As of last night (or this morning really if you want to count the drying time and holding our breath all night that in the morning all would look fabulous) the floor is finished. Complete. Finito. Done.
I’ll try and let the pictures do the talking, otherwise I’ll get sore fingers and you’ll get sore eyes.
So, back to the beginning:
Followed by destruction:
Marking out the new floor level (about where the white paint is on the walls):
Adding polystyrene around the edges for an insulation break:
Formwork at the back door:
Polythene, polystyrene (creating an insulation break from the existing concrete floor) and reinforcing steel laid out ready for the pour:
And planks laid for access during the laying process:
The truck arrives:
The pour begins:
The next evening, a cut made to prevent cracking:
The sheets on the floor are to keep it damp so it doesn’t dry too quickly:
And then the awful, messy, noisy job of grinding… we (much more of the him and very little of me!) hired a grinder for a day and got to it:
As you can see there is a lot of nasty grey sludge created which drained out the back door, across the driveway and kept clogging our drain… yuck!
Grinding the edges with a hand grinder:
And now for the polishing… just a test patch first (under the kitchen cabinets):
A few more test patches were done… and over a week of going back to it and then rethinking, back again, rethinking again… the polishing process was abandoned. The thought of going over the whole floor with a hand grinder at least once for each of these discs…:
… was a little too daunting, particularly when there was mixed success with the test patches.
First though, there was the issue of the “little, tiny holes”. These may have come about from air bubbles, or from small stones being pulled out in the grinding process. However, something “had to be done”!
This was what we (yes, I got down on my hands and knees and filled and scraped with my very own putty knife) did one Saturday while the little one was sleeping:
And then just for fun (and to be sure the holes were well filled) we did it again one night the following week.
Of course, that then had to be gently ground off. It’s ok if you’ve lost count of how many times this floor has been ground – we have no idea either.
Finally after cleaning, vacuuming, sweeping and vacuuming we’re ready for sealing:
Two coats of that, then there we left it for while, while more building work went on. Andre decided it would be best to finish it once there would be less mess, scuffing and potential spills during the building process.
I love this image – it pretty well portrays our life these last six months… renovating and living in constant untidiness while juggling the everyday demands of work and a toddler, with little glimpses of the finished renovation to keep the motivation up!
Weeks (months more likely) of just ignoring the floor, then a flurry of activity this last week (and lots of sweeping, vacuuming and sweeping again) brings us to a light sanding, scrubbing of paint spots, another couple of sealer coats, and finally a top coat of something a bit glossy and non-slip.
Or supposedly… this is me on my knees with a rag buffing/washing the first top coat off because it went wrong:
And this is Andre mopping the floor with soapy water because my buffing didn’t quite do it:
Then I was back on my hands and knees with an old towel to dry it off, and finally Andre got down on his hands and knees to apply another top coat, with a wallpaper brush rather than the mop as recommended but which failed the first time.
And now, a finished floor and a very large to do item crossed off the list!
Loving it! But I have to say the motivation to make a concrete benchtop for the new laundry has waned significantly. I think we’ll be looking at laminates!
Time for a floor shout!