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  • The concrete floor in the event center of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum is now an art-deco masterpiece, created with various colors of concrete dye and decorative sawcuts. The floor was polished and sealed to eliminate the need to re-apply floor wax.
  • To create the art-deco design, nearly two miles of tape and plastic were used to keep the penetrating dye colors separate while they were applied.
  • The art-deco floor in the event center was patterned after the design of the existing terrazzo floor in the museum’s classic car showroom.

When the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Ind., installed a concrete floor in their event center back in 2000, it was sealed with a wax topcoat that would scuff and scratch easily when chairs and tables were moved in and out of the space. To preserve the shine of the floor, the wax would frequently need to be reapplied, adding to the museum’s maintenance costs.

Nick Dancer of Dancer Concrete Design was able to offer another solution to the scuffed-up wax finish — a polished concrete floor. “Our polished concrete floors are finished with diamond abrasives to polish and refine the concrete. The diamond polishing process adds remarkable shine to the floor, and everything that was done to this floor was subsurface, or penetrating, including the concrete dye,” he says.

For this project, Dancer and his crew polished the 6,682-square-foot floor to an 800-grit finish and protected it with both a densifier and sealer. “The biggest positive for the museum is that the sealer is also a penetrating product. It is extremely abrasion resistant and won’t scratch, scuff, or need to be re-sealed or waxed. This saves money for the museum in the long run and it provides a surface that will look much better after events and years of traffic. This kind of system is our standard polished concrete system, for residential and commercial properties alike,” he says.

For the graphic design, the museum wanted to replicate the look of the terrazzo floor in its magnificent art-deco showroom, which displays the classic 1930s-era cars of the Auburn Automobile Company. To create the multicolored pattern, Dancer applied penetrating concrete dye in the colors of mahogany, midnight black, custom green, and sand. “It was important to have very clean, defined lines between each colored section,” he says. “We cut 3/8-inch grout lines and used nearly two miles of tape and plastic to keep the penetrating dye separate while it was applied. This extra effort was worth it when you see the completed space, with clean lines, clear color separation, and a great overall shine.”

Materials used:
Concrete dye: Ameripolish penetrating dyes
Concrete densifier: Ameripolish 3DHS Concrete Densifier
Sealer: Ameripolish SR2 Concrete Sealer

Polishing contractor:
Nick Dancer
Dancer Concrete Design, Ft. Wayne, Ind.

See other projects completed by this contractor:
Polished Concrete Floor Becomes a Painters Canvas
Beautiful Chemistry
Smoothing Out the Rough Spots

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