Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

Creating Supply Chain Solutions
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Warehouse floor damage: prevention is cheaper than cure

Warehouse operators on the Continent often have less to worry about than their UK counterparts when it comes to floor damage.


As every warehouse manager knows, impact and abrasion on the floor’s surface can spell costly downtime and disrupt smooth warehouse operations. There can be a knock-on effect on MHE too, with vehicles experiencing premature wear due to the effects of travelling across a damaged floor. Ultimately, it may result in the need for an entire new floor.

Yet a floor finishing technique popular in Europe is set to change all that, as it makes a comeback in the UK warehousing market.

A surface hardener, applied to a freshly-laid concrete floor as a wet-on-wet slurry, provides a thick, impact and abrasion-resistant coating to the floor’s surface. Once cured, the surface is resistant to damage, spills and wear; and can enjoy an operational life that is significantly longer than floors without surface hardeners.

The wet-on-wet application technique was previously popular in the UK. But the economic downturn changed the focus within warehouse construction to cost management, rather than adding long-term value to a building. As economic times brighten, there is clear demand re-emerging from clients and developers in the UK to ‘build to last’.

“As more warehouse owners and operators demand a quality, long-term floor finish, there is much the UK market can learn from our European counterparts in terms of slab construction and finishing,” explains Tom Hancock, RCR Flooring Products’ UK Sales Manager, and a qualified concrete engineer.

“In recent years, short-term thinking during the construction phase has simply meant that floor problems and costs have been passed onto the warehouse operator. It’s been a case of ‘buy cheap, buy twice’. It’s encouraging now to see the tide starting to turn as more clients and developers realise that investing in a durable floor makes sense, operationally and commercially.”


One company seeing the value of this long-term view is a French automotive components giant. When they commissioned a new distribution centre in Western France the racking plan was detailed and complex; and so a ‘jointless’ floor construction was chosen, to reduce the need for saw-cut joints and maintenance, and give flexibility in how the building could be used in future.

The surface of the steel fibre reinforced concrete floor was finished in two ways. Certain sections were finished with a Rocland surface hardener applied as a dry-shake, to suppress steel fibres and add protection and colour. Other harder-working areas were finished with a thicker wet-on-wet slurry, to add longer-term protection benefits.

“This kind of approach is common both in Europe and elsewhere in the world; and within the RCR group our flooring contractors routinely use dry-on-wet and wet-on-wet surface hardeners,” continued Tom Hancock. “It’s important for warehouse owners and operators to understand that they have a choice, and to ask for a floor specification that will ultimately save money and make their lives easier.”

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