Ask the Expert: Concrete Decisions

Sometimes an unexpected incident can lead to a surprising home redesign result. “I had clients who had a major leak from a washing machine that completely ruined their hardwood floors” says David Kaplan of David Kaplan Interior Design, LLC .

Before going back to the same and obviously expected flooring product, they asked me if there might be another material I could think of recommending other than wood or tile, and would not require a whole lot of maintenance… 

David Kaplan of David Kaplan Interior Design, LLC

David Kaplan of David Kaplan Interior Design, LLC

David Kaplan of David Kaplan Interior Design, LLC says: My clients had a major leak from a washing machine that completely ruined their hardwood floors. While we began talking about replacing the wood flooring and before going back to the same and obviously expected flooring product again they asked me if there might be another material I could think of recommending other than wood or tile which would not require a whole lot of maintenance, and I automatically thought of concrete to go in all the common areas, and carpeting in the bedrooms. This was the first step leading to a complete transformation from a very nice but somewhat standard New York apartment into a much more exciting loft-like home environment.

To cut costs and to avoid adding too much additional floor height and excess weight, the process advised by Get Real Surfaces (the company brought on the job specializing in concrete surfacing and fabrication) was “troweled,” which is applied as a thinset directly over the existing concrete slab foundation and then polished. It can also be applied on top of plywood sub-flooring. For new construction, or if space allows, a thicker cast-in-place slab method can be considered.

The result was an amazing, seamless surface treatment, with minimal shading (inherent with the natural aggregate and sand components). Most colors can be custom matched, and for a variety of effects you may consider options from diamond polished to textured to stained—nd even adding recycled glass chips to the mix.

Although pure white can be a bit hard to achieve, we opted for this as the background for a stark, contemporary look, and it actually blended quite nicely with white porcelain bathroom fixtures. For the master bathroom we repeated some troweled concrete on one wall and built-in bench seat in the shower and paired that with a pre-cast concrete vanity countertop and glass floor and wall tiles.

Lee Najman Interior Designs Bathroom

In an earlier decorator show house installation with the same company, I designed a custom cast bathtub, a pre-cast vanity countertop and pre-cast concrete floor and wall tiles.

Have your own questions about using concrete in your home or other interior design matters? You can contact David Kaplan at David Kaplan Interior Design, LLC at 212-462-4329 or online at www.dkidllc.com.

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