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Testing, product selection & coating Sealing vs. coating

What is the difference between a sealing and a coating? With sealing, a covering application seals the pores of the floor completely. The layer thicknesses are between 0.1 and 0.3 mm after multiple roller or brush coats. Sealing significantly reduces the wear and the dust formation and improves the cleanability of the surface in the event of soiling. Depending on the composition of the sealing, these floors have a good resistance to chemicals – but a relatively thin wear layer. This measure therefore only provides limited suitability for mechanical stress in commercial areas. Synthetic resin dispersions and reactive resins in solvent-based or solvent-free quality are used for sealing. A colored floor design is also possible by means of pigmentation or interspersed decochips.

High level of protection via coating

Coatings with thicknesses between 0.3 and 5 mm can withstand mechanical and chemical stresses in wet and dry areas. We differentiate between two application methods here: thin coatings applied with a roller and self-leveling thick coatings applied with a trowel or squeegee. The material properties and application method enable the coating to self-level. The result: an extremely uniform surface with a high protective effect specifically coordinated to suit the specific requirements on-site.

Testing and preparation

The different substrates

Every floor is made up of a base course layer and a wear layer. They must be bonded to each other so that the floor retains lasting functionality. It is also important that both layers are optimally suited to the future mechanical and chemical stresses in their application site. The key to a successful floor renovation is therefore to identify and assess the substrate correctly.

ConcreteCement screedMagnesia screedAnhydrite screed (calcium sulphate screed)Cast asphalt
Short name in accordance with EN 13813C (concrete)CT (cementitious screed)MA (magnesite screed)CA (calcium sulfate screed)AS (mastic asphalt screed)
Bonding agentCementCementWater-free magnesium chloride with magnesium oxideWater-free calcium sulfate (CaSO4)Bitumen
Color shadeGray or slightly bluishGrayNatural white or colored through with metallic oxide pigments, e.g. gray, red, yellow, greenNatural white/beigeBlack
CharacteristicsIdeal substrate for sealers and coatings. Concrete can have extremely high strength valuesMost frequently used screed type. Different implementation versions, e.g. as sloping screed, heating screed or leveling screed, as bonded screed or separating layerLow-tension floating screed, withstands high mechanical stress, but is sensitive to moisture and therefore not suitable for wet and exterior areasLow-tension floating screed on film separating layer. Is sensitive to moisture and therefore not suitable for wet and exterior areas and can only be used in conjunction with a coating, sealer, or floor coveringThermoplastic, watertight, cavity-free and almost vapor-diffusion proof. Usually on a paper separating layer. Jointless installation over even large areas possible. Very fast application.
SurfaceSmooth to rough, partially surface finishedSmooth or brush-rough, partially surface treatedSmooth, aftertreated with wax or dispersion-based maintenance productsSmoothSmooth, sanded down with grain size 0.61.2 mm
Layer thicknessVariable, min. 5 cm35 cm1.52.5 cm35 cm24 cm
Grain size of the aggregates035 mm08 mm02 mm28 mm02 mm
Field of applicationIndustrial halls, private or commercial areasPrivate and commercial areasFor special requirements on noise and heat insulation or high mechanical stressResidential construction, office and administration areasResidential construction and industrial areas
Residual moisture CM-%
Max. residual moisture CM-%44120.5-
Drying time after installation48 weeks48 weeksApprox. 3 weeksApprox. 4 weeks23 hours
  • <p>CM device to determine the soil moisture</p>

    CM device to determine the soil moisture

First step to the perfect coating: Testing

a) Determine the soil moisture The functionality of a floor coating depends on the moisture content of the substrate. The most reliable way to determine this is with a CM device (calcium carbide method). A moisture content of more than 4 percent by weight in the concrete, for example, requires special systems for additional coating. Depending on the coating system, the substrate must not exceed the following maximum moisture values:

  • Concrete: approx. 4 percent
  • Cement screed: approx. 4 percent
  • Magnesia screed: approx. 12 percent
  • Anhydrite screed: approx. 0.5 percent
  • <p>The rebound hammer measures the strength of the floor or screed</p>

    The rebound hammer measures the strength of the floor or screed

b) Measurement of the tear strength To determine the surface strength, a scratch test is performed first as orientation – followed by measurement of the tear strength. The scratch test shows whether the strength of the base course layer is sufficient or inadequate, e.g. sintered layers. Tear tests are then the only way to obtain meaningful values. Multiple measurements are always performed for certainty: The smallest measured value should not be less than 1 N/mm² – the mean value should reach 1.5 N/mm². c) Compressive strength test The compressive strength of the concrete or screed can be measured with the rebound hammer. This shows whether the floor will withstand future mechanical stresses.

ConcreteCement screedMagnesia screedAnhydrite screed
Simple walking load, light vehicular stressC 20/25 (B 25)CT 30MA 30CA 30
Increased stress/forklift traffic or something similar similarC 30/37 (B 35)CT 40MA 40CA 40

Everything at a glance: core drilling

For substrates penetratedby moisture from the rear or extremely oily and contaminated, or if the floor constructions have not been determined, core drilling is recommended. The cross section clarifies everything: Structure, strength, level of oil contamination etc.

Second step: surface preparation

For a coating to adhere reliably, the substrate must be dry, stable, free from grease, and exhibit good adhesiveness. The higher the stress on the floor and the more elaborate the coating system, the more thorough the pretreatment should be: Dirt, oil, grease, dust and abrasion, old coatings that are no longer load-bearing, chemicals and other contaminants must be removed completely. This also applies for crumbling surfaces, sintered layers and cement slurry. Small areas can be roughened with suitable abrasives, steel brushes, or mechanically rotating brushes. The area must then be cleaned thoroughly and freed from dust with an industrial vacuum cleaner. However, sanding and brushing is not suitable for all substrates and coating systems: For highly compacted, power smoothed concrete surfaces and substrates treated with thick coating systems, shot blasting is the correct preparation method.


Several millimeters of a surface can be removed efficiently with this method. Milling is effective for old coatings and reactive resin coatings, for example. Then: Rework surfaces with dust-free shot blasting.

Shot blasting method

With the so-called Blastrac method, also known as dust-free shot blasting, steel balls are blasted onto the floor using a shot blasting machine. The removed material is vacuumed up, and the steel balls are fed back into the shot blasting machine. This method is practically dust-free. In many cases, the rooms can be used during the surface preparation.

For more safety

Slip resistance

Flooring surfaces in work rooms and work areas must be slip-resistant. This is stipulated by the German Workplace Ordinance and the Accident Prevention Regulations (UVV) "General Regulations" (BGV A1, previously VBG 1). For the specified slip-resistance requirements, including in areas with slip hazards, Brillux offers additives for most sealers and coatings, such as Floortec Safe Step 841 or Floortec Quartz Sand 1526.

Observe the Slip Resistance Class

The level of slip-resistance is defined by the "Slip Resistance Class" in accordance with the BG regulation 181 "Floors in working spaces and work areas with danger of slipping" and the test standard DIN 51130. For wet barefoot areas, the test is performed in accordance with DIN 51097 according to BGI/GUV-I 8627. Which Brillux coating system fulfills which Slip Resistance Class? An overview:

Slip Resistance ClassKey figure displacement spaceCoating system
R 9


Floortec 2C Aqua Thick Film 810

Floortec 2C Mineralico SL 470

Floortec 2C Epoxi Seal 848 with Floortec Safe Step 841

Floortec 2C Purolid T 876, silk matt, as top seal

Floortec 2C Purolid T 876, silk matt, on design floor covering

Floortec 2C Purolid T 877, silk gloss with Floortec Decochips 843 and as top seal

Floortec 2C Purolid F 878, silk matt, as top seal

R 10

Floortec 2C Purolid T 876, silk matt with Floortec Decochips 843 and as top seal

Floortec 2C Purolid T 876, silk matt with Floortec Safe Step 841, as top seal

Floortec 2C Purolid T 877, silk gloss with Floortec Safe Step 841, as top seal

R 11

Floortec 2C Epoxy Thick Film LF 834, filled with Floortec Quartz Sand 1526 (0.10.4 mm), scattered with Floortec Quartz Sand 1526 (0.20.7 mm) and 550 g/m² sealer

Floortec 2C Purolid F 878, silk matt with Floortec Safe Step 841, as top seal

R12Floortec 2C PUR Thick Layer LF 833 with Decochips 843 and Floortec 2C PUR Matt Sealer 844 with Safe Step 841
R12V4Floortec 2C Epoxy Thick Film LF 834, filled with Floortec Quartz Sand 1526 (0.10.4 mm), scattered with Floortec Quartz Sand 1526 (0.20.7 mm) and 450 g/m² sealer
R13V4Floortec 2C Epoxy Thick Film LF 834, filled with Floortec Quartz Sand 1526 (0.10.4 mm), scattered with Floortec Quartz Sand 1526 (0.20.7 mm) and 450 g/m² sealer

Mineral plaster floor

Puristic floor surfaces are in demand – in both the commercial outfitting and the private residential sector. 


Colored floor design

Brillux floor coatings combine maximum functionality with individual color design.