Mike and Lindsey have been going full steam ahead on their ‘House of Good Taste’ remodel, and today they share their secondary flooring material decision. The couple appreciates the many good suggestions readers offered and — after much deliberation — they have chosen polished concrete as the finish for all of the non-terazzo flooring in their home.
We want to first thank everyone for their input on our floor decisions. We were overwhelmed by the responses, and it truly shows that Retro Renovation is a real community with real enthusiasts. We hope we did not disappoint anybody with the direction we went…
Choosing the secondary floor to the terrazzo has been by far the hardest decision in this remodel. We explored many options and spent countless hours discussing, researching online and visiting flooring stores. During the process we created a list of considerations that really helped to narrow down our choices. The secondary flooring had to be:
- Appropriate for the style of the house
- Not visually compete with the terrazzo
- Large dog and toddler friendly
- Help minimize or eliminate the transition point from the terrazzo (about an 1/8″-1/4″)
- Budget friendly of $8-$10 sqft installed
- Work in every room where there isn’t original terrazzo flooring, meaning there would only be two types of flooring throughout the entire house
- Able to work with the other finishes we have planned. Sorry, can’t give those away yet! 🙂
We never really warmed up to the idea of tile, not exactly sure why. Probably because the complete back half of our current home is tile and we are a bit bored with it. There are also what seems like a million tile choices, making it a bit overwhelming.
Then hardwood quickly rose to the top of the list, however, we had differing opinions about using a wood floor… causing a few heated discussions in our household. Thankfully, we were able to narrow down our hardwood considerations to a natural maple in a 2.5″ wide plank, engineered glue down. For those unfamiliar with natural maple, it is usually the flooring choice for basketball courts. It has a mostly uniform light color with some small darker sections running through it. We weren’t completely sold on the wood, so we got a local store to let us borrow a box to lay down text to the terrazzo and stone walls so we could get the full visual effect.In the end, we decided wood was not quite the right choice for us. Which made us return to an idea we had in the back of our minds the whole time — polished concrete! It met every item on our list, except the one that never seems to fall in line, the annoying little thing called ‘the budget.’
We had already called a few different companies about the terrazzo restoration, and luckily during this search we discovered a well referenced company that can do both terrazzo restoration and concrete finishing. Greg with Pro Surface Solutions turned out to be exactly the specialist we needed to get the job done.
After several meetings with Greg, we decided we both wanted and needed to do a full concrete overlay as opposed to working with the existing slab. The hallway leading into the house had be overlaid because the removal of the saltillo tile had left surface completely unusable. The slabs in the rest of the rooms were in varying condition, but most has significant cracks and issues. The kitchen had been tiled at one point, and we were told the tile lines would show through unless we did an overlay. Lastly, doing a overlay could also give us 100% completely flush transitions form the terrazzo and uniform finish from room to room.
In our initial research on concrete, it seemed like a simple and cost effective solution. Even one that was a reasonable DIY project. But for what we were trying to accomplish, it was going to be a much more complex process — one best left to professionals. We wanted polished concrete not stained or epoxy coated, meaning that our surface is just diamond polished, treated concrete that results in an almost glass like feel and look.
Seeing the step-by-step transformation of the hallway really shows all the different steps it took to reach the finished look.
At this point, the polished concrete floors are not completely finished. They were taken to a certain level and then covered for the remainder of the construction. Right before moving in, the floors will be uncovered and the final treatment and polish will be applied.
Next up is the terrazzo restoration!
Mike and Lindsey, the polished concrete looks great so far. It will be nice to see it all done next to your refinished original terrazzo flooring. Kudos to you for doing your homework, considering several different options and in the end meeting all your criteria for secondary flooring — well except for the inevitability of going over budget. We can’t wait to see how everything comes together in the end.