Though not an island, Australia’s Isle of Capri offers the luxuries that spring to mind when you think of a tropical paradise: miles and miles of beaches, high-end resorts, homes with their own boat docks, average temperatures of 75º F to 80º F.

However, the area known as “Surfer’s Paradise” also gets 4 feet of rain every year. So in addition to withstanding the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays, indoor/outdoor developments have to also provide safe but durable vehicle and pedestrian pavements.

Such was the challenge when a Queensland developer sank $50 million into transforming a 1960s waterfront building into a high-end consumer destination. Called Capri on Via Roma, the redevelopment’s 31 businesses include waterfront restaurants and cafes; a supermarket; and fashion, beauty, and lifestyle retailers.

Double-duty destination

Capri on Via Roma’s communal spaces are open to the elements when weather permits; closed and air-conditioned when it doesn’t. Behind-the-scenes service areas like loading docks also must be serviceable in any weather. Interior areas have an R9 slip rating; external areas, R11.

Transitions Polishing and Grinding earned first place in the retail category of Concrete Surfaces’ fourth annual Polished Concrete Awards for resolving these indoor/outdoor surface challenges. The Queensland-based company is a full-service provider of concrete flooring solutions.

Flexibility, performance, and functionality specifications required aesthetically appealing interior finishes capable of withstanding frequent foot and trolley traffic. The contractor would have to complete the job within a compressed timeframe, and in stages, to accommodate other trades working on the project. Finally, the solutions for both internal and external areas had to fit existing cleaning schedules.

By December 2013, Transitions Polishing and Grinding installed 263,715 square feet of polished concrete. Of that:

  • Almost half — 129,166 square feet — consisted of restoring rain-damaged slabs. Crews removed 7 mm to 10 mm via diamond grinding and stabilized the slabs via mechanical grouting before applying UV-stable, colored stain.
  • Yellow stain was applied to 16,145 square feet of interior flooring to create a bright, warm space that promotes the development’s branding.
  • 10,763 square feet of concrete in retail tenancies were polished.
  • Almost 40,000 square feet of external pathways, entryways, and parking lots were honed and stained.

Elegant but serviceable

The only space not subject to the elements was underground parking. The concrete had to withstand oil leaks and regular cleaning with scrubbers and blowers.

But as the first place where tourists would encounter Capri on Via Roma, the floor also had to convey an up-market feel.

After diamond grinding the 64,583-square-foot area, Transitions Polishing and Grinding applied two coats of W408, a water-based epoxy made by an Australian company called Miteq.