Time is money for any business, but that expression takes on extra meaning for retailers. If a store must close during regular business hours due to any type of maintenance, renovation, or remodeling, it could literally mean money out the door. The shopper could very well take his or her business to a competitor, and worst of all, they may never return.

So when a major chain of stores wanted to update its locations with an organic look, it chose white-stained concrete floors with a clear protective coating to stand up to the wear and tear of a retail environment. Customers with a variety of footwear regularly bring mud, grime, and salt inside the store and onto the concrete floor.

The challenge for the contractor was to complete the project in the 12 hours between the store’s closing at night and opening in the morning. Within this tight deadline, all merchandise had to be removed from the area, including racks and counters. Workers needed to tear up the existing carpet and tile and grind the concrete to a smooth surface. The crew would then apply three layers of white acrylic stain over the concrete, while allowing each layer to dry, and then add a clear topcoat.

With time of the essence, the contractor, Performance Floor Systems Inc., of Yorba Linda, Calif., decided to use an ultraviolet (UV)-curable coating manufactured by DSM of Elgin, Ill. A typical application is 0.3 to 0.5 millimeters. The coating can have a high-gloss or satin finish.

Once the resin is applied, it remains in a liquid state until a UV cure unit passes over it. As the light passes over the uncured resin, it cures within a fraction of a second, even before the wheels of the cure unit can touch soft, uncured material. Hand-held UV cure units are available to cure smaller projects and hard-to-reach places. Another benefit to instant curing: No unpleasant odors lingered for the store’s morning shoppers.

After the curing was complete, workers brought merchandise, racks, and counters back in place. This was accomplished with time to spare. Pleased with the projects’s success, the retail chain has installed the manufacturer’s UV coatings in its other locations.

For more on the manufacturer in this story, visit www.dsm.com/floorcoatings.