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A Brief History Of Concrete Floors

Concrete floors have been around for years and concrete itself can be traced back to 5,600 bc when the inhabitants of bosnia and croatia used it to pave some roads.However, it didn't come into general use until around 2,500 bc when the egyptians learned how to make it, and then in 300 bc the romans discovered some techniques to make it stronger.They also found a source of volcanic ash which made a very durable sort of cement known as pozzolanic cement, which, along with sand and gravel, is one of the constituents of concrete.However, after the fall of the roman empire, the technique for making pozzolanic cement was lost, but it was rediscovered in the 1400's and this type of concrete was used in the pont de notre dame in paris, now considered to be the first major use of concrete in europe after the roman era.In the 18th century an english engineer called john smearton found that using quicklime made a stronger and harder form of cement, and twenty years later james parker followed up with a method using natural limestone and clay.In 1824 one of the major advances in concrete technology occurred when a bricklayer, joseph aspdin, used a process which took finely ground chalk mixed with clay which was then burned in a limekiln and produced the strongest form of concrete to date.He patented this, calling it portland cement, which is the major cement used to make concrete today.During the 19th century several different processes were used for making portland cement and the one which produced the strongest form of concrete involved a method called clinkering which required extremely high temperatures but was highly energy intensive and inefficient, until the rotary kiln was invented in 1885.Later, thomas edison improved the technology of the rotary kiln at his edison portland cement works in the us and the use of concrete became much more widespread, resulting in the construction of the hoover dam in 1933.Today, concrete floors are used in places where there is a lot of foot traffic such as railway stations, shopping malls, airports, and other such places, as well as being used in car parks.In its' natural state it is a drab grey colour, so not the sort of flooring that you would want to use in your hotel reception, restaurant, or kitchen at home, and so it was often painted or covered with hardwood.However, some concrete manufacturers began to add colouring to their product and in 1915 the first commercial coloured concrete was produced by l.M.Scofield of chicago.In the 1950's several people began to stamp patterns into concrete in order to make it more decorative so that it could be used in homes and public buildings.Then in the 1990's a group of workers in tunisia were ordered to polish the concrete floors in a palace, but accidentally polished them while the concrete was dry.This produced such a stunning result that polished concrete rapidly spread worldwide, and today a concrete polishing company can produce some even more amazing finishes incorporating techniques which have been refined in this century.Polished concrete can be polished to one of several different levels of shine up to and including a mirror-like finish that can rival marble and granite.It has several benefits over either of those two materials, not the least of which is that it requires virtually no maintenance other than a quick wipe over with a damp mop.Polished concrete floors are virtually indestructible and are ideal for use in places such as factories and warehouses where fork lift trucks are in use, as they will not show any tyre marks.This also has the side effect of making the tyres last longer.A concrete polishing company can also produce floors which have patterns etched into them, and different materials can be added to the concrete to give the floor a unique finish.This means that polished concrete floors can be used anywhere at all, and the material is beginning to be specified a lot by architects who wish to create something that is different from the run of the mill.

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