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concrete glossary

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Sacrificial Coating

A coating applied on the surface of a floor, providing the sealer or topcoat with an extra layer of protection from being damaged by external contaminates or abrasive materials.

Salt Finish

See Rock Salt Finish

Sample/Sample Board

A small piece of flooring that acts as a representation of the final product.

Sand Screen

A product used with a buffer to sand a wood floor before it's sealed and recoated. Ranges from a very fine grit to a very coarse grit (40 to 240 grit).

Sandblast Stenciling

A design technique wherein a stencil is applied over concrete or another surface, then sandblasted to create texture in exposed areas.


The act of using sand propelled at a high speed onto a surface to clean or roughen it.

Saturated Surface Dry (SSD)

A condition where any holes in the concrete are filled with water but there is no water on the exposed surface.


The act of sawing joints or scoring concrete using a concrete saw.


A problem that occurs when concrete freezes and thaws and the surface chips or flakes off.


A device that uses rotary impact cutters to clean or even out concrete surfaces.

Scoring Concrete

The act of using a groover or other tool to create grooves or lines in concrete, often for decoration.

Scratch Coat

A coat of plaster that is scratched while wet in order to create a more textured surface that the finish coat can bond to more effectively.

Screed Box

A walk-behind device often used to apply an epoxy coating, similar to a lawn fertilizer spreader.


A coat that is applied to the surface of a floor before applying finish or other coats, which prevents them from being absorbed into the flooring itself. Also may be applied as a final finishing step to a flooring surface to add protection and moisture resistance.


See Broadcast


Separating of components in a solution or mixture.

Self-Leveling Overlay

An overlay which levels naturally by gravity rather than by using a trowel or other spreading tool.

Set / Setting

When a product has begun to harden, dry, or cure, it is in its initial setting. When a product is completely hardened, dried, or cured, it is called final setting.

Shot Blasting

A method used to clean or even out concrete surfaces, which involves shooting round iron at high speeds onto the surface.

Skim Coat

See Microtopping


A measurement of how thick or thin wet concrete is by measuring how far it flows.


A substance that other substances are dissolved in.


Describes concrete that has cracked and broken away at its joints.

Spiked Kneeboards

Kneeboards that have spikes attached on the underside to elevate the user off the surface of the floor.

Spiked Roller

A device that looks like a paint roller but has spikes built in that release trapped gas when rolled across concrete.

Splatter Coat

A finishing coat that is splattered unto the floor to create a unique appearance.

Spray-Down System

An overlay that is splattered or sprayed onto a flooring surface, usually about 1/8" deep.

Stained Concrete

Concrete that has been stained. Different areas can be separated by sawcutting grooves and then colored different colors.

Stamped Concrete

Concrete that is given a pattern of brick, cobblestone, tile, wood, or another surface by using a stamp.

Stamped Overlay

A concrete overlay " ¾" thick that can be laid over an existing concrete floor. The overlay is stamped with a pattern to appear as brick, stone, wood, or many other textured surfaces.

Stamping Mats

Mats usually made from polyurethane that are used to imprint shallow patterns that resemble brick, stone, wood, or another textured surface.

Static Cracks

Small hairline cracks in the surface of a finishing material or concrete.

Stenciled Concrete

A design technique where a stencil is applied over concrete, which may contain a pattern that is imprinted into the cement or may leave an exposed area that is then colored or etched.


A tool with a straight edge that is used to strike off wet concrete to the correct elevation, to draw a straight line, or for many other purposes.


The act of leveling wet concrete to the correct elevation.


The surface that the flooring is installed on. Generally the subfloor.

Surface Preparation

The act of preparing a subfloor by cleaning, drying, and texturizing it for proper adhesion before applying a coating material.

Surface Retarder

A chemical that slows the drying of lacquers and other materials, which is often applied to concrete to allow the cement paste to be washed away, exposing aggregate.