Floors, floors, floors
Original concrete floor installation
The floors were originally installed by Meld-USA of Raleigh, which has since been bought by a Michigan-based company, Landscape Forms. They no longer do this type of work.
The pale red color that is in most homes was added to the concrete while it was in the mixer.Two homes (including 111) had an additional dark red stain applied on top of the original pale red. It was then waxed on top of that.
Slabs to be installed and protected as finish floors. Concrete mixtures , finishing, and protection to be done in conjunction with Architect and MeldUSA, whose specifications for installation and protection are referenced and included in this document. Color in homes to be Santa Fe # 1117 in Davis color line. Common House to be “San Diego Buff” in Davis color line. IMPORTANT: See also Division 3: Concrete.
Slab finishing to include final cleaning and finish treatment by MeldUSA. Buyer options to include additional stain and finishes at additional cost. Contractor to follow MeldUSA guidelines and schedule final finish for each unit with seven days advance notice to both Architect and subcontractor. Contractor to coordinate all finish slab work closely with MeldUSA.
Slabs are to be treated as finish floors, and should be protected as a fine wood to be stained. Do not write on slab with anything except pencil. If any chalk must be used it must be blue chalk only and before framing. No red chalk is permitted. The slab surface must be kept clean and protected. See also Division 3: Concrete.
Quotes gathered for damaged floors in unit #135, March 2018:
Option #1: spot repair method
Precision & Decorative Concretes 919-730-0623
Grind concrete floor. This is the best preparation for resealing a floor by removing paint, stains, oils, waxes
and sealers, ect. and create a clean canvas to work with. Includes removing coatings down to clean concrete.
Some aggergate may show through after concrete is ground and will not have the same color as the concrete around it (the aggergate will have its natural color as the pigments of the concrete [or stains added after the concrete is ground] will not penetrate the aggergate). Dust control equipment included is shrouded grinders with attached vacuum. Concrete will be smooth at finish (unless there are holes in concrete) but does not include polishing of concrete.
Apply polyurethane (low gloss low VOC water based sealer takes 1 week for full cure at 60 degrees) or
polyaspartic (high gloss 1 day cure). Includes suppling and installing sealer according to manufactures.
Includes two coats. Cleaning not included and not needed if concrete is ground.
Option #2: overall refinishing method
Robert Witcraft Decorative Concrete Coatings, LLC
• Repair cracks to floor if necessary
• Diamond grind floor to resurface and setup new profile for coating material.
Apply one (1) coat colored primer 10 mils
• Apply one (1) coat metallic epoxy 20 mils
• Apply one (1) coat Poly-siloxane clear coat 5 mils
$5600 [Note than Geneva and Terry went with a different finish, which also looks beautiful, but this price is for the more expensive metallic finish. You can see the options on his website.]
Caring for your floors
A few community members have recommended waxing the floors with a masonry wax about once a year. This sacrificial coat will help protect the floors from stains.
Former owner Dave Bellin suggests that they can be cleaned with a power brush, then after they have dried, applying hot oil (unclear as to what kind). Alternatively, you can use a floor stripper, followed by commercial floor wax.
What's involved in refinishing concrete floors?
The following is based only on the experience of the Collins/Fischer household. Your mileage may vary.
This is a messy job. You will need to move out of your house for at least a week and move all of your furniture off the first floor. If using Witcraft, they will remove your kitchen appliances, doors and toilet for you. They will also remove the quarter-round molding of your baseboards so that the epoxy can get to the edges of the floor. You will need to replace that yourself afterwards.
The first step is to grind the entire surface of the floor. This not only removes stains, it roughens the top layer to accept the epoxy. Only a millimeter or so are ground off, so this does not hurt the pipes underneath if you have radiant heat.
After the surface is cleaned of all the dust, epoxy is applied. Witcraft can apply metallic coatings using a variety of artistic techniques. See here for examples: www.witcraftpainting.com/metallic-floors-metallix.
Collins/Fischer chose the other main technique, known as broadcast floors, in which tiny flakes of varying colors are spread heavily over a base coat of epoxy, giving the floor a granite-like appearance. (www.witcraftpainting.com/color-flakes). This method is cheaper than the metallic coating process.
After the flakes are spread, a clear epoxy coat is applied on top. It takes 3-7 days to fully cure.
The epoxy coating is supposed to be extremely durable and impervious to staining. It is recommended to put a wax coat on it once a year. (Feel free to ask in a year how ours are holding up.)
At least one Pacifica resident covered the concrete with stone tile and reports no difference in the radiant heat’s effectiveness.
Alternatively, accept that the stains on your floors are part of your house’s living history, each with its own story.
Refinishing your floors
If your stains aren’t coming out after scrubbing, you may need to have your floors refinished.
The following companies do such work. The Collins/Fischer household in 111 has experience with only one company, Robert Witcraft Painting, and is pleased with the results, but is providing the other names as a resource for others.
1. Robert Witcraft Painting Highly rated on Angie’s List. The process he used to put down a new epoxy floor in 111 is described in more depth below. He says this work generally runs $6-$8 per square foot for the metallic coating finish; slightly less for the broadcast finish (both explained below). It cost Collins/Fischer $3,500 for the entire first floor. They are pleased with the finished floor and with the service he and his co-worker provided.
2. J n R Concrete, also highly rated on Angie’s List.
3. Precision and Decorative Concretes . Based in Durham; found in a Google search.
4. Express Yourself Paint. This was the painting company Collins/Fischer used to paint their home interior. The company also mentioned that they do concrete floors.