The natural look of a concrete floor is never inviting and in a situation where you have ripped off your carpet, you need to replace it with flooring. You can cover your concrete floor and still spend little or no penny transforming it. This article is all about giving you a guide to those cheapest ways to cover concrete floors that will make your floor look outstanding.
Your tired-looking concrete floor can turn out to look dazzling, modern. and sleek with this guide. This process does not guarantee that you must break the bank to make your floor look good. These concrete covering ideas can be used anywhere in your home, like the rooms or even basements. This list below will extensively explain the cheapest way to cover concrete floors and this will serve as your guide in any of the coverings you wish to choose.
1. Textured Concrete Floor Coverings
This type of covering is also known as stampable overlays. These concrete coverings provide a textured surface similar to stone, brick, wood, tile added with natural materials.
The thickness in each concrete flooring differs from each other. Gauge rake and quick trowel smoothed are used to apply a stampable overlay system. Then it is imprinted with your choice of texture and stamp tool.
You can use any liquid or powder release material according to the final look you wish to achieve. It takes 24 hours for the materials to cure and can be sealed within 36 hours after application. The surface preparation is one of the major factors that any stampable overlay has.
It is important to note that the surface needs to be rough enough for the overlay material to bond both chemically and mechanically. Profiling of the floor is better than other means of surface profiling because it makes the floor rough enough to accept other processes.
2. Thin Section / Micro-toppings
They look like stampable overlay but are in thinner versions. They are made with beefed-up polymers and this allows the material to be very thin when installed. With its thin nature, it still maintains its durability, strength and abrasion resistance.
The thickness of these concrete coverings comes in different sizes. Trowels, brushes, squeegees or rollers are used for this concrete covering depending on your choice of design.
Some micro toppings accept a base coat that contains sand, the base coat is used in the first two applications. Some micro toppings also go for a finish coat, but this does not contain any sand. It is used only when it is time for an ultra-smooth top.
The texture is mostly limited to how it is applied because the materials were made to be so thin. Some of the finishes are smooth trowel, rough trowel, orange and stippled peel.
They cure in 24 hours and accept foot traffic within 36 hours of application. You can also choose to apply the finishes and come back in 24 hours to apply concrete stains which will create a stained concrete appearance. You can use this finish for your small commercial spaces. If the micro-topping finishes are not sealed then it will be exposed to collect dirt that will be difficult to remove from the material.
3. Spray Applied or Stenciled Concrete
This is common when exterior coverings are involved but less common for interior coverings. They also tend to be popular finishes when it comes to high traffic interior spaces which are because of their durability, affordability, easy application and varieties of patterns and colors.
They are thin, contain more sand and provide a rougher finish. Also, they are applied with a hopper gun under pressure. When the first coat dries then use the adhesive-backed stencils and place them over the floor.
Add another wear coat over the stencil, peel it up and dispose of it when the stencil is dry. Lastly, apply a colored sealer for maintenance.
This is the latest trend in the world of concrete coverings. This involves repairing and leveling damaged or worn-out concrete. This process keeps advancing because lately, a solid surface floor covering will be placed on the self-leveling material. Beautiful integral colors are now added to self-leveling systems.
You would also need to come back after 24 hours to use stains to create great colors. This floor covering allows you to correct uneven floors, repair damages on the concrete and provide a smooth surface.
Concrete Floor Finishes
Acid Stain: This finish has a bold look. It is durable and cheap to apply to your concrete floor. It has different vibrant earth tones and will produce its color according to the condition of the floor it is applied to.
Water-Based Stain: This stain comes in a variety of colors to choose from. It is safe to apply on your floor and it is low in volatile organic compounds. Its color does not peel or fade which makes it durable.
Fast Stain: This is called fast because it is fast in drying and also an eco-friendly stain to use. If you have polished concrete, then this stain will be suitable for it. It can be used on its own or with acid-based stain or water-based stain to promote its looks.
Acrylic Sealer: Thin and protective coating is what this stain provides to your concrete floor. It is water resistant and comes in ranges of sheens and yet flexible. It consists of a matte finish and other varieties of color. Due to its thin nature, it is necessary to pair the finish with a regular waxing to prevent it from having marks.