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Atrium flooring: stamped concrete vs tile

6 replies [Last post]
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Joined: Aug 28 2005

Has anyone done stamped concrete in the atrium? My handyman recommended replacing the concrete floor in my atrium with stamped concrete instead of putting slate tiles. Not sure how much does it cost yet for stamped concrete, but I'm assuming the material is cheaper than tiles.

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Joined: Dec 14 2003

We have tile from the 1970s. It's sun faded, but otherwise in good shape, however it's as slick as glass in the rain. If you do pick tile, make sure you select one that won't be slippery when wet.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

I do not recommend anything faux in a mcm home, especially an Eichler. If you're going with concrete, just match what was original, or exposed aggregate. Flagstone is a nice option too.

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Joined: Mar 16 2005

Why not paver?? They are basically outdoor bricks for the ground, and because "in pieces" won't crack and have a variety of standard colors. For driveways, they suppose to cost slightly less or about the same as concrete. We did our driveway in 12" x 12" sections rather than 4 x 12 sections that most people select (or hex pattern). The largest is 18 x 18 but they are sold as a pattern with smaller ones to lock them in.

They require a sealer to maintain a "wet" look though.

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Stamped concrete looks nice, though I have not seen it used in Eichler atriums. It is common in large downtown commmon areas like parking garages, some streets and sidewalks, and patios around parks. They can make it any texture or color you want, but you'd need to be careful to "keep it simple" as to do anything else can end up biting you in the end - either in resale value or in regrets. If it ends up not looking right, it is too late by then. But that's the same with everything and it's happend to all of us at one time or another.

There is nothing magic about using the identical concrete to the original, and lots of owners in our area have done tile - but the other poster is correct - tile is slippery as heck when wet. You would want to get some that is rated as non-slip and has a good rough texture to it or it can be dangerous, expecially if you have young children, elderly relatives, or entertain a lot (liability).

I have also seen large, poured squares of exposed aggregate that look very nice - and it was something that was common to some original eichlers, even in the entry ways. But nothing is perfect. With exposed aggregate, it is hard on the bare feet, and the little rocks can fall out over time - so be sure if you do it, that the pebbles are not too small. We made this mistake on a section of our patio and the concrete company did not tell us until AFTER the job was done, that the rocks were too small and that's why some were falling out. They even gave us an extra bag of stones to "glue" back in place if need be. Geeze. I'd have been happy to use a larger size, but nobody said anything.

I do not know if stamped concrete will be cheaper than tile. Depends on the tile. Concrete work is not cheap; at least from our experience. I suggest you hunt for as many pictures of MCM homes as possible, to see what they have used on their outdoor surfaces and discover what you like and don't like asthetically. From there, you can go to the practical issues, like function, safety, and cost

Good luck in your quest.

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Joined: Mar 25 2005

You can browse the web for some pictures/ideas of atrium 'flooring' remodels:

The SoCal Eichler site has some pictures:

http://www.eichlersocal.com/

You can look at what Barry B did with his atrium (more natural - removed concrete and used gravel/stone):

http://www.totheweb.com/eichler/atrium/finished.html

And you can see some ideas in Jerry Ditto's book.

I've also seen brick overlaid on the concrete and some people have built decking over the concrete in their atrium. Just a matter of taste and what you like.

Agree that the most important consideration is to be very careful about putting in tile or any other surface that will become slippery when wet.

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Joined: Oct 10 2003

Prefab mentioned pavers earlier, i just remembered I've got some pics of our atrium in grey pavers at the snapshot showroom:

http://www.eichlernetwork.com/snapshot_showroom/index.php?cat=10427

they've been great -they dont pond up like the tile that was there before. Although I've got mixed feelings about that water draining into the atrium soil: i've heard there could be electrical lines running thru there.

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