Hughes General Contractors Inc. has been in the construction business for more than 50 years. During that time, many of our business partners and clients-which include architects, school districts, and business leaders-have noted that while they liked the look of exposed concrete flooring, and were attracted by its durability, environmental sustainability, and affordability, they were ultimately dissuaded from using it by concerns about concrete flooring’s well-known tendency to develop surface cracking and the impacts of the numerous saw-cut joints that are traditionally used to control that cracking. The saw-cut joints also detract from the smooth shine and appearance of polished concrete, and present ongoing maintenance challenges.
Hughes took these concerns very seriously and set about developing an entirely new method for the mixing and placing exposed concrete flooring slabs that virtually eliminate both the surface cracking and the need for cutting control joints in exposed concrete floors of any size. The major aesthetic and maintenance challenges of using exposed concrete floors in commercial and industrial construction are virtually eliminated through this mixing and placement process.
Thus was born NoToCreteTM. This patent-pending process produces joint-free, saw-cut reduced, exposed concrete floors that are both beautiful and durable, making them as suitable for high-end office and educational spaces (when polished to a high sheen) as they are functional in industrial environments.
Hillcrest Junior High School’s 11,000-square-foot commons and cafeteria sports this flooring as do all of the corridors on the main level. The first impression when seeing these floors is the drastic visual impact this technology creates by eliminating up to 95% of the saw-cut joints and cracking characteristic of concrete slabs.
The resulting floor is attractive, with a continuous smooth appearance unbroken by saw-cut joints. It is easily maintained, economical, and conducive to various uses. NoToCrete also virtually eliminates the problem of slab curling, producing extremely flat floors that are both functionally and visually pleasing to owners. As an added benefit, eliminating joints means less caulking and no future joint failure issues, resulting in reduced maintenance over the life of the building.
The award-winning results of Hillcrest’s 11,000-square-foot commons and cafeteria polished concrete flooring was achieved with a single pour. The NoToCrete process produced a flawless slab that is 125 feet by 90 feet without a single saw-cut, joint, or crack.
The exposed concrete has been polished and colored so that it displays rectangular patterns of blue, charcoal, and natural gray, giving it an appearance and durability similar to terrazzo.
The maintenance cost of this NoToCrete floor is, and will continue to be, a very small fraction of the cost of maintaining traditional floor coverings. The concrete helped create a building that is functional, aesthetically pleasing, and within budget.