4 Different Finishes for Concrete Floors

4 Different Finishes for Concrete Floors
  • Opening Intro -

    Concrete isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think about great-looking floors.

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Its strength and practicality are what make it such a great building material, and because it’s so functional, it usually gets a pass when it comes to aesthetics. However, a few different finishes for concrete floors are available to make them look great—and to make you forget that it’s concrete. Here are a few options available for a home- or businessowner to bring life to a utilitarian floor and hide any imperfections.

Stamped

Concrete has be stamped while it’s still wet and curing, so unless you’re pouring it yourself, the stamping has to be done by professionals. What they can do, though, is amazing.

Stamping is usually performed on a thinner concrete made with smaller stones. This thinner style is smoother and easier to stamp.

Once the concrete has been poured, a heavy-duty stamp is placed on the wet concrete and hit with a mallet to leave an imprint. The process is repeated until the whole floor is covered.

Paint or stain is then added to complete the look. Stamps come in hundreds of patterns, and some of the best ones can make a floor look like flagstone, brick tile, or wood.

Stained

Staining concrete gives it a complex, rich color that no other technique can emulate. While paint simply deposits the color right on top of the concrete and gives a uniform color, stain permeates and infuses the concrete with different tones and hues based on the techniques used. The finishes can mimic wood, stone, or leather, and they can create intricate looks.

Painted

Painting the floor is the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to cover your concrete floor—and you can do it yourself. Before starting, make sure the floor is clean and free of anything that will prevent the paint from adhering properly. Next, fill in any cracks or holes with sealer so that they won’t stand out when covered by the paint.

When choosing the paint, you’ll want to get a durable variety that can take some abuse and won’t crack or fade too quickly. You can choose a paint and primer combination, or you can prime first and then paint separately. A concrete floor will take a lot of abuse, so you want to be sure the paint you put down is a quality one.

concrete stainconcrete stencil

Stenciled

New to the scene, concrete stenciling is exactly what it sounds like. Stencils with detailed and intricated patterns can make a concrete floor look carpeted. Before you begin, the floor needs to be free of debris and dust.

Snap a chalk line across the middle of the room, then tape down your stencil and paint the floor with a suitable paint that will stick to the floor well. After you’ve covered the entire floor with paint, roll a protective layer of lacquer on the floor and let it dry for a few hours, then put down a second coat.

other valuable tips:

Polished

If you trend more toward plain flooring without a lot of flash, then consider polishing your concrete floor. The bulk of the work will consist of filling in any cracks and holes. Then, you’ll need a floor buffer or grinder to clean and smooth the floor. Apply a hardener and buff with a fine-grit pad to get a shiny, polished look.

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