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  • The concrete sidewalks at the prestigious Beverly Hills Hotel are restored with a water-based stain as a low-cost, low-maintenance solution to replacing the outdoor carpeting.
  • A concrete entryway leading to one of the hotel's luxurious guest bungalows.
  • These concrete steps and landings, leading from a bungalow down to a garden area, were also rejuvenated with stain. Anti-skid beads were added to the sealer to prevent slip-and-fall accidents.
  • The concrete walkway alongside outdoor seating at the famous Polo Lounge.
  • Another walkway to the garden area.

The challengeThe luxurious Beverly Hills Hotel, located on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, decided to remove the outdoor carpeting from the sidewalks and stairways that run between the bungalows alongside the main building and stain the underlying concrete. They wanted a surface that was easy to maintain and lower in cost than replacing the carpet. Another concern was preventing slip-and-fall accidents, so a nonskid surface treatment was also a priority.

The logistics of the project were a handful, since the walkways receive a lot of foot traffic, and hotel guests and staff needed to use the areas while they were under renovation. "We had to coordinate around guests, room service, maid service, groundskeeping, laundry carts, bellman carts, and the list goes on," says Jon Adler of Coolstone Concrete Design, a company that specializes in restoring existing concrete. The project entailed nearly 20,000 square feet of renovation work.

Design goalsThe Beverly Hills Hotel has long been a popular retreat for entertainers, politicians, foreign officials, and business leaders from around the world. The five-start resort sits amid 12 acres of lush gardens, and has 204 guest rooms, a palm tree-lined pool with cabanas, and public areas reminiscent of timeless Hollywood glamour.

"The goal of the hotel owners was to reflect the theme of the hotel, that of a rustic, exclusive European feel," says Adler. "They wanted to complement the terracotta roof tiles but not overwhelm the famous pink, white, and green color scheme of the hotel. The final results give an antiqued, natural-stone feel to the concrete walkways and enhance the hotel's European ambience."

Secrets to success

  • Surface prep involved removal of all the carpet and the glue underneath. "We found that if we heavily soaked the carpet with water first, it would tear off much easier, but we still needed a small ride-on floor scraper for all the square footage we had to cover," says Adler. "After the carpet was removed, we ground off the glue with a pair of 25-inch planetary grinders. We did two passes, the first for glue removal and the next to remove swirl marks. Then we followed with hand grinders for the edges."

  • To avoid disturbing the guests, the crew was not permitted to start work before 9 a.m. "We worked in sections while the hotel was open for business. We tried to be lean and efficient, working quickly and sticking to a five-part process so that no matter where we were on the job, the hotel could schedule us to come back around if we got moved," Adler explains. "On some days, work that was scheduled for the morning would change by noon, so we tried to stay flexible and ready to move around. I advised my guys to smile and focus on customer service, just like the hotel does."

  • Coolstone chose a water-based stain in a coral pink shade and applied it by sprayer in two coats. "We used two coats so it would look somewhat even and not mottle out too much, then we applied a solvent-based acrylic sealer, sprayed on in three thin coats. We broadcast anti-slip polymer beads and powder into the first coat of sealer, for the beads to stick to, and the next two coats locked them down. We found that with the heavy foot traffic and carts for the bell service, this seemed to hold up the best," says Adler.

Riding the 'green' waveCoolstone Concrete Design started out 5 years ago as a concrete overlay contractor and has grown to include many other services, including concrete staining, polishing, and epoxy coating application. "In our area, concrete staining has always been popular, and polishing is really getting big. People see it as a great low-maintenance solution compared to other types of flooring," says Adler. "Staining and polishing are riding the green wave because they have a low environmental impact, which in California is a big concern. We always tell people resurfacing is a great way to repurpose a floor without having to manufacture anything new."

Materials usedWater-based stain: Proline Concrete System's Dura-Color EZ-Accent
Anti-skid polymer beads:Americrete
Find concrete stain manufacturers.

ContractorsCoolstone Concrete Design, Encino, Calif.
Grinding subcontractor: THT Flooring, Lawndale, Calif.

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