If you have a typical plywood second story and you are considering having concrete floors installed, there are a few things to consider.
First you want to make sure there are no extreme low spots in the plywood. If there are and if it is a older house you might need to reinforce the floor joist the plywood is sitting on. You probably should consider this with any other ceramic or stone floor also. The weight of concrete floors is about the same if not less then installing ceramic tile and hardi-board. So if second story in your house is qualified to accept ceramic tile on the second story you will be ok with having concrete floors.
The next thing is you should not use self-leveling overlay material to get your concrete floors. This material is brittle and will crack excessively when the plywood moves a little bit. If you need guidlines on how to install concrete floors on a second story follow the link http://mvlconcrete.com/blog/upstairs-concrete-overlay-acid-stained/ . If seen many people try to use self-leveling material and then they have a huge mess to clean up when it fails.
The first concrete floor we did on a second story was about 5 years ago, and so far there has not been any major cracking. There are a few hairline cracks that are not opened up; you mainly see the crack because of the color on the surface. So don’t expect the concrete floors to have minor cracking.
If you have any questions or are looking for someone to install concrete on the second story of your house please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 210-422-6116.
This week we had a job that consisted of removing tile and then polishing the concrete underneath the tile to create a modern concrete floor. When we started removing the tile floor we realized the tile was sitting on a mud-base that was 2″ thick. Instead of removing the tile and the mud-base we prepped the tiles to receive a self-leveling cement topping. After we poured the new concrete floor we sealed the floor with a water base sealer.
This week we prepared a mud-base for wood flooring. A mud-base is a cement-sand mixture that is fairly soft and brittle. The mud-base was placed because the home builder did not build the front entrance of the house higher than the outside patio, so to bring the floor up in the house they placed a mud-base and then tile.
During the tile removal the mud-base got chipped up in some areas as well. There were a lot of gouges in the mud-base that had to be filled and also leveled. The homeowner had two options he could either remove the 2 1/2″ of mud-base and place concrete or repair the mud-base for the wood floors.
They decided to repair the mud-base. To do this we had to coat the entire surface with an epoxy to make sure the mud-base would not break apart, the epoxy also helps the special repair mortars bond properly. After applying the repair mortar to fill all of the gouges we applied a self-leveling underlayment to finish off the repair.
A lot of times Saltillo tile is applied on a mud base that can be 2-3 inches thick. The Saltillo tile can be removed along with the mud base and then re-poured with concrete, but this can get costly. The alternative would be to apply a resurfacing cement right on top of the Saltillo tile. This process is the most cost affective way and when done right can last a lifetime.
The first step would be to grind the Saltillo tile down to make them all even.
Grinding Saltillo Tile
Saltillo Tile Ground Down
After the Saltillo tile is ground down, the next step would be to apply a epoxy primer with sand broadcasted in it.
Saltillo Primed With Epoxy
Once the tiles are primed, we apply a special repair mortar to help fill low spots in the floor.
Saltillo Tile Grouted
After the floor has been grouted, we apply the decorative overlay and then we can stain the concrete.
Concrete spalling is often caused by improperly placing the rebar or wire mesh when pouring the concrete. If the rebar is to close to the top of the concrete slab, as water soaks into the concrete it will start to corrode the rebar. This will cause the rebar to expand, weakening the concrete above the piece of rebar.
If you look left of the blue line, you will notice there is a crack starting to form, this crack is right above a piece of rebar corroding. When we tap the concrete with a hammer we hear a hollow sound. To repair this we have to break out all the loose concrete, cut 90 degree edges, pressure wash & clean the rebar, and apply a non-shrink repair mortar.
Spalling Concrete Cause By Corroding Rebar
Right after we start to chip out the bad concrete a piece of rebar started to stick out. This was the main cause of the damaged concrete. It is very important to place rebar and wire mesh at the proper place when pouring concrete.
Spalled Concrete Area Chiseled Out
Concrete Resurfaced & Stained
After the concrete was chiseled out we applied Miracote RM 2 and then finished of the spalled concrete repair by resurfacing the area with Miracote MPC, and then applied a grey stain to match the bricks.
When concrete is in very bad condition cosmetically, the easiest way to repair the concrete is by resurfacing it. Concrete resurfacing involves: grinding the concrete to acheive a proper surface profile so the material will bond to the existing concrete, we then apply a base coat, and then a smooth coat or another base coat (depending if you want it rough or smooth).
The patio we worked on this week had a lot of things wrong with it. The first thing was it was very rough with a lot of pits that had to be repaired. We then ground the concrete to prepare it for the resurfacing material and to even out the construction joint where the two slabs butted up to each other. After resurfacing the concrete, we applied a stain and sealed the concrete. Once the patio was sealed we came back and re-scored the construction joint and filled with a self-leveling polyurethane.
Concrete restoring is a cost affective way to fix concrete without tearing out and re-pouring. Concrete can be restored anywhere there are problems; whether it is a concrete driveway, sidewalk, tilt-up walls, stucco walls, concrete walls, parking garages, curbs, and parking lots.
If you have any problems with your concrete such as: cracks in the concrete, concrete spalling, concrete discoloration, and concrete joints that are un-even; give us a call at (210) 422-6116 for a free consultation.
Using special concrete overlay materials you can greatly enhance concrete that has been eroded away by the weather and de-icing salts. When resurfacing concrete you are just putting a very thin coat of cement that is mixed into a polymer. If the overlay goes on to thick it will actually crack and be weaker.
Below are some pictures of a job we just completed; the job consisted of a small piece of concrete that has been severely worn away, we cleaned the surface and then applied a coat of white overlay cement to help protect the concrete and enhance the look of the concrete. After resurfacing the concrete we will wait until it has cured and apply a sealer to further protect the concrete.
This job consisted of removing glued down wood flooring, grinding Saltillo tile, grinding concrete, resurfacing an inclosed exposed aggregate patio, resurfacing the concrete and Saltillo tile to make a continuous floor, staining the concrete grey, and sealing the floor.
Before Removing Wood Floor
After Removing Glued Down Wood Flooring
After Resurfacing Concrete
After Concrete Floor Stained Grey & Sealed
Before Saltillo Tile Resurfaced
After Saltillo Tile Resurfaced, Stained, & Sealed
Before Wood Floors Removed
Removing Glued Wood Floors
Bedroom Resurfaced, Stained, & Sealed
Before Resurfacing Exposed Aggregate Concrete
After Exposed Aggregate Resurfaced, Stained & Sealed