A standard tilt-up warehouse underwent a metamorphic change into a sophisticated corporate headquarters for the high-end denim manufacturer, “7 for all mankind.” Kevin Cozen, Classical Progression, Santa Monica, Calif., and a design team led by Evan Tribus raised the flat warehouse roof over the main entrance using an elaborate truss system. Its many windows traveled in “octopus” fashion (its nickname) down hallways. The newly stained and polished floors reflect the ceiling design in the hallways and open areas. Greg Demmert, working with the owner and designer, transformed the 20,000-square-foot floor using a finish that combined a ground floor with saw cuts (for patterns) and water-based stains (for color).
The old floor was uneven and pitted, and had a residue of carpet adhesive. Demmert began by scraping away the old mastic with scraping tools attached to a Diamatic planetary grinder by SASE Company. That cleanup prevented later diamond grinds from melting the old mastic further into the concrete. Holes were filled with concrete repair mortar and wall edges were ground with a hand-held angle grinder. Demmert ground the floor with a 40-grit diamond pad to even out the old concrete and the new raised surface where electrical work had required trenching. The initial grinding was followed with a 150-diamond grit pass that removed the previous scratches and left a surface prepared for staining. “The 150-grit pad grinds smooth enough so the scratch pattern is not seen through the stain,” says Demmert. Afterwards, the lines and rectangular shapes of the patterns were laid out and inscribed into the surface with a walk-behind saw and a hand-held gas-powered saw. Ed Sadillo, superintendent at Classical Progressions, completed the work.
Demmert developed a stain system using Color Floor water-based stain by Smith Paints. He used eight water-based stain colors in sequential dilution. Demmert began with eight parts water to one part stain, then switched to a seven parts water and one part stain until reaching a four-to-one mix. There were more than 100 diamond shapes to mask and stain, each measuring 52 inches per side. The effect of applying sequential dilutions of color down hallways was to deepen the middle areas and to pale the ends of the hallways. Because the color in some areas was so subtle, some concrete could be left natural. “When you looked at the floor and the ceiling, both seemed to flow together throughout the building,” says Demmert. He completed the work with a coat of Wet Look Lacquer followed by three coats of Final Coat—a high solids acrylic floor finish, both from GST International.