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tomcat4 06-28-2007 08:59 PM

how do i cut a door in cinderblock wall?
newbie to masonry here. I have a 50's ranch house made of cinderblock on a slab with terrazo floors and radiant heat. The pipes are copper, but so far, so good! It was built by the Mason who lived there. I want to modify the house a bit, including at least the two following projects that I have a bunch of questions about.

1. I want to make the garage into living space, including adding radiant heat. Currently, the attached garage slab is about 8" below the terrazo of the rest of the house. I would like it to be the same level and include radiant heat as well. What is the process for pouring the new floor? Is it a special mix to encase the radiant tubing? Is it one 8" thick single pour from a truck, or is there a layer under the heating tubes and then another layer above it? Do I use rebar or is it just concrete?

I am considering doing a color-etched polished concrete finish on the floor. Is there a special kind of concrete that is best suited for this? What is the process of polishing the concrete?

2. Cutting doors in concrete block walls. There are a few spots where I need to modify the opening in a cinderblock wall, to turn a window into a doorway, or to make a doorway wider, etc... How does one go about precisely cutting the cinderblock to frame a door or window? Someone told me to just hit it with a hammer to nibble away at it, but I am wondering if there is a blade to put on a sawzall for cutting concrete block.

Many thanks for indulging a beginner. I am sure there will be more questions as I get more into the project.

Ron6519 06-28-2007 10:32 PM

You can rent concrete saws that will cut through the cinderblock. These saws are made for the job. A recipricating saw will not do it.
The garage would get traditional wood framing to raise the floor to near the new level. You could then plan on incasing the radiant floor in a light weight gypsum concrete which would be a good base for the tile.

rolldodge 06-29-2007 10:43 AM

For cutting through the cinder blocks ...

the saw you're going to rent is not going to cut straight through the block. Once you lay out exactly where you are going to cut, drill a hole both on the top left and top right corners, top and bottom. Use a red chalk line and snap a line on both inside and outside of the block. This will ensure you're cuts line up.

This is going to make a tremendous amount of dust, I would start your cut on the outside first, then go inside.

I would put a header in as well!

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