In their own words, “Wild Oats is a locally-owned, from-scratch Bakery, Deli & Café in the heart of Brunswick’s Downtown and located at the Tontine Mall – an easy walk from Bowdoin College.” If you want to learn more about Wild Oats Bakery, the following link takes you right to their story: http://www.wildoatsbakery.com/about/
In the video David Shepherd shares that they believe that they are the heart of Brunswick which was why it was important to them to pick just the right flooring for their location at 25 Burbank Avenue. This location is part of the great redevelopment of the Brunswick Navy Base. Hascall & Hall was selected to create an inviting environment for all the special customers who love and frequent their establishments. They selected the installation of a polished concrete floor in a beautiful deep caramel color. Chosen not only for its beauty, they also understood the high traffic and long-term maintenance requirements in the type of floor selected. More and more, we see retail establishments choosing polished concrete floors for their aesthetic appeal, durability and ease of maintenance.
In re-purposing a property, the original workmanship is always a mystery. The substrate, in this case, presented some clear complications that needed to be communicated to the General Contractor and Shepherds to clearly set realistic expectations for the finished floor.
Our project manager had already photo-documented the areas of the substrate that would need to be addressed with our team prior to them mobilizing to begin the installation of the floor. The Project Manager is always on-site to get the crews going and maintains constant communication and a presence on the site.
The existing substrate on the approximately 2,300 square foot floor presented both level and flatness challenges. Photos were taken of all the corners, all the control joints and existing high points. The original pour had the high points, and varying levels of aggregate around the control joints and many of the edges of the control joints were high as well. In preparation for the floor to be installed, another crew had started to fill the control joints which we immediately asked to stop. When dealing with polished concrete every bit of the substrate can react differently with the stain. We need to know how the stain will react with the chosen fill because it can dramatically impact the consistency of the color. The aggregate varied from cream finish to salt & pepper and exposed. This combination of aggregate, waves and pitch problems meant that the floor would absolutely have a mottled finish at the end. Everyone involved in the project was made aware of the concerns and examples of the projected finish of the floor were reviewed and approved before our crew was mobilized.
The concrete substrate was prepared to begin the grinding process. The level of finish desired required an initial grind using metal diamonds followed by transitional diamonds. At Hascall & Hall, we prefer to grind using a dry process as opposed to wet. The dry process we use involves a built in vacuuming system making clean-up between grinds much less time intensive than a wet process. The trade-off is that a wet system will save expenses on pucks, but the cement slurry is very time intensive to clean up and preparation of the area to avoid slurry transfer to walls etc., is extensive as well and not necessary in a dry grind. In addition to the overall clean-up of the slurry, it also has to be removed from all the control joints.
After the two rounds of diamond grinds, the team followed up with two additional grinds using resin pucks refining the floor each time in preparation for the stain.
The final clean-up of the concrete was completed using an auto-scrubber sweeper with front brushes and a squeegee in the back that left the floor clean and barely damp.
The staining/dying process began and the crew used micro pads to ensure that the stain did not puddle leaving a ring pattern which took longer than usual due to the substrate issues. There was no way that we would have been able to make the substrate perfect without a very deep grind. The remaining steps in the polishing process were completed to reveal the new floor.
As we predicted, the floor did have a mottled look to it, but the expectations were set and the Shepherds loved the floor.