36 Hour Fix: Concrete Micro-topping Breakroom Floor

Let’s face it. Things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes great ideas can produce poor results. Much of our business comes from these situations. Recently, we were contacted by a contracting firm who was wrapping up a new credit union branch. The original design called for sealed concrete in the hallway, bathrooms, and break room. The contractor applied a sealer and continued to finish the project. Unfortunately, what they sealed was a slab with rust stains, chalk lines, Sharpie markings, concrete patches around the drains, and a bunch of red fire stop caulking where every wire or conduit passed through the floor. I’d venture to guess that when the designer called for sealed concrete, this wasn’t part of the vision. By the time we were contacted, the branch was open and the condo building above was fully occupied. This presented some challenges in how to go about fixing the mess.

Original sealed concrete floor with stains

The original sealed concrete with rust stains.

The first challenge was to pick a system that could be installed start to finish Saturday afternoon at closing to Sunday night, allowing the contractor to put everything back together on Monday, which was a holiday. Not only did the products have to be fast drying, working after hours meant that we couldn’t make a lot of noise, so grinding the floor was not an option. Everything had to be low VOC’s since we were working directly below occupied condos units. We chose a Miracote concrete micro-topping with integral color and sealed it with a water based epoxy primer and a fast drying aliphatic polyurethane top-coat made by Arizona Polymers.

Concrete Micro-topping on the hallway to the break room

The newly resurfaced hallway to the break room

Concrete micro-toppings like the Miracote product can achieve a great bond to an existing surface through the use of a primer coat when grinding the floor isn’t an option. We used a diamond sanding pad to rough and remove the bulk of the original sealer on the surface without making a lot of noise. We then applied the primer and two coats of micro-topping with a magic trowel. By using an integral color we eliminated the need for a separate coloring step in our already shortened time frame. We installed the base coat with a darker integral color and the second coat with a lighter color to get a nice artistic effect.

Credit Union Bathroom with Integrally Colored Concrete Overlay

Credit Union Bathroom with Integrally Colored Concrete Overlay

After the two coats of micro-topping were installed we came back the following morning and rolled on the epoxy primer and later that day the Urethane top-coat. On Monday, the contractor installed the cove base, moved the refrigerator back into the break room, re-installed the toilets and put everything else back just as it was Saturday when the employees left.

On Tuesday went the credit union opened for business, they had a nice durable concrete floor that would be easy to maintain without all the ugly stains and marking of the original sealed concrete floor.

The break room floor micro-topping hid all the stains of the original concrete.

The break room floor micro-topping hid all the stains of the original concrete.

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