A seamless floor is a floor with no grout lines or continuity breaks, laid in one large panel sometimes hundreds of square metres in area. The benefits of a seamless floor are extensive and apart from their aesthetic appeal most seamless floors are also non-slip yet smooth, durable, hygienic and easy to clean, thus making them cost-effective and low-maintenance.

Floors that fall into the liquid-applied seamless flooring category are listed in the appendage to this article, and these are suitable across a myriad of flooring applications including industrial, commercial, retail, hospitality, and healthcare industries, together with the residential sector – with each product tailor-made for its specific purpose.

FLOORS in Africa will be covering many of these systems in future features throughout the year, but for the purposes of this article we will concentrate on just two distinctly separate types – seamless stone floors and polished concrete.

 

Seamless stone floors

Worldwide, vast amounts of money are spent annually on research by competing companies in this category to improve their product ranges. This competition not only provides for improved quality of the finished products but also makes them extremely cost-competitive which is ultimately great news for the end-user.

Visually, a seamless stone floor is peerless as the floor meanders effortlessly throughout the building with no breaks or joints. It provides a feeling of endlessness and simplicity that gives focus to other features in the room or building.

When used externally a seamless stone floor also gives one a feeling of spaciousness and openness that lets the eye wander to the far horizon. A floor should never attract attention to itself but should be used to complement everything around it and create the mood and ambience of the space.

However, specifiers would do well to note that there are seamless stone floors that do not always incorporate whole stones; some cheaper offerings use crushed local stones which have a similar look but are not as durable, soft, smooth and luxurious to walk on as the imported alluvial stones. Whole quartz stones measure 8 out of 10 on the MOH hardness scale – in relation to diamond that measures 10, and this durability and strength may be an important consideration when selecting which brand to use.

Seamless floors characteristically have the benefit of being able to be applied round corners easily, so the finish can be right up to the wall or around fixed objects; the neatness and flow-ability of this is
often sought after.


Installation

National manufacturers do market floor systems which have verysimilar offerings but, unfortunately, as good as their products may be, the desired look and workmanship lies with the flooring contractor. The best flooring contractors in the industry are generally more expensive as they bring a wealth of experience and quality workmanship to the installation.

This experience and flooring knowledge is invaluable and may actually save the client money at the end of the day and, of course, will deliver a world-class floor. Interior designers and architects alike should take time when deciding on flooring finishes and colours – as they are so essential in providing the ambiance to a project.

Where there is expansion in the slab or screed, expansion joints are cut and either polysulphide joint filler is used to fill the joints or a solid movement metal joint is installed. Construction joints do not necessarily need trims or expansion joints placed but they can be used to demarcate areas or to allow a change in colour

Seamless stone floors are incredibly easy to clean and maintain. This is largely due to the lack of joints in the surface area that can harbour dirt and bacteria. Most seamless quartz floors are non-slip, highly impact-resistant, as well as chemical- and abrasion-resistant. Certain floors are specifically designed for use where extremely different temperature fluctuations occur from spillages on the floor. These floor systems are designed to handle extreme changes in temperature due to fluctuations in the coefficient of expansion.

The popularity of seamless stone flooring has seen many local startup operations entering the market without the full technical knowledge of the content of the products they are combining, and this has
resulted in many customers becoming dissatisfied with yellowing, cracking, shrinking or flaking floors. Fortunately this is not typically characteristic of the sector, and the well-established market leaders
still dominate.

The specialist companies in the stone flooring and resin industry can offer as much as 5-year product warranties – such is their track record, faith and commitment in their particular products. Stone
flooring systems with their versatile seamless look work well in combination with wood, marble, slate, and even some tiles. All in all, seamless stone flooring is a homeowner and a designer’s dream…

For the whole article you can download the pdf here.