If you’re a homeowner or a business owner with concrete floors, you may be considering changing up their look. There’s no need to feel guilty – we all become bored with our home decor eventually. Luckily for you, however, you have concrete floors, and there are various concrete refinishing options open for you that can dramatically transform your home.
In this guide Remodeling 101, we walk you through refinishing, how it’s different from concrete resurfacing, and what options you have for refinishing your concrete floors.
A quick primer on concrete refinishing
A quick search for “concrete refinishing” displays a lot of results with articles about concrete resurfacing. It appears most people (including search engines) are confused about how the two differ. But while they sound the same and are often packaged as hand-in-hand services, they have a key difference between them.
Concrete resurfacing is the process of changing the entire surface of a concrete slab by applying a kind of overlay or coating to essentially create a new surface. This isn’t what we’ll be talking about here. We’re talking about concrete refinishing.
Concrete refinishing doesn’t try to create a new surface on top of the existing concrete slab; instead, it changes the finish of the concrete slab through a variety of means without replacing the topmost layer.
Concrete refinishing is a popular choice for many home improvement projects as it makes use of existing concrete floors, is a more environmentally-friendly option, and generally costs less than resurfacing, which needs a new layer before it can be decorated.
Concrete refinishing options
If you feel that concrete refinishing is the right choice for you, here are the concrete refinishing options available to you:
Concrete staining is perhaps the most popular refinishing option out there. It is a cost-effective and versatile option for those looking to incorporate more color into their home.
Concrete stains are available in two types: acid and water-based. Acid stains are reactive and respond to the chemicals in the concrete to create layers of translucent color that can look random and marble-like. It is a beautiful design choice for many rooms if you like the limited colors they come in.
Water-based stains are available in a greater variety of colors and apply smoothly and evenly. It’s a good choice for someone looking to add a punch of solid color into their home. Because it comes in more colors and applies evenly, it is a suitable choice for imprinting designs and patterns on your concrete floors.
Sealing concrete floors is recommended even if you chose to keep your floors bare and without color or design. If you have not had your concrete floors sealed, that might be the reason why they have started looking dull, become more vulnerable to stains, and perhaps why they have started to show age and some tear and wear.
There are a number of options available to you within the option of concrete sealing. Sealers come in a variety of types:
- Penetrating sealers
- Film-forming sealers
- Acrylic sealers
- Siloxane sealers
- Polyurethane Sealers; and
- Clear Concrete Sealers
Depending on where you would like to apply the sealer as well as the finish you would prefer to have on your concrete floors, there are a variety of options available to you. If you don’t know what type you should be getting, contact a local concrete contractor to talk to about your concrete sealer options.
But if you decide to DIY it, don’t go cheap buying a sealer. Many low-quality ones can peel off over time, turn yellow or white, or make your floors a dangerously slippery surface.
Polished concrete is a chic and stylish way to refinish your floors, and has become a favorite style element for many minimalist home-owners.
Polished concrete can be achieved with the application of concrete densifiers, which fill in the pores of a concrete slab. Once the concrete densifier has finished filling the concrete and has dried, specialized grinding tools are used to buff down the densifier until it reaches the desired polish.
Concrete polishes come in a number of finishes, so you can choose how shiny and glossy you want your floors to be. What finish you choose will ultimately depend on personal preference and which room you will have the refinishing done in. If you want an extra element for your rooms, concrete polishing can also be combined with another refinishing option like concrete staining to give you a choice of color
Remember that you may need to hire a professional to complete most refinishing jobs, as many may be too complicated to do yourself. It can also be helpful to hire a contractor if you are refinishing a large area size and if you think it is a complex design you want.
Hopefully, this has made concrete refinishing clearer in your mind and has inspired you to explore your concrete refinishing options for your next home improvement project!