Restoring a Cherokee red concrete floor !

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ursousa
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:51 am
Location: Collingswood NJ

Restoring a Cherokee red concrete floor !

Post by ursousa »

We have lived in a Frank Weiss house designed in 1952 for over 10 years now and have decided to remove all wall to wall carpet which exposed the original poured concrete floors in Cherokee red aka Wright which are original to the house but in crappy shape. Would appreciate any info and help from anyone who has experience in the matter .
The floors are in relatively good shape as far as cracks , some perimeter damage due to tac- stips , and glue/mastc residue here and there. Over all color wise they seem pinker now because they are not sealed and shiny.

RA
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:10 pm

Post by RA »

Scofield company has concrete dying systems which used to include a maintenance system. After the floor was finished with dyed concrete, you could buff on a liquid which was the same color as the dye in the concrete to achieve a polished look. I seem to remember a color called terra cotta which was very close to Cherokee Red... They used to have reps who were very helpful.

peterm
Posts: 6303
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Here is a great paste wax which you might want to try after cleaning your floors. Trewax Indian Sand mahogany paste wax:

http://www.idealtruevalue.com/servlet/t ... Can/Detail

Tim
Posts: 409
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:52 pm

Post by Tim »

Start slow. And take small steps. There are few do-overs with concrete.

It is obvious, but I have seen a lot of floors that were worked over to quickly and with little thought.

Good luck.

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4453
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

This may be something that would help you restore your floors:

1) Patch cracks and tack strips
2) Resurface: http://www.concretesolutions.com/SPRAY_ ... _main.html
3) Dye: http://www.concretesolutions.com/concrete_dye.html

peterm
Posts: 6303
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

ursousa-

As helpful as Paul's links are, I would only resurface as a last resort. The pinkish color which you are describing will become richer and darker with some wax, preferably the tinted paste wax. And since you have few cracks, I would first try patching the nail holes (I found this very difficult, and I am not yet happy with my own results...) then clean with a mild soap, and wax. You might be surprised...

Do you have any photos which you could share, so we can get an idea of the condition?

Reidy
Posts: 1619
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:30 pm
Location: Fremont CA

Post by Reidy »

Is this paint or tinted concrete? If it's the first, you might consider the possibility that the wall-to-walls are there because the paint didn't hold up and the only satisfactory solution (other than the wall-to-walls) is something radical and expensive.

RA
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:10 pm

Post by RA »

I second Tim's advice. If a built-in overhang such as seating is available, a small test patch underneath is a good place to start.

If it is determined that the floor was painted and you want to repaint, Coronado makes a great concrete paint with a color similar to Cherokee red as well. It holds up very well even on exterior patios. Painting concrete though is very hard to reverse.

pharding
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: River Forest, Illinois
Contact:

Post by pharding »

You are fortunate that you have expert restoration architects on this in your state. You should just hire Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino. They are national experts on Usonian floors. They are great people and restoration architects on top of it all. For what you will get, they are a rare bargain.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

sjnorris
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:04 pm

Post by sjnorris »

Tarantino Studio

Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino

http://tarantinostudio.com/start.html

ursousa
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:51 am
Location: Collingswood NJ

Post by ursousa »

Thanks so much for your input everyone it is greatly appreciated. Honestly I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown...well that is at first now I think it may be easier than I thought and with care it should come up very beautifully. I should have stated that the floor is NOT painted ..the Cherokee red color was troweled into the wet concrete when the floor was poured so it is intrigal to the concrete. This is the way Mr Wright liked it done . The color is deeper in some places and I so believe that with wax or a finish it will deepen all over again. It was the original architect's intention to have this floor in the house as the base floor , no carpet or tile covering it so the concrete job is beautifully done with hardly a dip or raised area. And amazingly it has no score marks so it is one solid area of unbroken concrete in a 20 by 27 foot room. The milwork in the room copies the milwork line for line in the 1912 prairie style Booth house. It has some hairline cracks which are not horrible and of course the tacstrip damage around the perimeter. research is telling us we need to have the floors ground down, and then polished by machine for the best results. I understand after seeing The Zimmerman house that the floors were sealed with something called Colorundum. This approximates the color the floors in my house are right now.

peterm
Posts: 6303
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

If they are in reasonable condition, why do you need to grind them down?

ursousa
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:51 am
Location: Collingswood NJ

Post by ursousa »

The process of grinding is really the professional way to restore them. Without "coating " the floors in something which can wear off in time and will require maintaining often. A very very thin layer of floor is ground leaving the concrete smooth but removing the mastic from the previous installation of carpet and underlayments. This takes the concrete to a clean slate finish. Then several grades of grinding pads are used going higher and higher just as in sanding fine furniture . At some point a densifier is sprayed on which binds into the concrete giving it true hardness..then a final grinding polishes the floor to a marble like shine......and that is intrinsic in the floor not a coating which has to be maintained. It will be the floor itself that is polished to a hard shine. It makes fo a very beautiful finish which is impervious to water and wear.

KevinW
Posts: 1288
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:41 pm

Post by KevinW »

Grinding down will expose the aggregate, resulting in a most unpleasant effect.
KevinW

ursousa
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:51 am
Location: Collingswood NJ

Post by ursousa »

The only draw back to the process is.....cost...you can rent the grinders and do it yourself....but we have absolutely no experience in these matters so we are a little afraid .......or retain a professionals services at a cost of $3.oo a Sq Ft which in our case is at least $1500 dollars for the living room alone , add in the dining room and we are talking about $2500.00

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