July 3, 2019

Polished Concrete Flooring in Retail Store

“Wood flooring can expand and contract, affecting durability and surface quality,” said Gary Staso, Director of Construction for American Eagle Outfitters. “Compared to primarily all-wooden flooring, I put concrete in. I don’t have to worry about it.” 

Eneref Institute Examines Polished Concrete Flooring in Retail Spaces as a Sustainable and Appealing Option

“Wood flooring can expand and contract, affecting durability and surface quality. Compared to primarily all wooden flooring,” said Gary Staso, Director of Construction for American Eagle Outfitters. “I put concrete in. I don’t have to worry about it.”

As an aesthetic for American Eagle Outfitters, “We really like polished concrete flooring,” declares Michael Smith, Director of Store Design.

And polished concrete flooring, side-byside, in combination with inlaid wood pads, Smith added, “is really beautiful.”

American Eagle Outfitters developed the store design in 1998 with BAR Architects, of San Francisco, who helped move the retailer to polished concrete flooring. The look is achieved through a multi-step, progressively finer grinding system using specialized equipment with industrial fine diamond tooling to hone and polish a concrete surface.

As part of our Sustainable Flooring initiative, Eneref Institute interviewed a number of stakeholders involved with the floor design of the American Eagle Outfitters stores, including: Michael Smith, Director of Store Design and Gary Staso, Director of Construction for American Eagle Outfitters and David Schwing, an Architect with BAR Architects.

According to Schwing, polished concrete is a practical material that develops a nice patina over time while its integral, throughbody soft color conceals gouges and scrapes that occur in such high-traffic environments.

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Expertly polished concrete flooring requires substantially reduced maintenance compared to, for example, clear-coat epoxy floors. And unlike tile or carpet there is no material replacement cost.

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