How to floor a detailing studio…

April 30th, 2010

As part of our plans for expansion in 2010, many changes have been made to both our existing unit and the two additional industrial units we have also taken on. Whilst we are not quite ready for a proper show and tell yet, we thought it might be nice to show you the changes that have recently been made to our existing unit. Many of you will have been familiar with the old layout of a single well equipped detailing bay and a small partitioned off stockroom, and this format certainly served its purpose well for the last three years. However, in order to double our stockholding and make room for another detailing bay and more overnight storage, we recently moved the stockroom into one of the new units and then set about taking down the partition to make the detailing space fully open plan again. We didn’t record the demolition process as it was very dusty and thus not camera friendly, so this post picks up afterwards and shows how we have transformed the feel of the new open plan space by fitting an ecotile floor.

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!

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10 Responses to “How to floor a detailing studio…”

  1. Kenny says:

    Wow! Good job! Looks great!

  2. Alan says:

    Hi Rich, detailing bay coming along nicely, well done to you all and I’m looking forward to seeing more pictures as your new units take shape. Alan.

    P.S. You look at home with the scrubber dryer – you’ll make a great house husband!

  3. Brian Hare says:

    The new detailing studio looks great. I am a reseller for the Race Deck flooring here in the US, and it really does enhance a garage or studio and is very dependable. Great read! I hope this new flooring will meet your needs and last as long as you!

  4. Kenneth Tang says:

    Nice! Is there anything you guys are incapable of? I wonder what it feels like polishing a car while kneeling on the raised disc pattern, will it hurt your knees?

  5. Thanks for the kind words everyone! Laying a floor like this is pretty straightforward… you just need a healthy amount of patience and an eye for detail when cutting the edge pieces. The disc pattern is only slightly proud, but we almost always use kneeling pads anyway, so comfort in this case is not really an issue. Be sure to check back in a week or two as we will be posting some studio images taken by Tim Wallace of Ambient Life Photography – his work makes the floor look even more amazing!

  6. Unlapsinsacle says:

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here! I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work! Thumbs up, and keep it going! Cheers, Christian.

  7. cna training says:

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

  8. Nice work lads, looks like you’ve got a decent place to work. Those ecotiles look perfect for my own garage, I think I’ll have to check them out.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I simply wanted to say your blog is one of the nicely laid out, most inspirational I’ve come across in quite a while. Thx!

  10. […] in 2012 our friends at Polished Bliss gave a fantastic demonstration on how to floor a car detailing studio. In the blog they describe exactly why ecotile is favoured […]

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