Floors Fit for a Beachfront Property in Aruba

Concrete floors colored in a serene blend of Brickform colors—Dover blue, stone gray, and light gray—make the perfect flooring for this home that overlooks the sand and ocean.

aruba pool concrete pool deck
At this home in Aruba, Tom Ralston Concrete installed concrete floors in both indoor and outdoor spaces in blends of Brickform colors to complement the white sandy beaches.
Photo by: Jeffery Luhn

When the homeowners of this oceanfront property in Aruba began creating their materials palette for their home, they knew concrete would be included. “They had looked at other floor surfaces, and concrete was by far and away a material they had their hearts set on,” says Tom Ralston, president of Tom Ralston Concrete in Santa Cruz, California.

Equally as important as choosing the right material is choosing the right color palette. After Ralston’s company created around 15 color samples for approval, the homeowners and Gary Ostermann, the architect on the project, ultimately chose from the Brickform palette of colors: four blends of Dover blue, stone gray, and light gray.

Brickform shipped more than 300 buckets of color from Florida to Aruba. First, Ralston’s team needed to blend all the pails of color hardener and separate them into four different categories. For consistency, they also needed to make sure the colors they combined were from the same batches. Such a task required quality control and clear labeling. “Brickform was extremely helpful working out the shipping and logistics,” Ralston says.

A variety of color schemes and blends were used throughout the property. The downstairs interior floors were colored with a combination of one part stone gray and three parts Dover blue, while the upstairs floors were colored with a blend of one part each of stone gray and light gray. For the pool terraces, pool coping, and stairs to the beach, Ralston combined one part stone gray and two parts Dover blue.

For the remaining spaces—the front entry, driveway, walkway, and steps—Ralston used a combined blend of Brickform colors. This blend incorporated a combination of all the blends that were used for other parts of the property, creating a custom color that coordinated with all the other spaces.

By the time the project was complete, Ralston had poured and hand-finished 16,000 square feet of interior and exterior concrete, using Brickform colors throughout. Concrete was the material of choice for floors throughout the house, and not just for the upstairs and downstairs—also for the cantilevered stairs, a pool deck, and the side and front entries of the home.

For a home that abuts the beach, concrete makes an ideal flooring material. Sand could potentially damage wood floors, but concrete can withstand the abrasion. And while sand gets embedded into carpet, it’s easy to sweep off a concrete floor.

It wasn’t only the functionality that attracted the homeowners. “Aesthetically they liked concrete because the house was modern, and a material that could look organic with clean smooth lines would be best for their tastes,” Ralston says. The Brickform combination of colors gave the floors a look perfectly suited to the location.

Using special hand finishing and tooling techniques, Ralston’s team gave the floors variation and depth. For the exterior, they also applied an acid sand wash. For the interior, they applied a Monet finish. These finishes create color highlights and lowlights that make the surface appear very organic and natural.

In combination with the other materials such as white Venetian plaster walls and ceilings, aluminum and stainless-steel accents, white cabinetry, and wood veneer, the concrete floors create a harmonious space for the homeowners to enjoy while taking in their breathtaking view.

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