Do you have an old concrete floor that has seen some better days? Or maybe you painted your floor ages ago and it’s been so ever since and you feel like it’s time for some small changes?
Whatever the reason might be, there are ways to have those floors looking better than new. Not everyone knows it, but times, when concrete was plain old grey, have long since passed.
The home improvement season might also be just about to arrive again and now is the time to start planning your projects. One project that you may want to try this year is transforming your concrete accents around your home into works of art by refinishing them using special concrete treatments.
These treatments can be used to add color and sheen to concrete floors, pool surrounds, patios, countertops, and driveways. This is an affordable way to improve the value of your home. Also, the best thing is, these techniques can be used for old and new concrete.
Now to move on, here are some concrete resurfacing ideas to help you make the best of your old floors.
Preparing the floor
Before beginning, old concrete should be free of glue, oil, paint and sealers, and anything else that might be on the surface. Concrete is porous material by nature and before mentioned materials fill those pores that we want the staining substance to go to.
That’s why we must clean the concrete before we apply anything else to it. Once it’s clean, we can continue with the staining. Old concrete floors should be also fixed during the process to get the best end results.
The old sealer can be taken off with something like Xylene. Floor waxes have their own removals as well. Paint can be removed with paint removers. It’s good to read the manufacturer info and have proper equipment ready for hands and breathing.
Concrete Acid Stains
The first concrete treatment that you can use is a concrete acid stain. These stains will penetrate the surface of your concrete and react with its components. This reaction will create a finished product that looks a lot like polished marble. This is an affordable way to transform concrete floors into a rich-looking marble without having to pay tens of thousands of dollars.
Concrete acid stains typically use Hydrochloric Acid as one of their main ingredients, which means you will need to use safety equipment and ensure your work area is well ventilated. The only acid stain that I have found on the market that does not have Hydrochloric Acid is ChemTon Acid Stain. This is a good product to use if you have to mail order your concrete finishing products as it is safer to handle and it is not subject to extra Hazardous Materials shipping fees.
Concrete acid stains come in a variety of transparent colors, but there are a limited number of shades possible because of the chemical properties of these stains. However, you can still find shades that range from dark earth tones to blue-greens. These stains are appropriate for all types of concrete applications.
Solid Color Stains
The second type of concrete stain is the solid color stain. This type of concrete stain is also referred to as concrete stain and pigmented sealers. When applied, these stains produce a transparent color that acts as both a colorant and as a sealant. People who use these stains typically do so because they are looking for a brighter hue than a concrete acid stain can produce.
This kind of concrete stain can be used pretty artistically as it can be used to paint patterns and combining various colors. There are also stencils available that can be used to make various patterns.
There are also solid color stains that are not so artistic and work more as traditional paint would. Apply few coatings and wait a couple of days for heavier foot traffic.
Concrete sealers are applied after staining for protecting the surface from damage, corrosion, and unwanted staining. The concrete without sealer is still porous and all the dirt sticks in. After we have our masterpiece done, we don’t want to ruin it right?
When you use a concrete stain or a concrete acid stain it is important that you understand if your treatment requires a sealer and if it does, what type of sealer it requires. There are several different types of sealers that you can use. These sealants range from high gloss to no gloss finishes.
When selecting a sealer it is important to select a product that is right for the type of concrete you are working with, that is right for the type of concrete treatment you have just use and that produces a finish that makes sense for your project.
To read more about concrete sealers, there is article about the types in the link and what they are good for. It will help you with deciding what sort of sealer you would like to use.
Refinishing your concrete to look like marble might seem like a lot of work, but it’s well worth it. Just look up how it will look and compare prices and you will agree with me.
It almost feels like cheating when you compare the expensive flooring material prices and what it would cost to do concrete polishing and staining yourself. All you have to think about is the cost of renting a floor grinding machine and then some other materials on the link.
There are few things to be aware of that differ from the previously linked guide. The ground needs to be properly prepared before the staining and after it’s done, it should be properly prepared for the sealing.
Finally, when the sealing is done, there is only maintenance and resealing every 3-5 years left. Again, might seem like a lot of work, but no floor that sees use can escape this.
Out of the many concrete resurfacing products, pick the ones that will bring the best out of your floors. It’s good to do little research and hit the local hardware stores for some questioning.
Every material like concrete and wood has to be taken care of. Wood can be sanded only so many times to reseal, the same as concrete. Installed floors like laminates are only good for that one-time use. After that, it’s a replacement job.