One of the largest lighting manufacturers in North America has recently moved its product development to a 132,000-square-foot building in Atlanta, Georgia. The building, which was built 30 years ago and has been abandoned for some time, needed a complete renovation. Renovation needs included new floors being poured, walls and framing, overhead ventilation systems and duct work, electrical conduit, etc. The company chose polished concrete as the most cost-efficient and easy-to-maintain flooring option.
The company hired Robles Concrete Services, based in Lawrenceville, Georgia, to grind and polish the floors. The equipment Robles used on the project was LAVINA grinding and polishing machines and vacuums, manufactured by Superabrasive. Robles picked out a LAVINA 32-inch electric grinder, LAVINA 30-inch propane powered grinders, and LAVINA 13-inch edgers. Robles used Superabrasive’s diamond metal bond tools for the grinding process. The utilized tools included medium and hard bond, starting with 30 grit rectangular/bar segments. Robles then chose Superabrasive’s V-Harr premium pads—up to 800 grit—for the polishing process.
Robles Concrete began grinding in the winter months with relatively little lighting and no heat in the building, making temperatures inside the structure just above freezing. The concrete floors posed multiple challenges, including different concrete mixes, severe cracks, damaged joint lines, and cone effect damage from where there were previously existing walls. Epoxy coating, black mastic, and large amounts of thin-set from pre-existing ceramic tile had to be removed in certain areas. The contractor had to carefully select different diamond tools to achieve an even finish. “Our machines and tools have held up in an excellent way and proved their worth,” says Rodney Robles, owner of Robles Concrete.
One of the more serious challenges the flooring contractor had to face on this project was having to cut and polish the floors ahead of framers and with sheetrock sitting on top. “All the floor work was being done in the middle of full-scale construction work, which, for my team, meant skipping around the building and losing a great deal of efficiency. We had to go back and re-do several areas in the building,” Robles explains. The reworking caused a time and efficiency loss that Robles couldn’t avoid. The second floor of the building had cut-outs, which exposed the first floor more than 20 feet below. This slowed the flooring process, as well, since the grinding crew had to be extra careful cutting and polishing these areas.
Kiro Yorgov, product manager at Superabrasive, provided equipment and tooling support to Robles Concrete throughout the project. “A project like this one really puts the contractor’s knowledge and skills to the test. If you think polishing concrete is all about running a machine and swapping diamonds, there is nothing further from the truth,” says Yorgov. “Robles Concrete has experience with many different floors. They were very smart about choosing the right machines, tools, and chemicals, so they could cut their job cost down and get the most out of their time on the project. Most importantly, they delivered a great product—the floors look awesome.”
Even through the difficult work conditions and time-consuming obstacles, Roble Construction was able to deliver. With the help of Superabrasive’s LAVINA line for concrete polishing, Robles Construction pulled off a top-notch polish job. ■
Modern Contractor Solutions, October 2015
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