Hardwood Hearing

Dominic Baisas from Bast Floors & Staircases has overseen a wide variety of flooring installs; however, during a recent project inside the auditorium of a senior living facility, he uncovered a unique challenge.

“We originally visited to provide a refinishing quote. Unfortunately, the original floor was just too thin to refinish, and we ended up removing it. In total, it was about 9,500 square feet of flooring we needed to remove and replace,” explains Baisas.

During the removal process, Dominic and his team discovered issues with the concrete slab underneath.

“There were cracks in the concrete slab. It also was not level. I could have put a toy Hot Wheels car on it, and it would have rolled down the floor,” says Baisas. “There was also an asphalt-type residue on the concrete slab we needed to address.

HEARING LOOP

In addition to defects in the concrete slab, Dominic and his crew had another challenge to overcome – the discovery of an intricate grid of small wires embedded in the exposed concrete.

“We learned the wires we uncovered were part of a sound system for hearing aids installed directly into the concrete slab,” says Baisas.

The system Baisas discovered is called a “hearing loop.” A hearing loop is an assistive listening system that amplifies single sources of sound such as a microphone or public address system and connects wirelessly to hearing aids. An array of wires is embedded into the concrete, creating an induction loop. This loop sends clear sound to the hearing aids, without distortion or background noise.

FLOORING FOCUS

“While we were repairing the slab, we had to be very careful that we did not hit any of those wires. They were in a large grid system about ¼” deep. Working around these wires was a tedious, but necessary, process,” explains Baisas.

To repair the uneven concrete slab, the team carefully poured self-leveler. After it cured and filled the cracks, they then put MAPEI PMB moisture barrier down.

Once cured, Baisas and his team began installing ¾ by 3 ¼” Lauzon maple exclusive grade wood floor. To install the floor, Baisas used 983 MAPEI glue. It took a week and a half to complete the install.

“The Lauzon flooring is pre-finished, engineered ¾” thick, and it has a 5.2mm wear layer on it. This layer makes it slightly thicker than a standard engineered wood floor. The benefit is that the wear layer will allow for sanding over the floor’s lifetime.

We wanted to make sure we gave them investment value in case they wanted to change the color someday or freshen it up,” explains Baisas.

Feedback on the newly installed hardwood floor from both residents of the senior living facility and staff has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The hardwood flooring from Lauzon was an excellent recommendation, and fit our budgetary constraints perfectly,” explains Jeffery Beeba, the assistant maintenance manager of the facility. “The overall look is stunning, and due to its resiliency, the floor should be an asset to us for years to come.”

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