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Please print and give this instruction sheet to your builder BEFORE the concrete slab is poured. Follow the advice and instructions below to ensure the best results on your finished decorative concrete floor.
Information on Mix, Finishing and Pre-Stain Care
1. A quality batch of concrete should consist of at least a 5-sack mix with no fly ash, retarder, curing compounds or chloride accelerators. Do not pour below 40°F. Do not use fly ash below 80°F. Use no more than 15% fly ash above 80°F. The slab should be troweled by machine to a smooth, uniform finish. It is NOT necessary to burnish the surface to a slick, mirror finish. “Burning” the slab to an ultra smooth surface will close off the pores of the concrete. This prevents the stain from penetrating the surface. Make sure the concrete finishers don’t get any “burrs” or debris under the finishing blades. This can cause circular swirl marks to appear in the slab.
2. It is important that the concrete be thoroughly finished with hand tools around the plumbing, risers, floor receptacles, and any other element that is not accessible by the machine. Special care should be taken to blend in the areas at the edge of the slab. If the finish is smooth in the center and rough finished at the edges, there will be a noticeable difference of color and tone between these areas.
3. Silicone chalks should NOT be used if at all possible. The RED and yellow chalks are PERMANENT DYES. RED Chalk should NOT be used for framing. White or Blue chalks are OK. Do not over mark for the framing. Do NOT use silicone sprays to hold the lines. The sprays repel the stain and leave harsh, permanent scars on the floor.
4. It is important that wood, sheet goods, sections of framing and the like not lay on the slab for extended periods of time. They can transfer resins and tannins into the slab. This will alter the moisture content in the slab, which leaves a pattern in the finished floor. Cardboard should be placed between the slab and the stacked material to minimize any unwanted transfers.
5. The floor should be protected from the following: Plumbers Glue, Foam Insulation, Bond Release Agents, Flux, Oils, Grease, Polyurethane, Paint, Markers (framers often write dimensions of doorways in marker on the slab. Ask them to make that note on the wood framing the doorway), Grease Sticks, Spray Paints, Crayons, Muriatic Acid, and other chemicals both before and after staining.
6. The framers should brace the wall to the outside and not to the slab. Doorplates should be cut away immediately to prevent discoloration and altered moisture content.
7. The floors should be clean and the room empty, with absolutely nothing on the floors prior to the arrival of our crew. Our fees do not include removing paper, moving furniture, tools, equipment, fixtures, building materials, or items. Additional moving and cleaning will be charged as additional labor.
8. NEVER place tape directly on the floor. When covering the floor, overlap sheets of builder’s paper. Tape the first sheet to the wall then overlap the second sheet to the first and tape it to the paper. DO NOT TAPE TO THE FLOOR. Duct Tape, Masking Tape, Packaging Tape, Strap Tape, Blue Tape, Green Tape, and Electrical Tape
NO exceptions. The tape alters the natural curing process and transfers chemicals to and from the slab. This WILL SHOW in the finished product.
9. When covering the floor, you may use sheets of masonite or single faced cardboard on top of the builder’s paper, however do not cover the floor with plastic at any time! It prevents the slab from breathing which inhibits proper curing. It can result in efflorescence.
10. There must be two 110volt outlets on two separate 20amp breakers not more than 150 feet from the furthest point of the slab available to our crew alone. Additionally, running water and trash receptacles should be made available.
Some people like a Tile look and others prefer a seamless finish. We will give you the look you desire, but there are several things to consider:
1. We prefer to cut the slab 2-3 days after it is poured and before the framers set the walls. Then we will return to stain and seal the slab when the project is dried in (framed with doors, windows and water tight, no insulation or sheetrock minimum 30 days of drying should be observed). After the project is dried in, the floors should be covered as described in Information on Mix, Finishing and Pre-Stain Care paragraph 8. There are advantages and disadvantages to scoring at this point.
a. Advantage: There are no walls at this point so the pattern can be scored across the entire surface and the scored lines will continue under the walls once erected.
b. Disadvantage: A starting point is determined and the entire slab is scored. This means that each doorway most likely will not have a perfectly placed tile; the pattern will fall where it falls.
2. If scoring can’t be done on the whole slab or if you want that perfect tile placement, the slab can be scored after the house is framed. Again, there are advantages and disadvantages to scoring at this point.
a. Advantage: Each room can have a perfectly placed/centered tile look. Different rooms can have tiles on a square or on a 45-degree angle. Different rooms can have unique sizes of tile (standard is 24” tile with smaller sizes costing more).
b. Disadvantage: A border has to be marked off 9”-12” from each wall. This will allow a starting point for the centering of the pattern. A border means the grout lines will not disappear under the walls because there is no way to saw-cut up to the studs without cutting into them (or your sheet rock).3. To insure proper scheduling and availability, please contact us at least 3 weeks in advance. We work diligently to accommodate many schedules at the same time. We operate on a First- Signed, First-Scheduled basis. We ask that you communicate your project status to us as far in advance as possible. We are committed to providing the finest floor possible and are sure you want the same.