggressive schedule. Additionally, it can be placed at a 9.5 mm (3⁄8-in.) thickness, where traditional portland cement concrete would be placed at a minimum of 50 mm (2 in.).
As part of the training, the product representatives and the distributor helped in the pouring and application process of the overlay and later with the polishing, which included the retail space floors and all walkways throughout, leading to the ice rink. The work included five separate pours and two different colors to create the aisles, along with a broad-cast river stone aggregate used to produce a terrazzo-like floor appearance. The process was challenging, like all fast-paced construction projects, as the crew had to work around other trades that also needed the floor space to perform their work.
For an old cooler area that needed to be leveled with the rest of the floor, 300 bags of SLU were used. The calcium sulfoaluminate-based product is durable in both wet and dry environments. It is an excellent choice for new floor projects requiring long flow life and working time. The material rapidly levels, maintains workability for 30 minutes, and produces a flat, strong surface with high bond strength. It can be covered with finished flooring in six to 16 hours at 21 C (70 F), depending on the floor type.
For the polishable overlay, the team used a CSA-based self-leveling topping that is crack-resistant, durable, and will not deteriorate in damp conditions. It is suitable for projects demanding long flow life and working time while achieving high early strength—this is very important for polishing the material. The topping also cures to a light off-white color ideal for stained, dyed, or integrally colored floors. Additionally, since it grinds and polishes well, it was an excellent choice for this project. Bauer Hockey now plans to specify the CSA-based self-leveling topping when renovating its stores.
This overlay has been used successfully in very demanding conditions on big-box grocery, retail, and industrial floors.