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Put the Pedal to the MetalA metallic epoxy floor coating revs up a classic car showroom
The Hemi Hideout’s display of collectible neon signs are mirrored in the shiny metallic floor coating, creating a dazzling light show.
Surface prep for the coating involved shotblasting the floor and filling any visible cracks with an epoxy paste. This was followed by diamond grinding to achieve a smooth surface.
Even though the floor coating covered a large 21,000-square-foot area, Xpedite used a small three-man crew for the entire process to ensure consistency in mixing and application of the coating material.
To achieve a marbling effect, the central floor area was covered with a dark brown metallic epoxy base coat, and then copper metallic highlights were worked into the brown epoxy with a roller.
The crew installed the epoxy floor coating at a 1/16-inch thickness to ensure good performance under heavy foot traffic. “Since epoxy floors have an extra thick finish, they are typically quite durable,” says Fernandez-Cueto.
A close-up view of the metallic epoxy coating, showing the marble-like veining.
The metallic-coated floor sits under Hemi Hideout’s timber-framed octagon-shaped copula, which soars to a height of 54 feet. All the timber pieces were harvested from sustainable forests and secured with oak dowels, eliminating the need for bolts, nails or glue. Built for maximum energy efficiency, the building uses R-38 structural insulated panels for the walls and roof and has geothermal heating and air conditioning. See more photos of this magnificent building at www.hemihideout.com.
Muscle car fanatic John Hovas built the Hemi Hideout, located just outside of Houston, for one primary purpose: to display his private collection of 24 vintage Mopars from the 1960s and early ‘70s. But this 21,700-square-foot Texas-sized shrine has become much more than a dream come true for Hovas and other Mopar lovers. The venue also displays more than 600 collectible porcelain and neon signs dating back to the early 1900s as well as antique tractors and motorcycles, all restored to their original glory. Along with this eclectic display of memorabilia, the Hemi Hideout has a sound stage, indoor and outdoor kitchens and a pergola-covered patio, making it a popular spot for hosting special events, including weddings, reunions and business meetings. All the bright lights, color, music and nostalgia are housed under Hemi Hideout’s magnificent timber-framed octagon-shaped copula, which rises to a height of 54 feet. Adding to the wow factor is a glistening, metallic-coated concrete floor that reflects and amplifies the neon lights and shiny muscle-car chrome.
“We met Hovas for the first time in 2010, just before the foundation for Hemi Hideout was poured,” says Jose-Pablo Fernandez-Cueto of Xpedite Coatings, a company specializing in epoxy garage and commercial floor coatings. “His idea was to blend the timber frame color with the floor, but he wanted something completely different and original for his property. He wanted the floor to have a smooth, glasslike finish with a unique and subtle reflective sparkle. He immediately fell in love with some metallic-coated floor samples we had made for him, and asked us to blend two colors of metallic powder until we made the right color. The sample floor looked amazing, and was perfect a match with the timber frame.”
To add more interest, Hovas, his wife and their designer decided to use a lighter color for the floor’s outside aisles, and Fernandez-Cueto recommended putting in some veins using the same metallic color to achieve a marbled look. “On the central area we installed a dark brown metallic 100%-solids epoxy base coat and added some copper metallic onto the brown epoxy,” he says. “For the adjacent areas, we installed an ivory base coat covered with clear epoxy and metallic pigments for a marbled look. Finally, the entire floor was cleaned, sanded and top coated with urethane to enhance long-term performance.”
The size of the project was 21,000 square feet and took 23 days to complete. “It took two days to prep the surface, using a shotblasting machine for the main area and hand-held grinders for the perimeter. But we were only able to use a three-man crew to install the coating to guarantee that every square inch would incorporate the same technique,” Fernandez-Cueto explains. “One guy mixed the material, which in itself is pretty complex because one small error and you can kiss the project goodbye. A second guy was in charge of spreading the product with a squeegee, making sure the coverage was always 78 square feet per gallon. A third guy, the artist, was in charge of spreading the material with an 18-inch roller using his own individual technique.”
In addition to crew’s painstaking coating installation, Fernandez-Cueto also credits much of the success of this project to the material supplier, Concrete Flooring Associates. “CFA provided all our resin materials and metallic pigment additives. Their services were critical to our success, given the demanding nature of a project this complex and its size. CFA works very closely with SureCrete Design Products and its chemist to ensure the products perform as required. This kind of support helps us immensely.”
The demand for epoxy coatings, particularly metallics, is thriving in the retail and commercial markets, according to Fernandez-Cueto. But his business is also gaining ground in the residential arena. “When we started this business 6 years ago, we noticed low demand with residential builders due to the effects of the recession,” he says. “Nobody wanted to spend extra money to coat a garage floor. We had to work hard to convince builders that most homeowners enter their homes through the garage and the benefits of our coatings. Today, we work with over 100 custom builders of which more than half apply our coatings in all their homes. Quartz and color flake epoxy coatings are our number one floor system for residential floors.”
Materials used:Metallic epoxy floor coating system: SureCrete Design Products (supplier Concrete Flooring Associates)
Coating installer:Xpedite Coatings, Houston, Texaswww.xpeditecoatings.com
Learn more about metallic floor coatings