Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Don't know if my feet are gonna like it, but it looks great

Blogging has been a little slow lately - I haven't gotten much accomplished out there with things picking up here at home. C'est la vie. I got out there Sunday to get some more work done on the deck (and to await a Sears repairmen - for out non-functioning refrigerator - who never showed up):

And I got to take a look at our freshly polished concrete basement slab, which looks pretty terrific:

It's actually a bit darker than I thought it would be. And it sharpened, rather than smoothed out, the visible texture of the troweling from when the slab was poured, which also surprised me. We chose not to have any stain or color added. I think it looks pretty great. Here's a close-up (I had to use the flash, which distorts the color a little - it's more of a brown; and the stone is just the aggregate in the concrete - we didn't add anything to get that speckled appearance, which is more prominent in some places than in others):

I'll say just a couple of things about the process (which I was not there for and didn't see in action). The machine can't polish edges very well, so the first half-inch or so off the wall is a bit rough. This is fine for us - we'll have square trim like we have upstairs to cover it up. But polishing an open floor (before framing) would avoid a lot of that. It also appears to have been VERY messy. The wet grinding creates a kind of slurry that gets thrown around - it's all over the drywall, and sometimes reaches more than a foot above the floor (though no dust anywhere). There was also some tearing of the drywall paper where the machine bumped it. Any greater level of finish in the basement and we could have been in a bit of trouble. Now we're going to have to be cafeful with what kind of mess we make on the floor down there, but I think doing this earlier on would have been better (though really there's a down side no matter what). And - this is weird - there are some faint brown stains on the floor where insects have died. I'll keep an eye on that.

Our guy was Jim Cuviello at Complete Decorative Concrete Solutions on the Maryland eastern shore. I'd recommend him (though the only other residential concrete polisher I could find was in OHIO!). Cost $6750 for roughly 1000 sf.


Anonymous said...

Looks great! :)


Anonymous said...

I must say everything is coming along nicly. I do think that was a ton of money to pay for a concrete floor..
Loved the IPE handling descriptions. I was toying with the idea of using that myself. After your detailed install descriptions...I don't think I will! Way too much work for us.

CAn't wait until you get to the railing install

Chris said...

Hi Pat. The cost was comparable to what a wood installation would have cost (though we could have done a wood floor installation ourselves and saved some money). Decent bamboo (and ours is pretty good) costs upwards of $3/sf, and installation is usually about the same. Sarah was all for bamboo down there; I thought the conrete would keep it brighter and would make for a better radiant surface. And I've always wanted a polished conrete floor, so now we'll know whether we want one if we ever do this for a fulltime house!