Colored quartz utilizes 'fired-on-paint' quartz blended in a variety of colors to provide an aesthetically pleasing multicolored seamless floor finish. These floors have a variety of applications from restrooms, kitchens, cafeterias, garages, to more utilitarian applications including manufacturing, research laboratories, healthcare facilities and kennels. The colored quartz look can be achieved through a number of different installation processes using a variety of different chemistries. All of these systems will look substantially the same but specifying the correct one and understanding the cost differences when bidding will help insure long term performance.
The basic colored quartz system, General Polymers Ceramic Carpet #400, is a double broadcast of colored quartz blend. The finish texture and final topcoat can be customized to fit the use conditions. The natural broadcast finish will result in an aggressive slip resistant texture. Grout coats and topcoats will reduce the texture and provide the degree of gloss desired. Satin topcoats help to show off the color, while high gloss topcoats will provide a shiny 'clean' appearance. Either polyurethane enamels or epoxy topcoats can be specified. Epoxies can be applied thicker to reduce the texture and are generally less expensive. Polyurethanes typically will wear better maintaining their gloss. The General Polymers flooring line was one of the first to offer a solvent free, 100% solids polyurethane enamel floor finish, POLY-COTE 4685. It is an option as the finish topcoat for any of the colored quartz systems. POLY-COTE has excellent chemical resistance, good gloss retention and will not yellow over time.
Ceramic Carpet #554 is a double broadcast system which uses a clear EPO-FLEX resin. EPO-FLEX epoxy is a naturally flexible material which combines the benefits of elastomeric flexibility with the adhesive strength of epoxies. This system is best used in areas where impact is anticipated. Garages, hospitals, concessions, light assembly facilities and automotive service centers are typical applications for this decorative system. When an initial neat membrane of EPO-FLEX 3554 is applied prior to the quartz broadcast, this system is also utilized for waterproofing applications.
The colored quartz finish can be added to a high performance flooring system. TPM #115 is a standard epoxy ' resurfacing system. This flooring system is routinely used in industrial manufacturing facilities due to its impact resistance, thermal shock resistance, durability and its ability to repair or resurface a damaged concrete substrate. A colored quartz broadcast on the top of a 3/16' troweled system is called TPM #115 U1 or TPM #115 Upgrade. This decorative system is used where the concrete requires resurfacing or the area will be experiencing heavy traffic.
The FasTop S system was designed for rapid installations and return to service. This chemistry is resistant to moisture vapor transmission problems from the substrate, can handle extreme thermal shock conditions and exhibits outstanding chemical resistance, especially to organic acids found in foods. Due to the extremely fast set times of this system, it is not normally considered a decorative system. FasTop S - U1 utilized colored quartz broadcast into the uncured surface of the FasTop Slurry to achieve a multi-colored appearance. This broadcast can be topcoated the following day to provide additional protection of the colored quartz.
The cost of these systems will vary with the type and quantity of material used as well as the labor costs associated with multiple steps and mobilizations. When specifying a colored quartz seamless flooring system, make sure you select the system based upon performance and understand the differences among the various options.