One thing I love about old houses is that they always have their quirks. Our 1927 cottage is no exception.
In my previous post, I shared the little project that kicked off my mudroom revamp. But what I didn’t mention is that the mudroom was originally just a covered back porch – and it connects to the laundry room.
Why is that weird? Because before the back porch was enclosed (which probably happened in the 1930s or 40s), the laundry room was completely isolated from the other interior rooms. In order to do laundry, one had to go out the back door and then through a door to the right that opened into the unheated laundry room. The laundry room door even had its own deadbolt.
All this to say that the mudroom and laundry room were treated as outdoor spaces and given a concrete floor. I never paid much attention to this floor – except that I found it impossible to keep clean.
So when we recently decided to move ahead with refreshing the mudroom and remodeling the laundry room, we had to do something about that floor.
Beloved Scruffy Floor
We could have put laminate or tile flooring over the concrete and maybe even installed an in-floor heating system. But that would have meant covering an original feature of the house.
Strangely, I really liked that scruffy old concrete floor. It was stamped into large squares like a sidewalk. It looked so solid and substantial.
For some time, I had been noticing the beautiful, industrial-looking stained concrete floors in some of the restaurants in town.
We have some charming details planned for our upcoming laundry room remodel, and I felt that a rustic, industrial floor would balance out the charm and keep things interesting.
But how to find that look – and how to get it right? Chris and I believe in doing projects ourselves if we know how, especially if we enjoy the task. But we also believe there is no shame in recognizing those times when we should just bring in a professional.
So Chris found Kenji at Semco Flooring Seattle.
And I have to admit that watching him work was more fun than trying to do it myself.
First Chris and I had to agree on the type of stain we wanted. We looked at the samples that Kenji brought but, wanting a bigger picture, we also visited several of his finished projects. We eventually came to the conclusion that we wanted a mottled charcoal stain with a matte finish.
As Kenji said, we wanted “character.”
Cleaning the Floor
One thing I like about this company is that they do their best to be environmentally conscious. Kenji cleaned the floor thoroughly but didn’t use acid.
And later in the project, when the stain was drying, we smelled fumes but they weren’t horrible and seemed to dissipate quickly.
The Skim Coat
After cleaning, Kenji applied a resurfacing skim coat to the entire floor. This gave the floor some texture so that the dye would settle in the low spots for that mottled look we wanted.
I was a little alarmed that the seams in the concrete were completely immersed. But I didn’t need to worry.
A White Base Coat
Then he painted the floor white. He did this to give himself a blank canvas on which to work. Then he carved out the seams so they were visible again.
Kenji applied a coat of stain, and after it dried he came back and asked us what we thought. It wasn’t quite dark enough, so he applied a second coat.
Then he applied the matte finish. It had to dry for a few days before we could walk on it.
But we love the results.
The color and texture give the floor the character that Benji was talking about.
The floor is now too sexy for the rooms. But we are working on that.
Of course there will be some maintenance. Kenji gave us a special cleaner to use and, depending on how much wear and tear we subject the floor to, we will need to touch up the finish every so often.
As with any nice floor, I plan to put small rugs in the high-traffic areas.
Will this floor really work with what we have planned? You will know as soon as I do. So stay tuned.
Before and After Recap
We went from this . . .
*All posts on this blog are for entertainment only and not intended as tutorials or endorsements.
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