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WinCo Foods gets latest in concrete

WinCo Foods is getting a fashionable floor for its new Medford store. A white concrete meant to look like marble is being poured in the former Kmart building, where WinCo plans to open a 24-hour grocery store this fall.

The project marks the first time the white concrete has been laid in the Rogue Valley aside from perhaps a few small patches, according to LTM Inc., which is supplying the product.

The concrete is a mix of white cement, white sand, white aggregate and water.

This is interesting stuff, says LTM's Don Skundrick. This isn't run-of-the-mill concrete.

Miedling Construction, a subcontractor from Spokane, Wash., began pouring the concrete last weekend and, by the time it finishes Friday, will have laid 1,000 yards for the 50,000-square-foot slab, Skundrick says.

WinCo, a Boise-based chain with 32 stores, has yet to set a formal opening date but expects to open this fall. The warehouse grocery will employ 225 to 250 people.

The new flooring is part of an extensive remodel of the old Kmart building. WinCo's store and back room area will cover about 94,500 square feet, though the white concrete will be used only in the retail area.

The concrete doesn't require any special method, aside from polluting the white mix with dirt or standard concrete.

We have had to make sure that our trucks are all cleaned out, Skundrick says.

The white concrete costs three to four times as much as standard concrete but Skundrick says the light reflection is incredible, so the store will save some money on lighting costs.

Dick Vanderlinden, WinCo's project manager, says the store chose the white concrete for its looks, durability and lower maintenance requirements.

It is something we've done at other stores, he says. We like to present a clean and bright atmosphere to our customers.

As a warehouse-style store, WinCo needs a floor that can handle heavy equipment such as forklifts and still look sharp. The concrete doesn't require as much regular maintenance as vinyl floors.

While it resembles marble, Vanderlinden says the floor doesn't have the same subtle color or texture variances, presenting a more even, monolithic look.

While it hasn't been widely used in Southern Oregon, Skundrick says it might prove a good option for high-end residential or office space. He says the concrete is just as durable as marble and matches the look pretty well.

Especially as the product ages, it really does take on a marble look, he says.

WinCo Foods gets latest in concrete