A presence on the Internet has paid off for concrete flooring product supplier Düraamen by attracting new business from Potbelly Sandwich Works, a delicatessen chain growing its presence in the greater New York City market.
Düraamen general manager Victor Pachade says Potbelly representatives turned to him for a flooring system for new Potbelly Sandwich Shops in Manhattan and outlying areas where laws restrict use of the acid stain they normally use in other parts of the country. In place of acid staining, they had tried polishing and sealing but were unhappy with inconsistent results.
They had been searching for a system where they could produce the same consistent look store after store. One of their general contractors looked around online and told the Potbelly project manager he thought the Düraamen overlay products would be a good fit.
“The project manager for the New York City area called us and said he wanted to try our products” in a Manhattan store on West 14th Street that had a floor with a plywood base, Pachade says.
The system that satisfied
Pachade recommended the Düraamen system that starts with a layer of Param 5500 self-leveling concrete poured over the top of metal lath. “This layer is calcium aluminate-based so there’s less shrinkage and cracks,” Pachade says, noting that it’s a great choice for distressed substrates.
Next, two coats of Sgraffino overlay mixed with Colorfast integral-color powder were put down to create a hand-applied concrete appearance. The layer of microtopping is about 1/16 inch thick and is colored by a custom blend made from three or four grays, Pachade says. “We had to submit several samples to the client before we landed on a concoction of grays that produced the color they were looking for.”
After drying overnight, the Sgraffino layer was burnished with a 100-grit sanding machine and sealed. Pachade recommended three coats of sealer for the Potbelly projects: a primer coat of Perdüre E32, a water-based epoxy; a coat of Perdüre E12, a 100-percent solids UV-stable epoxy; and a final coat of Perdüre U45, a water-based polyurethane that produced the matte finish Potbelly wanted.
“In most cases, we usually recommend sealing with a combination of E32 and U45,” Pachade says, “but the finish tends to wear off and show traffic patterns in a couple of years.” Potbelly opted for three layers of sealer that included a high-build middle layer between 10-12 mils thick to increase the finish’s durability and longevity. “It probably won’t show traffic areas for four to five years.”
Düraamen also helped Potbelly find installation contractors. Gabby Yifrah, project manager for Potbelly shops in the greater New York City area, asked Pachade for a list of contractors who worked in the city and knew how to use Düraamen products. He recommended three, and Diversified Decorative Finishes, based in Brooklyn, was hired to do the floor.
More to come
In addition to the store on West 14th Street, a new Potbelly shop on Park Avenue South in New York and another on Exchange Place in Jersey City feature the Düraamen floor system with the custom gray. (Diversified did the Jersey City store, and Mirage Finishes, Valley Stream, N.Y., did the Manhattan store.)
“The self-leveling concrete is not always required,” Pachade says. “The store on 14th Street needed it because the floor had a plywood substrate. On Park Avenue, it was needed because the floor was so unleveled. But in Jersey, the floor was in fairly good condition and only need three coats of our microtopping.”
Pachade says a concrete overlay system has several advantages over polished concrete. For starters, it offers consistency in appearance and an initial quick turnaround. “From start to finish, our system can be completely installed in five to six days. If you pour fresh concrete, you have to wait 28 days before polishing it.” Not to mention, he adds, “not all concrete is polishable.”
Overlay systems can also be used to create a branded look that’s the same in every store, regardless of the makeup of a particular region’s concrete, he says.
In addition to the three stores already completed, Pachade expects to supply the products for many more down the road.
According to Jennifer Starr, senior design manager for Potbelly Sandwich Works in Chicago, her company chooses durable products that look a certain way for their stores nationwide. Which products they use for what is determined on a site-by-site basis. “It all comes down to cost, timing and a combination of things,” she says. “The (Düraamen) products are certainly an option. We’ve been having consistent success with them.”
Project at a Glance
Client: Potbelly Sandwich Works, Chicago, Illinois
Decorative Concrete Contractors:
Diversified Decorative Finishes, Brooklyn, N.Y. – Shops on 14th Street, Manhattan, and Exchange Place, Jersey City, N.J
Mirage Finishes, Valley Stream, N.Y. – Park Avenue South, Manhattan | www.miragestudiosltd.com
Scope of project: Finish floors in sandwich shops in the greater New York City area in a manner that produces the same look each time.
Number of Stores: Three in 2012, with more planned.
Time and Crew Involved: Five to six days to complete each job with a crew of four to five people
Area Involved: The Potbelly stores are between 1,200-1,500 square feet
Materials Used: Düraamen’s Param 5500 self-leveling concrete, Sgraffino microtopping with Colorfast integral colors, Perdüre E32 water-based epoxy primer coat, Perdüre E12 epoxy glaze and Perdüre U45 water-based polyurethane topcoat