In early 2017, the Howe Bout Arden shopping center in Sacramento, Calif., began a massive redevelopment project to accommodate more retail, dining and entertainment options. Among the new tenants to move into the expanded shopping center is Michaels. The national arts and crafts retailer took over space previously occupied by a luxury retail store, but first had to complete its own renovations to make the space its own. The build-out included replacing 18,900 square feet of cracked, uneven flooring with polished concrete.
The store’s existing concrete floor was cracked in some places and overlaid with tile in others. It also was integrally colored with red pigment, which the retailer did not like. One choice was to go with a traditional floor covering such as tile or carpet, which is not what they wanted. To get a polished concrete floor, they were left the choice of either cutting out the existing concrete and replacing it (which would have taken a minimum of 28 days before they could polish it after removal and replacement), or try a faster alternative: overlay the floor with Rapid Set® TRU® PC polishable concrete topping.
The retailer chose the faster method.
TRU PC is a high-flow architectural topping that simulates polished concrete. The hydraulic cement-based, self-leveling topping can be used both indoors and out, is crack-resistant and won’t deteriorate in damp conditions. It cures to a gray color with the non-uniform appearance of concrete and grinds and polishes well, making it ideal for the Michaels project.
Fast Set Times Cut Downtime
Surface preparation included removing tiles, grinding away the leveling product underneath and filling cracks with a high-performance epoxy. Next, flooring contractor QuestMark primed the floor using Rapid Set® TXP™ Fast with sand broadcast to refusal. The TXP Fast is a zero-VOC, alkali-resistant epoxy primer. The two-component primer is specially formulated to penetrate the concrete and create a strong adhesive grip for coatings. The primer set fast, which allowed the crew to quickly move onto the next phase of work and place the TRU PC overlayment six hours later.
For the TRU PC overlay application, the contractor divided the 18,900 square feet of flooring into four sections. The crews mixed and poured four-bag batches of material at a time, and had four mixing stations set up so they could produce the amount of material needed for such a large pour (one 60-pound bag covers approximately 16 square feet at 3/8-inch thick). QuestMark faced a couple of challenges during this portion of the project: a cramped staging area and delays in material deliveries. To work around these issues and stay on schedule, the crew created mixing stations by placing hippo mixers on raised carts. The raised-cart mixing stations helped to speed production. In all, it took three days to organize and pour all four sections of floor.
Each floor section was ready for foot traffic in two to three hours and for grinding in 24 hours. During grinding and polishing, the crew started with a 30/40 metal soft bond diamond grit and worked their way up to a 1,500-grit polish for a high-gloss finish. The final steps included applying a guard and burnishing.
New Flooring in Two Weeks
Work began in late November 2017 and ended by mid-December. It took two weeks to complete surface prep, the overlay application and polishing, which was almost three times faster than tearing out the floor and replacing it.