Most Americans would agree that the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces deserve nothing but the best. When the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, TX renovated a temporary lodging hotel where soldiers reside while waiting for transfers, we were honored to be chosen to resurface the flooring. We were hired to complete a decorative concrete resurfacing project in the lounge, a space where the soldiers can unwind, relax, and simply enjoy their down time. We set out to create a rich, warm floor that would enhance the serenity of the room.
They chose a popular decorative concrete resurfacing technique known as trowel down. To create a trowel-down effect, first we applied a thin layer of concrete to the existing flooring. Using a trowel, we spread the material around to create a subtle natural-looking texture. Once the concrete dried, our guys drew in each of the individual “stones,” and then scored them by hand to accentuate them. Finally, we applied a rich terracotta stain to the floor. The color we chose complements the surrounding décor and achieves the calming ambiance we were going for.
Because so many people travel through the Joint Reserve Base’s temporary lounge, the floor is subjected to heavy foot traffic, rolling luggage and luggage carts, as well as expected mishaps like spilled food and drinks. To keep their new floor looking good, we briefed the maintenance crew on how to maintain and clean it. Interior floors that have decorative concrete resurfacing should only be cleaned with neutral-base cleaners that won’t harm the sealant or leave a soapy residue that may dull the finish. They should never be cleaned with products that contain vinegar, bleach, or ammonia. These harsh ingredients will strip the wax from the floor and may even damage the sealer. One cleaner that we really like is Zep Neutral Floor Cleaner Concentrate. But there are other brands out there that work just as well. These cleaners are widely available at many big box stores.
We always apply a wax sealant to all interior floors that have decorative concrete resurfacing on them. Wax acts as a sacrificial barrier that protects the sealer from normal wear and tear. It’s not “bullet-proof,” though, so any spills or debris always should be picked up as soon as possible. We also recommend that commercial customers (such as the Joint Reserve Base) reapply wax on a monthly basis. Heavy foot traffic wears down the wax and inhibits its protective powers. Reapplying it will keep the floor protected. For a semigloss finish, we recommend Johnson Showplace and for a matte finish, use Betco Matte Finish. These products are readily available at most janitorial supply stores. We’re pleased with how this decorative concrete resurfacing flooring project turned out, and we are privileged to have been given an opportunity to add a bit of beauty to the surroundings of our nation’s brave soldiers.