We chose ecotile on this occasion because we were somewhat disappointed by the performance of the previous dynotile flooring system we purchased back in 2007, which was showing signs of significant wear and surface damage by the start of this year (although in fairness it should be pointed out that dynotile is not specifically designed with busy commercial settings in mind). Manufactured in the UK by The Versatile Flooring Company, ecotile is a harder wearing, heavier duty garage flooring system comprising solid core plastic interlocking floor tiles that are ideal for use in industrial and commercial settings. The ecotile range consists of a standard 7 mm thick tile (chosen in this instance, in a raised disc pattern format), a 6 mm hidden joint tile and an extra heavy duty 10 mm tile for industrial flooring applications. All of the tiles in the range are chemically resistant, have superb anti-slip properties, can withstand and recover from significant point loading (vehicle jacks and axle stands) and are easy to maintain using commercial floor scrubber-dryers.
The images above show the fitting process from start to finish; as you can see, the unit looked pretty spartan and uninviting once the painted concrete floor and old fashioned kitchen block were revealed! To lay the floor, we started out by fitting the bevelled ramp sections at the foot of the roller door. Once these were in place the first row of tiles were attached and then gently tapped into place using a rubber mallet. One of our alarm sensors for the roller door was then fitted to the finished tiled surface, and subsequent rows were progressively added following the tiling sequence recommended by the manufacturer. Progress was rapid at this stage, and within four hours a large part of the overall floor area was fully tiled. The next stage in the process was to finish off the edges by cutting down full sized tiles to fit. This was accomplished by taking careful measurements (that allowed for an expansion gap to be maintained) and trimming full sized tiles down using a jigsaw.
Towards the end of the fitting process this edge trimming task became more difficult as two door openings had to be accommodated. To ensure accuracy, we used masking tape to create templates which were then lifted and stuck onto full sized tiles; careful use of the jigsaw then enabled these very complex shapes to be accurately cut out, giving a very professional looking finish. The final result once the last piece was slotted in was very pleasing, but there was still important work to do to seal the new surface properly (which makes it easier to maintain and more durable in the long run). To prepare the floor, a brand new Karcher floor scrubber-dryer was used to wash the tiles and leave a perfectly clean, dry finish. To finish off, three coats of a thermacrylic floor varnish were then applied over the course of several hours using a microfibre mop, and the floor was then left to dry fully overnight.
To say we are delighted by the final result is an understatement; the finished floor looks great and really sets off the whole unit nicely, giving an upmarket feel that will look great in future images and videos. While we were laying the floor we also upgraded the kitchen block, fitting new cabinet fronts and a worktop bench to house a washing machine and tumble dryer (being able to wash and dry our towels and pads on site will be a major bonus in the future). Unfortunately a detailing unit requires storage space for equipment and materials, and for now we have had to continue to use our old open fronted storage shelves, which are highly functional but not very pretty looking. In future, we will be considering built in storage options to hide our gear out of site once funds allow. Our thanks to The Versatile Flooring Company for their expert help and assistance. Anyone considering a floor for a detailing studio or garage area should definitely check out the ecotile system; it’s very impressive!