Monday, July 2, 2007

Atrium Floor... 3rd Time's the Charm

The atrium floor has really been bugging me. After 2 attempts to get the look we wanted, I get the crazy idea to try again.

Found a concrete grinder with diamond bit inserts at Sunbelt rentals. Picked it up on a Friday and returned it on Monday... total cost $134.00. (Why didn't we do this the first time?)

Steve worked all weekend to grind off the concrete stain we applied and the 1/16th inch of concrete to expose the aggregate. This was a long and frustrating process.
Yes it was frustrating.... and not because the concrete was so tricky to grind down. It was frustrating because I couldn't figure out how to make the three grinding blocks stay put on the machines rotating wheel. They're held in place with small hardwood wedges and I wasn't hammering them into place good enough. A block, wedge and/or two blocks would go flying across the room without warning. ACK! Sometimes after 10 minutes of grinding, sometimes after 10 seconds of grinding. That and the ShopVac filter would clog up every 1/2 hour or so... but over all it wasn't awfully tricky, just my ineptness made it take longer than it should have. -Steve

The grinder did a great job, but left quite a bit around the edges and the finish wasn't as smooth as we had hoped for. So back to Sunbelt for more equipment! They located a hand grinder that would get right up to the edge of the wall, plus the diamond bit was a little finer so it could smooth out the swirls. (Approx. $50)

Sorry Steve... one more night of conrete dust in your hair, eyes, nose... but it was worth it. With a final coat of concrete sealer we finally have the floor we wanted.
I'm still finding concrete dust in places I didn't know were places!!! ACK!

1 comment:

Nick and Marci said...

Your atrium floor looks great. Good job with getting the aggregate to show!

For the past two weeks,the professional floor company we hired to polish our floors has been grinding down our living/dining, kithen/family and office floors. Total estimated cost was around 5k.

After seeing your floor, I'm beginning to wonder if just renting the equipment and doing it ourselves would have been a better idea. The company we hired has had quite a few equipment problems, from getting the wrong diamond pads for their machine to having their machine break down. It has taken them two full weeks to grind the floor down to a salt and pepper finish, with almost half of the floor not being polished since they didn't grind it down enough on the first pass to level out the low spots. Now they are suggesting that we cover the floors with 3-4 layers of wax to cover the defects. They are also starting to hint that they want more $$$ to cover the cost of the additional hours of work (that were due to equipment failure). They aren't done polishing yet. So, maybe things will look ok once they are finally done. We aren't going to pay them any more money though. I guess this is what Angie's List is good for? And, the CCB?

Keep up the good work!

Marci & Nick