Create an interior space for a high-end residential building lobby in Brooklyn, NY, where "less is more" in terms of color and mind-bending decorative patterns. A minimalist approach—contemporary and stylish.
The installer, Dominick Cardone of Diversified Decorative Finishes Inc., says, "the monolithic effect of this microtopping application on the floors and walls produces a 'simple, clean, elegant' look that places the spotlight on other design elements." A dark, leather-clad wall recess in one area, wood paneling in another, and stone and concrete elsewhere enhance the space. Other furnishings complete the picture.
"In a gallery, you want the art or exhibits to pop," Cardone says. "In retail, you want the product to be the stand-out." Here, the furnishings and architectural elements take center stage.
This eclectic approach also tends to give the space more depth and warmth," Cardone says.
Imagine the convenience and versatility of a decorative concrete finish that can be applied to walls or floors. It's not a matter for the imagination. Such decorative finishes already exist.
Mastercraftsman, Dominick Cardone of Diversified Decorative Finishes Inc. states, "minimalism, as opposed to polychromatic excess, is very much in play." Cardone, who's based in Brooklyn, NY, frequently uses materials from Duraamen Engineered Products Inc., including the company's Skraffino concrete microtopping. A recent project of his — this high-end residential building lobby in New York City — is an example of the minimalism approach, American East Coast edition. It utilizes the Skraffino microtopping in a warm gray tone to produce a muted, neutral background for the decorative pieces and furnishings that the project designer made prominent in the lobby space.
Cardone trowel-applied two coats of Skraffino over the sheetrock walls. He opted for a 50-50 mix of the Fine and Superfine grades of the microtopping white base color. The first coat, having dried overnight, was sanded and cleaned before the second coat being applied.
The common areas in this residential building feature Skraffino microtopping in a warm gray. The coating was chosen to provide a neutral background to best display the building's decorative pieces and furnishings.
Cardone used a mix of gray and brown colors added to the white base color to produce what he calls a "warm gray." A transparent acrylic sealer completed the treatment.
On the new concrete floor, Cardone also used Skraffino microtopping. Here he started with grinding and minor repairs before applying Duraamen's Param 5500 self-leveling underlayment.
The Param 5500 provided a "beautiful canvas," to work on," Cardone says. When the Param had cured, Cardone mop-applied Duraamen's CP1000 acrylic dispersion. The CP1000 serves as the copolymer component (the primer) for the Skraffino microtopping. The Skraffino was trowel-applied in two coats with a screening in between using a floor polisher. The first coat was done with the Skraffino Fine grade, followed by a Fine-Superfine mix of the microtopping for the topcoat.
The work was completed with another sanding and application of a 100% solid clear epoxy, and another sanding. Finally, an application of a clear urethane sealer was applied.
Sealer performance looms large in these kinds of floor applications, Cardone emphasizes. Here, "It's made to stand up to traffic," he says.
A Duraamen spokesman says Skraffino is specified where designers and owners opt for seamless concrete walls. Contemporary high-rise buildings, lofts, and apartments are typical candidates for these kinds of microcement applications.
Duraamen recently rolled out another product, "Arapido," a sprayable microtopping for concrete designed to be quickly applied to large areas.
Concrete microtoppings can produce a varied surface texture that adds depth, Cardone says, with the use of the three different grades and a specific trowel technique.
"It can go from rough to highly burnished, so it's up to the designer and the installer." He applies the term "consistently inconsistent" to a finish that exhibits variation and depth. Lighting also plays a vital role in the resulting impression.
Dominick Cardone was one of the featured artisans at Decorative Concrete LIVE! at the 2020 World of Concrete.
- Contemporary concrete flooring offers a unique look. Nearly infinite color options and textures can be created, meaning no two floors are the same. Custom interior design projects are easily realized through color, texture, and material choices.
- Concrete flooring and walls last for the life of your business or home.
- Concrete flooring and walls are low maintenance. For commercial properties, a concrete floor should have a clear sealer reapplied every 2-3 years. For residential flooring resealing is only needed every 4-5.
- Because Duraamen concrete microtopping and overlay products are known for their high-quality, contemporary style and trend-setting advancements towards ease of installation, they are used by contractors nationwide at comparable costs to other types of flooring.
Do-it-yourself: $3–$4.50 per square foot depending on the thickness.
Installed by a pro: $10–$12/sq.ft. for flooring. Vertical surfaces (walls) are typically a little more expensive at $18–$20/sq.ft.
Outside of Brooklyn, NY concrete flooring costs vary depending on your geographic location and the thickness of the overlay. Thickness is determined by the condition of the existing substrate. Is the substrate new, old, level, good condition, deteriorated, plywood or gypsum?
The cost is comparable or less than other types of flooring including:
- Ceramic or Porcelain Tile
- Commercial Carpet