lemonade

an ongoing construction issue has been the quality of the concrete slab finish.  the intent was for the concrete slab – stained and sealed – to be the finished floor.  our reasoning included aesthetics, durability, ease of maintenance, unfettered thermal mass (radiant slab and passive solar) and a responsive surface for jessica and her wheelchair.  in spite of overwhelming assurances from the concrete sub that the slab job would be “primo”, it is a mess!  we have ripples, voids, control joints in the wrong place, slab recess at the wheelchair lift too shallow, slab recess at the bathroom/shower (for tile) overlooked  – basically, its a FRIG.  we could have forced the issue with the sub and had the slab removed/re-poured.  but, due to schedule AND the radiant tubing throughout the slab, we opted to punt and re-group.

after months of debate, research and haggling, we’ve decided to salvage the slab via a ground and polished slab.  as a result, the finished floor will now have a crisp finish and better fulfill our above-mentioned goals.  the aesthetic will be consistent with the clean interior detailing of the house and the planned-for concrete countertops.  jessica and i are excited with the prospect of making lemonade out of our lemon-slab!  of course, it will cost more, but we are confident in its value.

here’s a photo of the sample slab at the subcontractor’ shop (NOT same guy that poured the original slab!).

the colored squares are acetone stain samples – we are not staining, just going with the natural concrete color/finish known as “salt and pepper” – not a great photo, but you can get the idea.

jon meade of meade designs in portland will be doing the grinding and polishing work.  here’s the basic scope of work: “Grind, hone, densify, polish and seal concrete slab. Planetary polish will begin at low grit of approximately 70grit, and proceed through 1800 grit.  A lithium densifier will be applied at 400 grit.  Work will proceed with HEPA system vacuums wherever possible.  Remedial grouting to porous areas will be used to those areas that require it.” 

the work should start as soon as we get permanent power connected – scheduled to happen before thanksgiving – we hope!  that’s another story….

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