Blog #26: Floor Polish.

Walk in robes, pantry’s, carpet, blinds, paths, turf, and polished concrete. These are the items that have been on our agenda over the last fortnight at Wilson Court.

The first week was a short week with the Australia Day public holiday on Tuesday and an unofficial one on Monday, however there was still some action on site. The wheels were even in motion on the Sunday, and I met with Dale our cabinet maker onsite to walk through our pantry design.

We measured and marked out the cabinetry and found we were short of drawer storage under bench, so we modified our plan by moving the microwave above bench.

I caught Brian Hovenden on site on Monday who was putting the finishing touches on before coming back and wrapping up on Friday.

Tuesday a builder and painter worked onsite, the builder tiling and the painter spraying inside of robes and the garage ceiling. The bathroom floor and wall tiles are now laid and ready for grout.

We utilized the day off by working through joinery details for our kitchen, pantry and walk-in robe and caught up with Dale Gitsham who was having his first day in the Kerang Custom Joinery factory. We had the privilege of being his first customer there and he was pleased to finally be in. Points of discussion were:

  • bench height: initially we elected for a standard 900 bench top, but after further research thought 950mm might be better. We were too late however so have settled for 920mm.
  • Overhead cupboards. These need to be quite wide to fit a concealed range hood, and even wider if having A recessed LED strip light across the back. We therefore had concerns at how far the cupboard stuck out, so spent some time measuring and checking out examples. We were too far along to move it higher, or make the bench below wider, 2 options we should have considering earlier. We ended up minimizing the cupboard width by centring the LED strip and stopping it each side of the range. For the record, our bench width and splash back height are 600mm, which are standard and ideal with a 300mm wide overhead, however ours is more like 370mm.
  • Walk in robe. A lot of thought and measuring went into this. We decided we wanted drawers rather than shelves, which will be much easier to keep tidy and organized. We came to this conclusion after reviewing the state of my current robe shelves. See sketch below of what we come up with.

We are fortunate to have some recent builds in the family, which are that both beautiful homes. We were able to use these as references and spent some time visiting these to check measurements.

We have started to look at carpet and blinds and took home some samples during the week. Looks like the main options are nylon, wool or triexta, which is a new product derived from corn sugar.

For the blinds we will go with roll downs for the majority with plantation shutters in our bathrooms. We will no doubt explore carpet and blinds more thoroughly over the coming weeks.

Mat Coates Electrical was back onsite to cut out the ceiling penetrations for the lighting, which had been marked on the floor so needed to be done before the floor polishers returned. The site was the cleaned up ready to hand over to Tesma Concrete, who were booked in Monday to Thursday on the second week to compete stage 2 of the floor polish.

Marco and co were onsite first thing Monday and started the process of finishing the floor polish. Stage 1 of the slab polish was completed back in July, which was the main grinding of the slab before the wall frames went up. In stage 2 they:

A) clean, apply grout to any holes/cracks, and give another light grind.

B) apply layer after layer of densifier to make it as hard as possible.

C) polish using diamond resin polishing pads to the desired gloss level.

Polished concrete is hard wearing, highly abrasion and stain resistant, and extremely low maintenance. It is not to be confused with A grind and seal finish (Polyurethane coating).If there is any coating on the concrete it is not polished concrete, and will be prone to scratch, discolour, peel, delaminate and wear down in traffic areas.

Initially we thought we wanted a low sheen finish, but after speaking with Marco were sold on the benefits of a higher gloss finish. The level of gloss is achieved by graduating through various grit pads. The higher grit the higher gloss finish. Marco recommends a minimum of 400 grit but encouraged us to consider higher. He did a sample of 400 grit and 1200 grit for us to inspect on Wednesday night, and we were happy to take his advice and go with the latter. They then set about finishing the floor to this level on the Thursday.

I was eager to inspect on Thursday night and was not let down by the finish. It came up a treat and could not be happier. Unfortunately, Jess was away in Melbourne for the day, but got to share the moment with Mila (daughter) who helped take some pics, before Kristian and Dennis (father-in-law) christened it with a beer.

Kristian had been away from the site but has been there first thing and last thing to manually open and close garage door, which is yet to be commissioned. It is a 2-man job, so we have booked in Quicklift doors to commission so it can be opened remotely.

We have been blessed to have a team of trades that are very particular about their craft. They have great attention to detail and seem passionate about what they do. Marco from Tesma Concrete certainly fits into the category and he has been able to deliver a great finished product. He of course can only work with the floor provided, and he was impressed with the quality of the concrete and the workmanship of the concreter – so kudos to Waddy’s Concrete and McKnight Concreting. The 3 parties have combined brilliantly.

McKnight concrete will hopefully be back before the next blog to do the concrete paths, which we have pushed for so that we can get some lawn down while the weather is conducive. Once the paths are down, we will get a bob cat in to level and bring in some loam, then get a pallet of turf to keep some dust of our deck. We will aim to get a sprinkler system in down the track before we get too far with the lawn.

Now the floor is polished some more joinery can be installed, and this may be happening this weekend, as our cabinet maker does not seem to stop!

From here we can see light at the end of the tunnel. Kristian will be back on site for 3 weeks or so tiling, skirting, hanging doors, fitting door furniture, etc, and getting the place ready for paint. The site is then handed over to Andre Brown who will spend the next few weeks painting. Once he is finished Wilkinson Plumbing and Mat Coates Electrical will come in and do their fit off. And Bob’s your uncle, we’re in!

Mightn’t he quite that easy, but by Easter we will be awfully close!

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