What do you get when you cross a large tenant improvement company, and old UPS store with gypcrete floors, and a future restaurant owner and her architect set on decorative concrete floors?  For some people the answer would be a big problem.   Fortunately, everyone involved in the above scenario got in touch with Duraamen, a supplier of decorative high performance flooring products, and they found their answer:  beautiful integrally colored concrete floors achieved with Sgraffino micro-topping installed over directly over the gypcrete. 

A Micro-topping Floor Installed to Look Like Sand

We were contracted to do the install, which consisted of floor prep, three coats of Sgraffino micro-topping integrally colored to ‘Potter’s Clay’, an epoxy primer coat, and Perdüre U50 polyurethane as top coat.  The contractor was nice enough to bump up our start date and give us the space over a weekend in mid-December, instead of starting on the following Monday like originally scheduled.  It was not like we had any other plans, so we of course, worked the whole weekend to get it completed, so the contractor could get back in and finish everything else needed to get the new restaurant open.  

The Utility Trenches Filled with Concrete

Aside from installing over gypcrete, there were a few other elements to this project that made it a bit challenging.  First, the only water available was from a temporary faucet on a pipe about 14’ off the floor and in the back room of the 1500 square foot space.  The second variable, that only compounded the first, was the fact that there was only one door to the entire space.  Because we were resurfacing the entire floor, we had to start at the back and work our way to the front door.  This meant mixing most of the material on the sidewalk outside in mid-December during a cold spell with temperatures hovering in the 30’s.

We were able to get temporary heat in the space from a suspended heater to allow the different coats to dry, but unfortunately we had no heat outside on the sidewalk where all the mixing and cleaning had to happen. 

The Sgraffino micro-topping was recommended by Duraamen to the architect and owner for going over the gypcrete, and fortunately for us, it mixes with CP-1000 and not water, so we were able to bring in about 15 gallons of cleaning water for tools and equipment, but didn’t need any additional water on site for the product itself.   Many other products that require water to mix would have been nearly impossible to use with the water access where it was, and most, if not all, of those products would never be recommended as a solution for going over gypcrete in the first place.

The Hand Troweled Micro-topping was Installed to Resemble Sand

An integrally colored micro-topping displays color variations differently depending on how it is troweled during the install.  The clients chose the integral color Potter’s Clay, an earthy sand color.  We troweled it in wavy motion from one side of the space to the other using a magic trowel, while working from the back of the space to front door.  The result was a unique floor that somewhat resembles sand dunes and seemed appropriate for a fish and chips joint.

After the micro-topping and epoxy primer were dry, we installed the Perdüre U50 polyurethane top coat to offer a very durable floor that is able to withstand the use and abuse of commercial traffic in a restaurant space.

For more information on the products used in this installation please visit  www.duraamen.com.

You can check out the finished floor and get some great fish and chips at the Five Fish Bistro.  410 Broadway Ave E, Seattle, Wa. 98102.

A Close Up of the Finished Floor
The Finished Floor at the Grand Opening