Concrete Takes Flight

When officials from Agio and the Kalamazoo Air Zoo approached Scott Mulder about finishing its 56,000-sq.-ft. floor with the company’s FloorPix, he was skeptical.

“Nobody had ever done this big a floor with the FloorPix product,” Mulder says. “We had a lot of concerns.”

Mulder’s company, Mulder Waterproofing and Sealants, Kalamazoo, Mich., had done some small projects with FloorPix, but nothing near the scope of the Air Zoo. Before the project started, Mulder completed a 1,700 sq. ft. experiment in the garage of the museum’s executive director.

“They loved it, and it helped us get a feel for the project,” he says.

FloorPix allows photos and other art to be printed on fabric, which is then bonded to the floor in pieces as wide as 16 ft. For this project, the pieces were 12 1/2 ft. by 12 1/2 ft.

Before laying the FloorPix, Mulder prepared the concrete by filling the expansion joints with urethane caulk and using epoxy in the saw-cut joints. Then, they put down a primer coat and lay the fabric.

The joints between panels were camouflaged by coloring in the gaps with a marker. “I know it’s there because I’m looking for it, but a normal person can’t see it,” Mulder says.

Mulder has some words of advice for anyone thinking of using FloorPix. You need to be very experienced in using 100 percent solid epoxies, he says. Mulder recommends practicing on small projects around the shop before taking on a project for a paying client.

He also cautions that you need to watch for outgassing of the air bubbles entrapped in the concrete and recommends having a spike roller on the job to pop air bubbles. And plan on taking your time: “It’s very time-intensive,” he says. “You have to be very careful cutting each piece and making sure they fit square. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle that’s thousands of square feet.”

For more information, contact Scott Mulder at (269) 381-8100 or visit www.agioimaging.com.

Have an idea for a “Closing Concept?” Contact editor Jonathan Sweet at Jonathan.Sweet@cygnusb2b.com or (800) 547-7377, ext. 321.

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