Monday, January 4

Step 1: Floors

As anyone may know, this is a process. To get the house into living/working condition there are a few things that need to be completed first. Step 1 is the floors. As I have previously mentioned the house has a radiant heated red pigmented cement slab. The kitchen and bedrooms had carpet and both original bathrooms had linoleum that had been painted over. All other areas have the original slab exposed although they have been painted so there is chipping paint and scratches in areas. After pulling carpet we found the pad in the master bedroom had not been colored.

First thing we did was remove the carpeted areas from the bedrooms and kitchen area.

Please Read on for more >>>>>

After pulling the carpet in the kitchen this exposed yet another layer... linoleum with carpet glue on top. Let me tell you this, Removing any of this linoleum is a huge pain! All types of scrapers have been tested in combination with heat guns, hot water, and brunt force all with varying results. We've removed as much as we can with a floor scraper...although this leaves a small layer of paper/glue. Best we've found so far is hot water and chisel/razor. It's slow going for sure. Here are some additional photos.

I'd like to get back to the original floors and try and refinish them in some way. Please offer any options in the comments. I've contacted a few contractors for options and opinions. Here is what I've got so far:

Options are:

1. Having the floors grinded a very small amount to polish them a little, then sealing them. This will fill some of the cracks and sore spots in the original floors while removing the pant, not that I want to remove the flaws/character. First small areas need to be tested for desired results first. This would result in a finish that would be good for years. Price about the same as option 2.

2. Having a thin 1/32 cement/polymer overlay added to the slab to refinish the floors. Colors and finishes are endless. Guaranteed to not chip or crack with time. This iption would also be polished and sealed to prevent stains. This will clean up the floors completely and they will appear new. Contractor also recommended removing floor mounding as it's currently wood and in very poor condition because the cement floors and wall area constantly exchanging moisture with the wood trim. Trim would be replaced with a small curve up the edge of the block walls. This would also result in a finish that would be set forever. Price should be about the same as option 1.

3. Painting the floors. This is the least expensive option but they would need to be done every few years to conceal scratches or chips depending on paint type. This will also not look as nice as a finished and polished concrete but is a budget option.

4. ???? Any other ideas? I'm trying to reasearch difreent options and solutions. If there is something that can de done myself i'd love to do that. Have you ever refinished your cvement floors and can opper another option? add a comment as i'd love to hear from you.

The other decision is color. I once had envisioned another color on the floor but now I'm leaning to keeping the dark red. Only because this is the way that the house was intended to be. the red in any other house would be a highlight color, but here it's more like a nutral.

Decisions Decisions Decisions........

Offer any questions or opionions below!



Dostoy320 said...

I'm really looking forward to this blog because I love the architecture and the diy spirit.

One thing: When you're tearing into this old stuff, be mindful of asbestos. That old linoleum is a candidate.

Good luck and keep posting.

IM said...

Thanks for the warning...going to get it tested tonight, although most of it has already been removed.

IM said...

Test results are in....Asbestos Negative! Unfortunately that means onward with scraping.

Dostoy320 said...

Good to hear! Sorry if my comment caused you to spend money on an unnecessary test. Good luck with the scraping.

IM said...

no not at all... it's good to know!

on an Additional note... I've had a test spot grinded to see how the floors will look if we choose the grinded option. I'll have details soon!

The New Me! said...

Have you just thought about varnish/finishing the floor? That is, if you can get back enough to the original cement...

This store did that... and though it shows some wear in traffic patterns now after a few years, it was just gorgeous. Just like paint of course, needs an occasional touchup... though not as much as paint I imagine.

Just a thought. :) (That's probalby not the best picture of it, but it gives a general idea.) None of the pictures i could find really did justice to how beautiful it looked.

IM said...

Thanks for the idea... The problem is all the holes from tack strips and the bedrooms being a different color. never heard of varnishing the floor though... I'd imagine it's like an epoxy clear coating.

Anonymous said...

My daughter was horrified when I told her that the 50s house she was considering buying had floors covered in vinyl asbestos tile. I did some online research about how to safely remove it and read one trick that might be worth trying: dry ice placed on the old floor will (supposedly) cause it to pop loose. I guess this comes a little too late, though, doesn't it?

IM said...

thanks for the idea...never thought about that! Although you are a little late I'm sure others will prosper from this. Thanks!