Exposed Concrete Floor in Your Design

Carpet. Wood. Tile. What do you choose? Why not let your floor go naked and use the existing concrete slab for your new flooring material? Can’t be done? Think twice and look at the photo of the finished concrete floor. That’s a smooth finished slab and it looks pretty awesome, eh? It also keeps the house cool in the hot Florida summers and keeps it warm in the winter when the fireplace is burning. Check out these simple tips and basic instructions for finishing your existing concrete slab with a clear coat and revamp your room (or whole home) with an affordable new look.

Prepping the Floor

This is the easy part, provided there aren’t large chunks of mastic or epoxy stuck to the floor. Any serious staining or other damages may not come clean and will leave a permanent stain when the floor is complete.

With that said, if you’re slab looks good overall, you can begin cleaning the surface. Use some warm water and dish detergent to wash the floor using a mop and stiff bristled brush. You’ll need to really clean it good several times to get the area as debris-free as possible. A floor scraper is sometimes required to get rid of any stubborn stuck on material like caulk or joint compound. Let the floor dry for 24 hours and Shopvac the floor before moving to the next step.

Acid Etching

If it sounds dangerous; that’s because it is. While it’s not going to melt the flesh off your bones, it can mess you up if it gets in your eyes or on your skin for prolonged periods. Wear approved gloves, eye protection and clothing when handling the following materials.

In a large plastic bucket, mix one part muriatic acid with four parts of water. Next, use your mop to spread the solution onto the concrete floor. Spread the solution in a random pattern because whatever way you spread the mop across the surface of the concrete, it will show up through the clear coat. Work your way across the well ventilated space and allow it to dry for a few hours. Use a fresh bucket of clean water and mop the space one more time. Allow it to dry for 24 hours before moving to the next step.

Clear Coat

This is the easiest and final step-just don’t paint yourself into a corner. Pour some concrete clear coat into a roller pan. Using a heavy nap roller cover, spread an even amount of clear coat onto the floor; just like you would paint a wall. Work your way across the room, removing any lines or holidays as you go along. You’ll need to let it dry for at least four hours before applying the final coat. Let it dry for 48 hours before moving any heavy furniture onto its surface.

More Great Home Improvement Articles from Eric Brennan

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How to Strip Desk Paint

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