Monday, November 1, 2010

finally.. floors

Wow... we have been so busy at the house, so busy in fact that I have not sat myself down to share what we have been doing (sorry about that)!
The good news is that I now have lots of catching up to do, so without further ado, here's the first on my list of things to show you.

The concrete is in!!  6" of solid grey loveliness.

Isn't it pretty?
The decision to do polished concrete for the floors was one of the easiest decisions we have made so far.  We have always wanted radiant floor heating, and as part of our effort to reduce the layers of finishes on the house it only made sense to leave the concrete exposed.  It also acts as a perfect thermal mass to absorb and radiate our passive solar heat.  The fact that I drool over polished concrete photos like this one has nothing to do with it.. really...

photo from desire to inspire

Our concrete finisher Shawn (S. Guidi Concrete Finishing) recommended polishing the concrete with a power trowel, then coating it with wax (later).  We had him look at the floor in the new grocery section of our local Wal Mart as inspiration.  Don't laugh.. that floor is gorgeous.

Two sample pads to experiment with
the finish right now

the right side has been acid etched,
the white marks are the fibres showing through

We are still experimenting with the finish, to get it just right.  Acid etching the concrete takes away the top layer of concrete, removes trowel marks and exposes some sand.  It also, unfortunately, exposes some fibres.  Right now I am leaning toward the un-etched version.  The next step will be to put some wax on it and see what happens.  

For those of you who are interested, here are the technical details... the pad averages 6" thick, and is about 1700 square feet.  Double fibre was added to the mix for extra strength, and the concrete was poured over three inches of foam and one layer of re bar (18" on center).

Bob the Newfie cutting the lines

well done Bob!

The cut lines (by BTN contracting) are in theory going to minimize cracking, but we are well aware that cracking may be inevitable.  We chose a simple over sized grid, with no lines in the bedrooms.   
We will love you, floor.  Cracks and all.

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