If someone wanted to prove that decorative concrete is the ideal way to create a show-stopping floor, mentioning the Cleveland Cavaliers Team Shop would be a great way to do it.
A crew from PDM Concrete LLC, a Cleveland-based decorative concrete contracting company owned by Patrick Maloy, completed 6,000 square feet of epoxy floor coating work in the NBA team’s renovated multimillion-dollar team shop in September 2010. In this two-story space are epoxy-coated floors that sport the rust-orange color and black lines of a basketball.
This wasn’t the first time Maloy worked with the Cleveland Cavaliers — four years ago, he was hired for a stained floor project at the Cleveland Clinic Courts, a practice facility used by the team. After he had been hired for the team-shop floor job, Maloy approached his client with samples of the Lümiere Metallic Epoxy Flooring System from decorative flooring products manufacturer Düraamen Engineered Products Inc. He had used it in the past, but this was the first time Cavaliers officials had seen it. “I took it upon myself to do a sample of the Lümiere system and showed it to the owners in a meeting, and they loved it,” Maloy says.
Ellsworth Grimsley, senior vice president of construction for Rock Companies (a management and construction company that owns a stake in the Cavaliers) managed the team-shop floor project. He says decorative concrete was chosen for its economical, durable and low-maintenance qualities. “(Decorative concrete) gave us the opportunity to create a unique and distinctive look and to create a design in the floor that we couldn’t generate with any other flooring product,” he says.
The Lümiere flooring system in particular allowed them to achieve a eye-catching result, Grimsley says. “It’s an epoxy, so it’s hard and durable, and it offers a color selection that has metallic aspects.”
Compared to an acid stain, Lümiere has more reflectivity and dimension, and it looks like it has texture even though it’s on a completely smooth floor, Grimsley says. “We were able to create a look of depth and movement that wouldn’t be available in a floor (acid) stain.”
Düraamen general manager Victor Pachadé calls Lümiere a “designer epoxy flooring system” and says that unlike with some single-tone epoxies, contractors can mix different hues of Lümiere products to create unique colors. “Because of the reflectivity of the epoxy, it gives you a three-dimensional look,” Pachadé says. “You can get creative by combining different pigments and create some really cool looks.”
Lümiere creates variations in color, just as acid stains do, Pachadé says. However, application of Lümiere results in less residue and offers a more predictable result.
“Here on the East Coast, we’ve been noticing stained concrete in a lot of high-end apartments,” Pachadé says. “You can create the same look with
Lümiere, but with less residue management. And your end result will be the same color as the sample — there won’t be surprises or variation.”
In the team shop, Lümiere gave the Cleveland Cavaliers owners the luxurious look they were going for, Pachadé says. “They wanted to create a wow factor with this floor,” he says. “They wanted a very rich, high-end look.”
Maloy and a crew of seven began the installation process by applying a joint filler to fill the saw cuts in the cured concrete, which had been poured by the general contractor 30 days prior. “We did that so when you look at the floor, you don’t even realize it’s concrete,” Maloy says. “You would have no idea where the saw cuts were.” Then, he sanded the entire surface.
Next, the basketball-pattern seams were etched into the floor with a 4-inch grinder. Responding to a high reading on a moisture-vapor emission rate test, workers applied a moisture vapor treatment product to quickly bring the surface’s emission rate down from eight pounds to below three pounds (per 1,000 square feet in 24 hours). This ensured the epoxy coating would not peel off the surface once it was applied.
Maloy and his crew then applied Düraamen’s Copper Lümiere as a primer, followed by the Lümiere epoxy coating in Bronze. The combination of the two colors helped Maloy achieve the “orangeish leather color” of a basketball, he says. The coating was topped off with two coats of Perdüre P70, a durable, chemical-resistant, clear topcoat.
To make the basketball seams, the crew filled the lines that had been etched into the floor with Perdüre E20, an epoxy in Jet Black, followed by another coat of the Perdüre P70. Pachadé says this particular topcoat was chosen for its curing speed — it cures in just three to five days.
A major challenge occurred prior to the first application of the Perdüre P70. The face of the team shop building is comprised of glass, but before the glass was installed, tarps were hung to protect the shop from exterior elements. Unfortunately, thousands of bugs called midges made their way through the tarps one day and got stuck in the epoxy material on the first floor of the shop.
As a result, Maloy says he had to sand the entire floor to remove the bugs and reapply the Bronze Lümiere epoxy coating. “We were on a really tight schedule, so we had to coordinate,” Maloy says. “Scheduling was a big part of it.”
Fortunately, the strict schedule was abided by, and the floors were complete in just 80 days. “It’s pretty amazing — I don’t know of another multimillion-dollar project that was done in that amount of time,” Maloy says.
The finished result is an awe-inspiring floor that’s received a flood of attention. (Maloy says the new team shop has “been in the news like crazy.”) If you stand on the top level, which has a giant oval-shaped opening in it, and look down past the glass railings to the first floor, you might notice the basketball seams on the first floor are perfectly aligned with those on the second floor.
“That’s the neatest thing,” Maloy says, adding that “the Lümiere almost looks 3-D. It has depth and it really looks like leather. It’s not a stain, it’s a coating, but it still has the dimension of a stain.”
Now, the Cleveland Cavaliers facility Maloy first worked on — the Cleveland Clinic Courts — will be getting the Lümiere treatment as well. Maloy will be installing 4,000 square feet of the flooring system in the team’s new colors (deeper, brighter versions of their original wine and gold) at the facility in the near future.
“I feel so fortunate to have built this relationship with the Cleveland Cavaliers,” Maloy says. “They’ve given us great opportunities.”
Project at a Glance
Client: Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland, Ohio
Decorative concrete contractor: Patrick Maloy, PDM Concrete LLC, Cleveland, Ohio | www.pdmconcrete.com
Architect: Phillip Badalamenti, Herschman Architects Inc., Cleveland, Ohio | www.herschmanarchitects.com
General contractor: Kurt Heinicke and Don Harley, Albert M. Higley Co., Cleveland, Ohio
Project manager: Ellsworth Grimsley, Rock Companies, Livonia, Mich. | www.rockcompanies.com
Scope of project: 6,000 square feet of epoxy flooring in a two-level NBA team shop (4,000 square feet on the first floor and 2,000 square feet on the second floor)
Duration of Project: 80 days
Materials supplier: Düraamen Engineered Products Inc., Newark, N.J.
Düraamen materials used: Perdüre E02 primer in copper, Lümiere epoxy coating in bronze, Perdüre E20 in jet black, Perdüre P70 topcoat