Concrete Floors and Decks

Our house has concrete floors on both the first and third floors. They're not yet complete, but concrete floors are a complex beast so I thought I would post on the story so far. Our goal is to have smooth, subtly reflective, gray concrete floors. We like natural concrete; we're not going for a highly reflective polish, or a sanded look that reveals pebbles and aggregate in the concrete. The first floor slab already looks pretty good, it just needs construction soiling, tape adhesive, etc., cleaned off before applying a penetrating sealer (probably Consolideck LS).

The third floor is three-inch-thick lightweight concrete. Most parts look great, like this:

There are some black splotches, though:

These could be hand troweling marks, or entrapped moisture from the curing process. We're getting some expert opinions, but solutions can include grinding the areas down, or using vinegar to lighten the areas. Once they're resolved, we'll seal the floors and apply some sort of floor wax to protect the finish.

Another notorious aspect of concrete is cracking; contractors will tell you that cracks cannot be completely avoided. We're fortunate to have only hairline cracks, that you can't even feel when you run your finger over them. Here's the biggest one, though it looks much smaller in person.

Moving on to decks. Our biggest addition is that we extended the rooftop deck out on the cantilever. It looks incredible. There's a whole lot of deck up there, which is important since we have a very small yard.

Next week the metal railings will go in, so it won't look quite as open. But it will be much more safe.

We also have a deck off the kitchen. Between the cedar siding and cedar decking, it feels like a cozy wood lodge up there.

The downside of all this cedar is that it has to be maintained; sanded and stained every 1-2 years. We're using a Sikkens stain. But it looks incredible so far, as did the view today!

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