Flooring Materials For a Dog Daycare
Choosing the Right Flooring Materials For Your Dog Daycare.
When selecting the materials to use for the floor there are two main areas that you need to be concerned with the play area and the customer area. The play area flooring needs to have a variety of attributes the most important of which is ease of cleaning. You also need to consider, appearance, maintenance & longevity, traction, cushioning and cost.
Factors to Consider when selecting Flooring for the Play Areas
Ease of Cleaning
This is by far the most important item that you need to consider when selecting a floor for your Dog Daycare. The Play area flooring will constantly need cleaning, to remove pee, poo, hair, dirt, grime and oils that come from the dogs coats as the wrestle around on the floor. The ability to sweep and mop the floor quickly and cleanly is needs to be the most important attribute when considering a particular product for use as your play area flooring.
The appearance of your play area flooring is going to provide a positive image or a negative image for potential clients when they come through to take tours. While it is true that a bare polished concrete floor is easy to clean and will last forever, it is also true that it looks cheap and will reflect negatively upon your facility.
Maintenance & longevity
Maintenance & longevity is another issue of particular importance when it comes to selecting the right flooring for your Dog Daycare. While slapping down a coat of shiny concrete sealer from you local home improvement store may be cost effective in the beginning. It will soon begin to chip and peel, urine will consequently begin to penetrate between the coating and substrate further exacerbating the process. This will result in more peeling and chipping etc. creating a vicious cycle. You will find yourself performing weekly flooring touch ups scraping off the peeling areas and laying down new concrete sealer. Which will begin to peel again and so the process goes on. You need to select flooring that will hold up for the long hall, thus reducing the amount of man hours required to maintain it.
Traction is a slippery subject (Bad Pun) when it comes to selecting flooring for a Dog Daycare. The truth about traction is that the more grip the floor has, the more difficult it is the clean and vice versa, the easier it is to clean the less traction it has. Some facilities use a 2 part epoxy and mix in playground sand or (ground polymer plastic) to raise the traction coefficient of the surface to a level just below rough sandpaper in the hopes of limiting injuries to the dogs from slip and falls while running around and playing. This method will also dramatically increase the amount of dirt, germs, feces etc. that the flooring collects as well as destroy the average mop head in about a week.
There have been numerous studies concerning the role that traction plays in injuries concerning professional athletes, grass vs. turf etc. The consensus is that more traction equals more ankle and knee injuries, while less traction equals an increase in muscle strains. The average dog can run 20 mph while the average human in great shape can run 18mph with Olympic Sprinters hitting 27mph which still pales in comparison to a Greyhounds 45mph. Figure in the fact that dogs are many times more agile than a human in their ability to rapidly change direction and you will come to the conclusion that having a super high traction floor will only increase the amount of injuries your canine customers experience.
There is also the fact that dogs like humans are self limiting in their speed as it relates to traction. The more traction available the more sure footed they feel and the faster they will go, the less traction available the slower they will go, further decreasing the impact of slamming into the walls of your play areas. This does not suggest that you make your floors into an ice rink, it simply suggests that you find a balance that works for you and for your canine customers.
Cushioning is another item that you must take into consideration when selecting the flooring material for your Dog Daycare. Ideally you want to choose a surface that is kind on the bodies of your K-9 guests, specifically the elbows, shoulders etc. Dog in a Daycare environment are generally very active throughout the day in the form of running, wrestling etc. This activity can also put your canine customers at risk for repetitive impact injuries if the surface that they are playing on is to hard. This will generally come in the form of mild to severe limping after playing at your place, stiffness when getting up after laying down on a hard surface etc. Over a prolonged period it can begin to effect the elbows, shoulders, hips and the overall quality of life for the dog.
This is one area in which rubberized flooring provides the greatest benefit to you K-9 customers, by absorbing the shock to the joints of repetitive jumping and romping around.
Not a whole lot of elaboration is needed here, the better the surface that more it is going to cost.
Office and Customer Area Flooring
For your customer areas and office spaces make sure that you use a non porous material like, VC Tile, Ceramic Tile, or if budget permits the best product would be a commercially installed epoxy coating like Dur-A-Flex. If you plan on offering Grooming Services then ensure that you install a non slip tile in any areas that that may get wet, such as around the tubs, between the tubs and the dryer etc..
Play Area Flooring Products ( Priced Lowest To Highest )
H&C Silicone Acrylic Concrete Sealer
For those on a tight budget that want a pleasant appearance with good performance and decent longevity with easy cleanup for pet related messes then H&C Silicone Acrylic Concrete Sealer would do the job. This product can be found at your local Sherwin Williams location and is generally in stock. This is a Xylene based concrete sealer (not coating) that dries only a few mils thick. You may have it mixed to any color you like and it's applied to the floor just like paint. It dries super fast, usually ready for complete use in under 3 hours but won't last as long as more expensive products. The main disadvantage is that is dries so thin that any imperfections in the substrate will remain readily visible when coated. You can expect a solid year of use when applied properly to a concrete floor before it needs to be recoated. The other disadvantage to this product is that is is virtually impossible to put another product over top of it and have it adhere properly, meaning that when you do decide to upgrade your flooring you will need a diamond grinding machine to strip the floors back to bare concrete first.
TILE-CLAD® High Solids Two Part Epoxy
For those on a budget that want excellent performance and longevity with easy cleanup for pet related messes then TILE-CLAD® High Solids Two Part Epoxy is for you. This product can be found at your local Sherwin Williams location and is generally in stock. This is a High Solids VOC compliant Epoxy with an solids 80% volume, packaged as Part A and Part B, this epoxy polyamine coating is for use in industrial maintenance environments and high performance architectural applications.
What this means is that this stuff is tough able to handle everything that dogs can throw at it. The other bonus is that it is relatively inexpensive with a cost of around .21 cents per sq/ft. This means that you can cover approximately 1400 sq/ft for around $300.
This is a two part epoxy so you have to mix both the A and the B, let it sit for about 30 minutes, and then just roll it or spray it on the floor like you would any paint like substance. It cures much slower than paint taking a good 3-4 days before it can sufficiently handle any dog related foot traffic, but it also cures much harder as well. Once cured the product is impervious to nails, pet related waste products, chlorine, bleach, bacteria, solvents etc. Easy to mop and easy to clean it maintains a nice clean looking shine over time.
When picking a color you want to stay away from dark colors, like dark blues, greens, or black as these colors more readily show any dirt that the dogs may bring in with them. You may use this product throughout your facility or just in the play areas. I would recommend only using this in the play areas as there are other affordable products with a less industrial appearance that are more suitable for your office and customer areas. One additional item that you will need is Sharks Skin. This is another product available at Sherwin Williams that adds a non slip property to the floor; it is mixed directly into the epoxy prior to application.
TILE-CLAD® HIGH SOLIDS
PART A B62Z SERIES
PART B B60VZ70 GLOSS HARDENER
The next step up in flooring for the play areas would be a rubberized floor. These generally come in rolls 4’ wide and 25-50’ long, or in individual tile form. The material is either laid down or permanently glued to the floor with a bonding compound similar to roofing cement. Rubberized Flooring is an excellent choice for a Dog Daycare facility as it has a number of favorable properties and advantages that floor coatings can't offer. These would include shock absorption which reduces impact related injuries and stress on the joints of pets, high traction, as well as sound deadening properties- a benefit that only rubberized flooring has.
This is a product that you can install yourself as it requires no special tools. Just make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions especially concerning surface preparation prior to installation. It can be a bit labor intensive as the weight for 1 sq/ft. of material is 2lbs. which sounds reasonable unless you have 1000 - 1500 sq/ft. that you need to cover or you happen to be dealing with large mats weighing 60lbs. or more. Cleanup is a breeze and this product is impervious to pet wastes and cleaning solvents while offering a non-porous surface. The cost is reasonable ranging from $1.50-$2.25 per sq/ft. if you install it yourself or $2.25+ if you choose to have a contractor install it for you.
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check out the flooring
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things we might want to consider.... rubberized flooring.... not the squares we have, but some seriously impervious to pet flooring..