Restoring a Cherokee red concrete floor !

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

Post by ursousa »

There is no aggregate....it is solid concrete.

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

Post by ursousa »

peterm...did you try using epoxy concrete or vinyl concrete for the patch as we were informed it gives better results than regular concrete. binds with the old concrete and does not crack or fall out.

DRN
Posts: 4073
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

ursousa:
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.
Last edited by DRN on Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by KevinW »

Aggregate is an ingredient of concrete, added for strength. If you grind, I bet you will expose coarse aggregate gravel.
KevinW

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

Post by ursousa »

Well here is our story about aggregate , or no aggregate ...we had our bathroom redone several years ago and in order to move a toilet over we had to jack hammer the poured concrete floor. This red concrete floor exposed absolutely no aggregate whatsoever. If this is badly done so be it but Mr Weise obviously followed a different process than Mr Wright even though he had the hots for said Mr Wright's design concept.
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 .

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

Post by ursousa »

DRN...we have heard of your home from a professor at Rutgers who did a write up or our own house for AIA New Jersey and our curosity was peaked to say the least.....my husband being an architect himself was very interested to know if your re-do stories were similar to ours.

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

Post by ursousa »

So is it everyones concensus to forego any type of grinding process for fear we may expose some type of gravel? This I positively do not want to do. Does it make sense to patch and then recoat with Cherokee red colored material be it Colorundum or some other ? What I would hate to do is open us up to some maintenance nightmare of upkeep . With buffer rentals and waxing constantly.

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

Post by peterm »

It would be so helpful if we could see images of the floor. If you would like, you could email me pictures, and I could post them.

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?)

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

Post by ursousa »

peterm..I would be more than happy to email you some photos no problem...actually I took a few today....but I can take more so you can see it a bit more clearly. Our floor is not scored. I do realise that FLW specified 4 ft squares ours is not scored at all and is one large expanse of red concrete.....

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

Post by peterm »

If you give me your email address, I will get back to you immediately. Too bad we don't have the option of private messaging...

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

Post by peterm »

Photos of the floor in question:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

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... :wink:

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

Post by ursousa »

Hello Peter, thanks for the great job of posting the pics. You are absolutely correct about the spelling of Mr Weise's name ....I can never seem to get it right , and yes he is the very same , very famous Philadelphia architect to whom you refer. He used more than one design conceit of FLW's in the fact that the millwork in this house was taken line for line from FLW's early prairie style Booth house. We uncovered the dining room floor on Saturday and to our very pleasant suprise found them to be in much better shape . There is no cracking at all , and very little damage from tac strips due to the fact that in that room they used the thermal break wood stip to nail into more often than not. And the color is a very deep red . We will have alot less work restoring those than we will in the living room.
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.

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

Post by ursousa »

Well it looks as though we may be getting some help in person after all. My brother in law who is a flooring installer by trade happens to have access to a machine stripper for the mastic. And he also owns a floor buffer. Before this week is out he says he will try to get here one day to see what we can do about at least removing all traces of glue from the floor. This will save us a ton of money.

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

Post by peterm »

Fantastic!

Please send me more pics, and I will gladly post them so we might all see the progress...

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

Post by ursousa »

I took some of the dining room floor, I have to download them ...but I will send as we do some work also....

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