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I live in FLLW's 1950 JA Sweeton house over in Cherry Hill, NJ, about 4-5 miles from Collingswood. Our floor was colored with the AC Horn Colorundum. Where the floor has cracked, the thickness of the coating becomes visible and I have found that the coating is at most only 1/8" thick, below that is standard concrete with a course aggregate. All concrete has aggregate in the mix, particularly floor slabs. I would strongly caution you to know exactly what the result will be if you grind or polish the floor...from what I can tell from examining the cracks indoors and the worn/weathered areas on our porch, the smooth, colored finish gives way to a courser concrete with large stone aggregate just below the red Colorundum finish.
I too am looking to restore the finish of our slabs, though my interest is on the porch and exterior steps rather than the interior. So far, I've just waxed the interior and let the cracks be. Any suggestions from others, notably dtc at the Dobkins house, on how best to refinish a weathered exterior slab would be welcome.
In the current living room we are talking about some chunks of concrete have come loose around one of the floor to ceiling glass walls and in examining this chunk and the part in the floor itself ..there is no aggregate.....just red all the way through concrete! It is not a top coat of Colorundum it is intrigal to the concrete itself.....I don't know what else to say but I am just telling it as it appears to be. We do know that inside the pour there are rebar layed in a criss cross pattern. If you look up grinding concrete floors on you tube you will see the demo video which can explain it mush better than I can .
From what you have said:
a) the floors were covered up and therefore must have been basically protected. b) the tack strips were probably confined to the perimeter of the floor c) the slight irregularities of color are to be expected with these floors, and are actually a source of much of the patina, beauty and character of the floors, and what distinguishes them from a painted surface. d) you are fortunate to have very few cracks. e) even if you decide to "grind" your floors down, in what way does that solve your problem with the tack strips? Holes from nails are much deeper than you could possibly grind, and would therefore still need filling.
To answer the question which you put to me earlier, I patched nail holes with an acrylic concrete patch. Unfortunately, I am not at the house now, and don't remember the name of the product. It needs to be mixed with a colorant. I found it very difficult to match the color and to get the surface exactly flush with the surrounding concrete, and we haven't yet finished the project. The stuff dries relatively fast and hard as a rock.
Oh, and I am sure that other Wright homeowners who have the concrete floors would agree with this: The maintenance of these floors is nominal, certainly not a nightmare, and they seldom need to be waxed (maybe every few years?)
Is it possible that your house was designed by Frank Weise, not Weiss?
He was a very important architect in the Philadelphia area...
Now I see what you are up against. It looks like those yellowish patches might be glue. We had to scrape those for hours at Lamberson. You probably will need to use some sort of machine, especially to eliminate that small square grid...
But the good news is: Overall the floors look great, and the pinkish color should be a nice warm red with some wax, preferably that mahogany paste wax which I recommended.
BTW- It looks like a great house! And your cat, (Russian Blue by any chance?...) will keep an eye on it for you...
It is a great house , we love living here and are for the past 10 years have been trying to return it to it's former glory , and update it without changing it too much. That is not always easy as techniques of building have changed and living styles have changed , and frankly a house with no basement attic or garage is a bit difficult to replumb or upgrade electrically. Let alone given the fact that it is at least 75 to 80 percent glass interior walls included! Put it all on a concrete slab and you have the homeowners redo nightmare.
That is out little girl Sophie and yes she is a Russian blue one of three we have owned , down to two right now, our big boy Nicholas died this past summer after a 18 wonderful years. Rocky the other boy does not stay still long enough to get a pic of...lol .
Not looking forward to scraping , so professionals it is going to be I am afraid.