In March 2013, WRCB-TV News Channel 3 in Chattanooga, Tenn., debuted a new, half-million dollar studio after about 18 months of planning and renovating. The floor-to-ceiling makeover transitions the NBC-affiliated news station to “high-definition” programming.
The new set contains more technology and can be used for multiple types of local programming for viewers. Just as important, “We created a set that is uniquely Chattanooga and represents who we are as a news team,” says WRCB News Director Derrall Stalvey.
The floor, designed to complement the TV3 logo and blue-skies color scheme, mimics the sensation of looking down on the ocean from the window of an airplane. “We wanted the experience of walking into the studio to feel like entering a place where the magic happens; walking with clouds at your feet,” explains David Gordon, owner of Concrete Repair Specialist in Chattanooga.
Transforming the floor
The news station’s old, painted-concrete floor did not hold up very well to heavy cameras constantly rolling across the surface. Gordon decided that an epoxy system with a clear topcoat would better withstand that kind of traffic. To create the desired clouds, water, and sky effect, the contractor used HyperREZ FloorGuard metallic epoxy system in “true blue” (a bright-blue color that looks like a stain) to refinish the floor.
The application required several steps. First, the crew prepped the floor with a planetary grinder using 30-grit diamond to strip the paint from the old floor and prepare the surface for the new flooring system. Crew members then cleaned the floor with vacuum dust extractors and applied a black primer by roller to provide a richness of color to the final look. For even more depth and dimension, they used flat squeegees to create light and dark areas in the primer.
After applying the primer, workers wore spiked shoes to roll out the thick-bodied, metallic blue epoxy. To create the illusion of waves and movement, the crew used a back-rolling technique in various passes while the epoxy was drying. This can be done because the metallic, glitter-like particles in the epoxy can move within the epoxy while it is still wet. Also, by stirring the product and applying it over the black primer coat, the crew was able to simulate a 3D cloud effect. They then sealed the floor with a protective, clear urethane topcoat.
The highly reflective floor literally mirrors the studio’s high-tech design. Plus, it can be easily maintained by damp mopping.
Gordon is a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based freelancer who writes blog articles for local businesses.