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G1 Flooring Repair

The flooring in G1 is rapidly deteriorating. At the 2019 AGM, it was decided that the floor needs to be fixed: Alfie was appointed to organise fixing the floor in G1, which means deciding how to fix it and wrangling members into fixing it.

Alfie knows next to nothing about floors, so this wiki page chronicles Alfie Learning These Things And Fixing The Floor, Hopefully.


We're not replacing the whole floor, because that's a metric ton of effort. Instead, we're just painting the highest traffic section in the middle of G1. This is from the kitchen to the door, where the existing floor covering is not deteriorating. I have laid a strip of duct tape at this border. 

We will start fairly early on the Saturday morning (I'm expecting about 10AM) to clear the floor and move the sofa/etc up to the end of the room that we're not painting. 

We will then wirebrush the concrete to prepare it for painting. This will be done with angle grinders and wire cups, and is gonna *suck*. If you have hearing protection and a respirator you like, bring them. The lab will be buying some disposable dust masks for those who don't. 

After that, we will apply three coats of paint:

The first is a sealing coat,which involves diluting the paint with water in order to stabilise the top surface of the concrete. This will take about two to four hours dry "touch-dry", which is about when we can start applying the second coat. I estimate we'll be able to start this around 1-2pm, which takes us through to 4-6PM when we'll be able to apply the second coat. 

Coats #2 and #3 are full coats of the floor paint. Each coat will need approximately six hours to dry before it can be walked on or painted over, and about will continue drying for about 72 hours (less in practice, because we have heating and an extractor fan). 

This means the second coat will dry by about midnight, so I'd suggest we let it dry overnight and apply the last coat on Sunday morning (about 9-10 AM), before moving the furniture back in at towards late Sunday afternoon. 

Volunteers & Shifts

Shifts available:

  • Clear G1 (10AM Sat)
  • Wirebrush & Coat 1 (12PM Sat)
  • Coat 2 & Pizza! (4PM Sat)
  • Coat 3 (9AM Sun)
  • Re-populate G1 & Pizza! (4PM Sun)
Name Clear G1 Wirebrush & Coat 1 Coat 2 & Pizza! Coat 3 Repopulate G1 & Pizza!
Alfie Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye
Mike Probably not Yes Maybe Maybe Maybe
Vytas Aye Aye (for wirebrush) Nay Nay Nay
Peter No No No Yes Yes
Cameron No Maybe Yes No Yes
Taisiya No No Yes No No
David No No No Maybe Maybe

What's there now?

The floor in G1 appears to be a concrete slab with a top layer of linoleum. If it was intact it'd be quite suitable - easy to clean and relatively robust. The floor in G1 however was installed in, like, the 80s or something, and so has fallen to bits in the intervening time.

G1's floor area is 9.1M x 4.2M = 38.22M²

What have other spaces done?

Revspace changed their flooring a while ago.

16:44:02 <Allie`> Juerd / Sebastius: joepie91 tells me you know about the re-floor-ening of RevSpace! Edinburgh Hacklab also needs re-floor-ening - I'm curious what you did, and what decisions you made to get there? 
16:48:42 <@Sebastius> Allie`: what would you like to know?
16:51:38 <Allie`> Sebastius: primarily, why did you do what you did, and what are the mistakes we should avoid?
16:53:12 <@Sebastius> well we had a linoleum (don't know the translation) floor in here that was beat up. We filled the pits with a polymer caulk and place the floor on top of that. We skipped the normal foam underfloor and that was a mistake.
16:53:25 <@Sebastius> the floor is way more uneven than we anticipated
16:53:55 <@Sebastius> we went with a PVC floor that you click into eachother
16:55:51 <Allie`> Sebastius: awesome, that's exactly the situation i'm in. we've got a lino floor that was installed in like, the 90s or something, and it's falling to bits
16:56:11 <Allie`> the concrete slab underneath is in reasonable shape, i hope, except where the floor has been ripped up 
16:56:12 <@Sebastius> Allie`: if you have the time and manpower: rip it out
16:56:21 <@Sebastius> ours was glued in
16:56:30 <@Sebastius> and we didnt want to rip it out
16:57:00 <Allie`> we're planning to rip it out, aye. gonna bribe members with pizza or something, seems to be the way to get people to do things ;) 
16:57:41 <@Sebastius> Allie`: all our 'space project' days are fully catered. We provide food drinks and snacks, we invest in the proper tools and kneepads and safety stuff
16:57:56 <@Sebastius> you never go hungry or physically hurting
16:58:25 <@Sebastius> Allie`:
16:58:42 <@joepie91[m]> additional note to the above... iirc our new flooring did have foam underfloor on the bottom, but it wasn't enough to account for the unevenness
16:58:55 <@Sebastius> before this we cut a trench in the floor for some electricity  to the tables
17:00:02 <@Sebastius> we effectively had one full weekend of space downtime
17:02:30 <@joepie91[m]> Allie`: also, for laminate flooring like what we have now, keep in mind that you should leave it in the room where it's going to be used for a while (before using it) so it can acclimatize
21:20:00 <@Juerd> Allie`: We went for rather stiff PVC laminate and that might have been a mistake given that we couldn't fully prepare the subfloor.
21:20:27 <@Juerd> Allie`: The sides of the planks, with the click profile, are breaking in some places.
21:21:48 <@Juerd> Allie`: I still think waterproof PVC was the right choice, especially considering how a club mate spill is no longer cause for a huge panic (as long as it's not in the same place as the broken plank tongues), but next time I'd look for a more plasticized version.

Options for sorting the flooring

Pay Someone

We should probably pay someone to do the floor. Alfie is getting quotes from local floor people.

Do it ourselves?

Some people think we should do it ourselves.

Option 1: Do nothing

Self explanatory. Let the flooring slowly deteriorate.

  • Compatible with the Hacklab's ethos of not doing anything.
  • Makes the space feel scruffy and unmaintained.
  • People keep tripping on it.
  • People point out the holes in the floor and say “we should do something about that.”

Option 2: Naked concrete

Martling's proposal. Rip up the Lino and expose the concrete underneath.

  • Cheap and easy - Only requirement is some humans and some bribes for the humans.
  • We can decided to add more flooring at a later date if it doesn't work out.
  • Still looks kinda shabby
  • Concrete is unsealed and porous, which makes cleaning a lot more difficult
  • Concrete will wear unevenly in high-traffic areas and expose the aggregate below

Option 3: Self-levelling compound + Floor paint

Rip up the flooring and finish with self-levelling compound and floor paint, a la workshop flooring.

  • Hard-wearing
  • Very easy to clean
  • Looks excellent if done well
  • Reasonably cost-effective
  • Easy-ish? Definitely DIY level
  • Requires clearing G1
  • Fairly messy - Lots of goopy flooring compound / paint etc.
  • No lab access for a few days whilst the floor/paint cures
  • If we screw it up, it could result in a worse floor than we have right now.

Option 4: Laminate flooring

Rip up the lino and install quality laminate flooring.

  • Looks awesome, and makes G1 feel like a social/“human” space more than a workshop
  • Very easy to install
  • Easy to clean
  • RevSpace did it
  • Laminate flooring is susceptible to scratches / gouges / general wear and tear.

Option 5: Polished concrete

We could use the existing concrete and make it look nice.

  • Sustainable
  • Easy to clean as it is smooth
  • Flexible pricing - depends how smooth we'd want to make it.
  • Lasts a lot longer than typical lino.
  • Further to Martin's idea above.
  • I don't know anyone who has experience laying it. We'd need to look for a quote from folks. It would also mean completely clearning G1, but that's not necessarily an issue particular to this solution.
  • We'd need someone to come and tell us if our current concrete is suitable.

Option 6: Lino

Pull up old lino, put down new lino

  • Easy
  • llama

Option ?: Something else

Add proposals here!

  • hack the planet
  • llama
g1_flooring.txt · Last modified: 2019-06-22 08:01 by Simon