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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 136 (116)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 136
Page 136

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 136


RUBBER. ASPHALT, OR CORK TILE AND THE LIKE may also be quite readily applied to an even. clean. and dry concrete subfloor in such places in the theatre as lobbies and restrooms.

Floors subjected to 'spilled milk, syrups, fruit juices, brines, fats and oils, any many other industrial products should be thoroughly scrubbed frequently. In many plants it is necessary to scrub the fioors at least once a day. Warm, soapy water and stiff brushes should be used, after which the iioor should be mopped clean. Electric scrubbing machines are widely used for cleaning large floor areas.

Decorative fioors should be cleaned with warm, soapy water prior to use and at subsequent intervals depending on the severity of service. Only mild soaps should be used on terrazzo and other types of decorative floors. Soap should be removed by rinsing thoroughly to prevent the surface from becoming slippery.

Terrazzo floors acquire a beautiful natural sheen when they are washed often for the first 2 or 3 months. After this period, less work will be required in their upkeep.

Surface Treatments

The durability of concrete fioors depends primarily upon observance of the fundamental rules in making, placing, curing, and finishing the concrete. Dusting of the floor surface may occur if these rules are violated.

Many of these fioors may be improved by applying some material to assist in hardening and binding the surface. These treatments are not cure-ails for poor materials or careless workmanship and will not make a perfect wearing surface of a poorly built fioor. Magnesium fluosilicate, zinc fluosilicate, sodium silicate, aluminum sulphate, zinc sulphate, Chinawood and linseed oil and various gums, resins and paraffins are substances used for this purpose. Sometimes paints are applied after these treatments as further protection.

It is essential that the floor be clean and free from plaster, oil, paint or other foreign substances before giving any further treatment. It should also be fairly dry to assist penetration. When paint of any kind is to be used, it is important that the concrete be absolutely dry.

Fluosilicate*The iiuosilicates of zinc and magnesium dissolved in water have been used with good success. Either of the fluosilicates may be used separately, but a mixture of 20 per cent zinc and 80 per cent magnesium appears to give the best results. In making up the solutions, 1/2 lb. of the fluosilicate should be dissolved in 1 gal. of water for the first application and 2 lb. to each gallon for subsequent applications. The solution may be mopped on or applied with a sprinkling can and then spread evenly with mops. Two or more applications should be given, allowing the surface to dry between applications.

About 3 or 4 hours are generally required for absorption, reaction and drying. Care should be taken to mop the floor with water shortly after the last application has dried to remove incrusted salts, otherwise white stains may be formed.

Sodium SilicatesCommercial sodium silicate is about a 40 per cent solution. It is viscous and requires thinning with water before it will penetrate concrete. A good solution consists of 3 gal. of water to each gallon of silicate. Two or three coats should be used, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before the next one is applied. Scrubbing each coat with stiff fiber brushes or scrubbing machines and water will assist penetration of the succeeding application.

Aluminum Sulphate- This treatment consists of one or more applications of solutions of aluminum sulphate. The solution is made in a wooden barrel or

stoneware vessel, and the water should be acidulated with not more than 1 teaspoonful of commercial sulphuric acid for each gallon of water. The sulphate does not readily dissolve and requires occasional stirring for a few days until the solution is complete. About 21/2 lb. of the powdered sulphate will be required for each gallon of water.

For the first treatment the solution may be diluted with twice its volume of water. Twenty-four hours after this application the stronger solution may be used, and 24 hours should elapse between subsequent applications.

Zinc SulphatesThis treatment consists of the application of a solution containing 11/.) lb. of zinc sulphate and a teaspoonful of commercial sulphuric acid to each gallon of water. The mixture is applied in two coats, the second coat applied 4 hours after the first. The surface should be scrubbed with hot water and mopped dry just before the application of the second coat. This treatment gives the floor a darker appearance.

Oil*Chinawood, linseed, or soybean oil may be diluted with gasoline, naphtha or turpentine and applied with mops or large brushes. About equal parts of oil and thinner give a good mixture for this purpose, and often a single application is sufficient. In some cases the oil treatment may be repeated to advantage at semi-annual intervals.

CoveragesThe amounts of the above solutions required to treat floors will vary considerably with the porosity of the concrete. Generally, a gallon of any one of the solutions will be required for each application on 150 to 200 sq. ft. of floor surface.


In the final analysis, a good concrete fioor is one of the soundest investments any theatre operator can make. Unlike many materials, concrete develops greater strength with age and easily bears the heavy foot traffic of the theatre year after year without ill effects. Rot and decay are unknown to concrete, and termites are certainly no menace to the theatreman whose house has concrete doors.

Fire is a less formidable hazard to the owner of a theatre with concrete floors, and they do not settle or warp. Furthermore, concrete's smooth, even surface provides a perfect base for the wide selection of coverings used in the typical theatre today. All types of finishes may be laid with economy on concrete subfioors, or the concrete may be left exposed, marked in patterns, and coated with non-slip wax to avoid falls on the part of patrons.

Lastly, for comfort, just as for construction superiority and economy, concrete floors are unmatched. To say that they are warm, dry, and generally comfortable does not even fully sum up their advantages. They impart a feeling of well-being and security to every theatre

in which they are used. * * =l<


The Editors of THEATRE CATALOG wish to express their sincere gratitude to the Portland Cement Association for supplying the material and illustrations contained in the foregoing article.

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 136