We're beginning the process of soliciting bids to have our floors taken back down to the slab and then (finishing as needed and) staining the concrete in our kitchen/dining/office area. We'd love to hear from people who have stained interior concrete floors regarding the following:
1) Contractors who you have used for this work who you would recommend (or who you would avoid); including the use of a microcoat or skim coat
2) Your happiness with the concrete floors in the way of durability and maintenance.
3) Any moisture issues that may have hindered the process or been (paritally) resolved by it.
Please send recommendations directly to: lisa AT korysdiner DOT com
[Please accept this post in the spirit of help (as others have helped me) and not as criticism.]
I thought we had flogged the topic of tile removal to death but it occurs to me that members who have joined since that time might not be aware of the following:
- the 1960's Armstrong tile installed in Eichlers is highly likely to contain asbestos
- the glue that affixed them to the slab also is highly likely to contain asbestos
Asbestos is a hazardous substance, so deemed by the environmental protection agency. If you are contemplating removing your original flooring, PLEASE educate yourself on asbestos and make sure whoever is removing it follows recommendations/laws on its removal. You want to limit the exposure and therefore the risk to your family.
For a quick refresh of past discussions, do a search on "asbestos" using the search button at the top of this page.
P.S. Skim coating is probably needed when preparing a floor for staining (or VCT) and could reasonably be assumed to help contain remaining mastic material.
Thanks, Jake. Your advice is absolutely taken in the spirit in which it is offered. We do know about the VAT, and the mastic, and we did have our original flooring & glue tested (positively) for asbestos. (We had cork and VAT, and it was removed w/o fiber release).
As far as we can tell right now without ripping up all of the flooring, the original VAT is gone from the area we'll be working on next. We just really would love to hear from more Eichler owners who have stripped to the slab and then stained or lived with the original flooring.
Unless you are going to scrape your floor, put the mastic/VAT remains in a blender and huff the contents 365 days/year for several years, don't sweat it.
Asbestos concerns & floor tile shouldn't be utilized in the same sentence. This is stuff that is dreamed up by plantiffs attorneys.
I'm not an asbestos expert or a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But it seems to me that fears of old floor mastic in Eichler are somewhat overblown. If you take up the old flooring and then put down new tile (for example) without removing the old mastic, then it is sealed in under the new flooring and not going anywhere. I see no reason for concern or for spending many thousands of dollars on "full containment" mastic removal.
However, if you remove old flooring and leave the floor bare with the old mastic exposed, that seems a risky. Whether it is possible to use some sort of clear sealer to encapsulate the old mastic, I have no idea. But I would not do it.
It's your life, do what you want. If you leave old mastic exposed, and health problems ensue in the future, you can sue yourself. ;-)
To the original question, if you strip an Eichler floor down to bare concrete and use that surface as the floor, it has advantages from the point of view of efficient heating, but the look is problematic. You may have areas where moisture leaches ground minerals up through the cracks in the floor. I looked into doing this for my remodel (which is underway at the moment) but all the advice I received as it wasn't worth trying. So I decided on black slate 16x16 tiles throughout the house instead.