Tuesday, July 07, 2009

More about the floor...

My concrete floor project has definitely been a 2 steps forward and 1 step back experiment. In fact sometimes I think we've gone 3 steps back. The idea was fairly simple but it's turned out to be quite the project. I just wanted to color the concrete, pour it over the in floor heat tubes, then polish it once it had cured.

But we ran into some trouble. The first grind of the floor went pretty well. All the trowel marks, etc. were polished off. But we'd sprinkled some aluminum filings in the surface of the concrete, hoping to give it a bit of a sparkle when polished. Instead, the filings clumped together, and then were pulled out of the concrete by the polisher, leaving little holes & divots. What a mess.

So Rob though we could mix some black concrete/grout mixture and trowel (or squeegee) it over the floor. Then grind it off, leaving behind the filled in holes. Didn't work that way. I think it's just too soft, so we're going to let it cure a few more weeks and try grinding again. But I really don't know if that will work.

Here are some pictures of the grinding and grouting process.

This is the living room with 1/2 of the first application of grout ground down, and 1/2 still curing. We didn't finish the grinding, it wasn't working out too well.

Here is the pile of 'sand' swept up during the grinding. This stuff is almost like talcum powder and really gets into the air.

Here is Rob grinding in the closet, you can see all the dust in the air around him. What a mess.

This is the floor with the 2nd batch of grout applied. This was taken on Friday afternoon. It's curing while the guys work inside and get the cabinets, etc. installed.

Then on Monday, I decided to grind along the edges of the floor, where the normal grinding machine won't reach. So Paul can install the baseboard, etc. I'm planning to use a buffer instead of a grinder to remove the rest of this grout, and I'll probably be working on that in August. So, I rented a hand grinder, what a job. I ground 3 or so inches away from each wall, and then ground out both of these small closets because the buffer won't fit inside them very well. I'm too old to do this much hand work :-). This looks pretty rough, but it will do for now though I have some touch up to do. Look at the dust on the walls though. I spent all of Tuesday cleaning that up.

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