As age increases, things start to look out of shape after a while. That brand new floor 10 years ago might be a faraway memory after UV light and nature have washed it a bit.
Whatever the reason, there are ways to have those floors look better than new. In fact, these days multiple concrete refinishing products can make your floor look new.
Concrete acid stains, solid color stains, and sealers can improve your floors and decks. There are other ways as well, but let us concentrate on these here.
When I’m writing this it’s almost early spring and home improvement season is just about to arrive again. Now is the time to start planning your projects.
One project you may want to try this year is transforming the concrete accents around your home into works of art by refinishing them using special concrete treatments.
I picked these because these treatments can be used to add color and sheen to concrete floors, pool surrounds, patios, countertops, and driveways. Marble is just one example of what can be achieved.
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 is how it begins
So how can you refinish your concrete?
Before beginning, old concrete should be free of glue, oil, paint and sealers, and anything else that might be on the surface. Concrete is a naturally porous material, and before mentioned materials like dirt 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 also be 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.
If the surface doesn’t look good after cleaning and removing the old coatings, there is no need to lose hope. You can try doing a new overlay for it.
Concrete Acid Stains
The first concrete treatment mentioned at the beginning 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 much like polished marble. This is an affordable way to transform concrete floors into rich-looking marble without paying tens of thousands of dollars.
Naturally, the top result comes with skill so for a DIY approach I’d advise practicing applying and neutralizing the acid. Also, an introduction to acid safety is a must.
Concrete acid stains typically use Hydrochloric Acid as one of their main ingredients, so you must use safety equipment and ensure your work area is well-ventilated. Some acid-staining products that do not have Hydrochloric Acid might be worth checking out.
These are good products to use if you have to mail order your concrete finishing products as they are safer to handle and are not subject to extra Hazardous Materials shipping fees.
Concrete acid stains come in various 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, that was mentioned, is the solid color stain. This type of concrete stain is called concrete stain and pigmented sealer.
When applied, these stains produce a transparent color that acts as a colorant and 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 combine various colors. There are also stencils available that can be used to make various patterns.
There are solid color stains that are not so artistic and work more like a traditional paint would on the market. Apply a few coatings and wait a couple of days for heavier foot traffic.
At the last spot, concrete sealers are applied after staining to protect 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.
Naturally, it’s up to the taste and place of the floor what works and what doesn’t. Hallways might be high gloss while some rooms might be better with a matte finish.
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 used and that produces a finish that makes sense for your project.
To read more about concrete sealers, there is an article about the types in the link and what they are good for. It will help you decide what sort of sealer you want.
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.
Well, I’m not entirely honest as I like to count a prize tag for my work. Before you have a shiny new floor – some work has to be done. The better you do it, the better the result should be.
A few things to be aware of 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. Again, it 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.