An Old Floor Gets a New Life

Get Real Surfaces, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., recently completed a 4,500-square-foot dyed and polished floor at a Ronald McDonald House in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The facility provides a temporary “home-away-from-home” for pediatric cancer patients and their families. The project took Get Real Surfaces’ four-person crew 11 days to complete, says the company’s head of sales and marketing, Paul Bishop.

The building experienced a flood in its basement which caused its old vinyl flooring to dislodge. Unable to ensure flooding would not happen again, the Ronald McDonald House wanted a floor that could stand up to any future flooding issues. “Polished concrete was the perfect solution because there is no topical coating to delaminate,” Bishop says.

With the floor located in the building’s basement, the Get Real Surfaces crew had to not only take into account its own safety but also the safety of the residents living and working in the rest of the building. “The project environment affects the choices regarding the equipment and products we can use,” Bishop says. “In this environment we had to take into consideration the residents (sick children) so there was no way we would use acetone dyes or propane equipment that would emit noxious fumes. Instead we chose electric equipment and water-based dye to complete the application.”

Achieving a fantastic floor

Prior to Get Real Surfaces’ phase of the project, contractors removed the old floor coatings. The Get Real crew was left to handle removal of the remaining glue and coatings. Using two Lavina 25 grinding/polishing machines, they started with an aggressive six metals pad and wet grinding. While two crew members did the grinding, a third crew member followed with an auto scrubber to pick up the slurry. The fourth crew member was a utility man doing work wherever needed.
After grinding with 70-grit metals, the crew did some patching. The old, existing slab had a lot of holes, so Get Real used Rapid Set Cement from CTS Cement Manufacturing to patch them up. Once the patches were set the crew continued grinding.

After polishing with a 400-grit resin, Get Real dyed the floor using Consolideck’s Welsh Slate water-based dye. Bishop says they used a sprayer to apply the dye and a microfiber mop to work it into the floor. “A regular mop will give you streaks. Microfiber pads are very fine so they push the dye into the floor a lot better. It’s the most consistent way to get the dye into the floor,” he explains.
After dyeing, crews spray applied Consolideck LS hardener/densifier. After letting the dye and densifier dry, Get Real hit the floor with another pass with the 400-grit resin abrasives before a final pass with an 800-grit resin, Bishop says. To finish, Get Real Surfaces crews applied Consolideck LS Guard. Then they burnished the floor to set the sealer, he says. “In order for the LS Guard to meld to the concrete you have to heat the surface up,” Bishop says. “Otherwise it will just be a topical sealer.”

The polished finish gave the owner a basement floor that would hold up to any future flooding and an attractive surface for the staff and families that make the Ronald McDonald House their home.

Project Summary

Company: Get Real Surfaces,
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Services Offered: Precast bathtubs, countertops and backsplashes, fireplaces, furniture and fixtures, tile, sinks and vanities, and outdoor concrete elements; Cast-in-place floors and countertops; diamond polishing new and existing concrete floors; refurbishing existing concrete floors; trowel-applied concrete microtoppings for floors and walls; plaster finishes.

Number of years in polishing: 2

Project Size: 4,500 square feet

Key Products & Equipment: Superabrasive, Inc. Lavina 25 grinding/polishing units; autoscrubber; Advanced Diamond Tooling metal and resin grinding and polishing pads; Prosoco Consolideck LS hardener/densifier, LS Guard, water-based dye and heat pads; Patriot sprayer; microfiber mop; CTS Cement Manufacturing Rapid Set Cement.