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trailmaker 07-24-2008 08:32 PM

how can i make this slab into my floor?
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I pulled up carpets to prep for wood flooring and thought I should look into making the slab into the floor before getting started. I doubt the slab is insulated but it doesn't get that cold here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Can it be as simple as filling the cracks (one eighth in) renting a grinder, and sealing. I,d like to do this myself but I really don't know what turning slab into floor entails. I'll try to post pics, any input would be appreciated. Thanks

trailmaker 08-01-2008 12:51 AM


ccarlisle 08-01-2008 06:27 AM

Doesn't look in bad shape actually, seen a lot worse. I wouldn't worry about the crack - that is not only normal but can be easily fixed. Two things you can look into: grinding and re-surfacing...

Grinding is, IMO overkill. You'll hire someone (not a DIY process) to bring in their 250lb concrete grinder, who'll polish your concrete using diamond pads, through 4-5 grits, to finally give you a mirror-like finish. Oh, and he'll leave dust in every nook and cranny that you'll still be finding six months from now. You'll have a floor surface you find in office buildings and/or shoppping centers.

Re-surfacing is IMO a better option. May or may not involve light grinding but nowhere near what would be required in the paragraph above. No resurfacing or overlaying is the ticket. Application of a 1/8" layer of polymer-based concrete that can be stenciled, coloured and tinted to your choice. Smooth. Again not a DIY project because it takes special tools but it'll take a day or so and give you a uniform surface. Your problem may only be what texture or colour to give it...

Look into the concrete overlay option.... Elitecrete or Increte both are multinationals with several trained pros in your area. Will run you around $5 per sq ft, but my figures are probably off, as I'm diametrically at the opposite end of the continent from you, but that's my take on it.

These guys would love this type of project because that's exactly the kind of project the product is meant for. Endless possibilities! :yes:

But if you're going to cover it anyway, even this may be too much...if it's already true, you may get away with a good foam underlay and a floating floor on top of that...

yesitsconcrete 08-01-2008 06:43 AM

i'd expect that crk's from late control jnt cutting so its not a big concern to me,,, before you can do anything to enhance the conc, all that junk on it's gotta be removed - 7" grinder, diamond turbo cup wheel, dustmuzzle, & wet/dry vac - not even a day's work from what your pic shows.

most guys who're grinding professionally have decent vacs but this job's too small OR high in price IF you decide that's how to proceed,,, they need 408-440v 3-ph power so you'd also rent a generator in their price.

have no experience w/increte for o'lay work but they do have a nice bldg in fl & that's all i've heard good about 'em from other pro's,,, eC's built up the largest network of licensed installers & has great distributor support,,, doesn't mean you can't find a weak link in the chain, tho.

the only special tool i can think of's the cup wheel,,, ooops, that & what's in the installer's head :laughing: & memory.

Bud Cline 08-01-2008 07:42 AM

Translation please?:)

trailmaker 08-02-2008 07:57 PM

Thanks for your responses. I'm waiting on some quotes for the re-surfacing, but I'm not optimistic since construction costs are absurd here in the "bay area". Daily rental prices on the big grinders are steep as well. In the meantime I bought a diamond cup head for my 7in grinder so I'll give that a go since I've got more time than money.
Carlisle, what do you mean by "dust muzzle"? I have a powered respirator if thats what you mean, or is this some attachment for the grinder?
Thanks again for the feedback.

KHouse75 08-02-2008 10:52 PM

I don't see much if any vertical movement so this shouln't be too much trouble to fix.

What I typically do is I fill the crack with an epoxy rated for concrete repair. You may have to top off as the epoxy settles into the crack. I sometimes groove out the crack with an angle grinder if it's very wide then fill with sand then fill the last 1" or so with epoxy.

We then take an angle grinder and smooth out the epoxy so it's almost invisible.

The builder or owner then finishes the floor as they wish.

I've actually seen people use the cracks as part of a design for a stained floor. They'll sand down the surface if needed and stain it. I've seen pretty cool designs where people use the crack as tree branches, vines, rock cracks, etc.

Hope this helps.

ccarlisle 08-03-2008 06:49 AM

A "Dustmuzzle" is an attachable dust containment system that you put onto certain hand-held stone grinders to take away dust before it gets into the air...that's what I call it but 'yesitsconcrete' may have his own definition.

A concrete "grind" will cost - there's no doubt about it...a days work for 2 guys with expensive and heavy may be looking at a $grand.

But I was specifically talking about the concrete overlay guys, who would just put a new 1/8" layer down, not necessarily grind...that's also about $4-5 per sq ft but makes less mess. They would take care of the crack for you no problem.

Anyway good luck. Tell us how you made out...

Big Bob 08-03-2008 07:59 PM

Interesting thread.... sign of the times that slab cracks are part of the norm. sikadur products ... epoxy for crack and surface sealers...
problems i see are the cracks and rough area at sliding door. May be more, but pic is one directional. Try a razor scraper and an hour in an area.. fox tail duster and slightly damp rag over test area... wet rag on cleaned area...if you like it... sikadur is your answer.. I really don't know about the crack and the tree branch look.... If I walked in... it would look like a epoxy filled crack to me... but art is in the eye of the beholder...

You may need some chems or to grind if old glue residue is deep in slab.

If you decide on some other floor covering.... please epoxy the cracks... sikadur epoxy can make the crack stronger than the slab... be sure you get the crack under your walls.... great place for termites to enter as they will by pass your perimeter treatment.

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