Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Concrete Floor Refinishing

For our basement remodel we decided to forgo the labor intensive process of tiling (which we would have attempted to DIY), and hired someone to polish, stain, and seal the concrete. We both like the look of finished concrete, and figured that if someday we want a change, it will be easy enough to install hardwood or tile flooring over the concrete with no demo work to deal with. In the meantime, the neutral, smooth surface will provide a good base for nice throw rugs.

Here's what our concrete floors looked like before (please pardon our unfinished baseboards and demo dust and debris):

Our concrete guy, Jeremy, showed up bright and early Monday morning, and proceeded to mount protective plastic on the walls before applying a few stain options to the floor for us to review. The first round was somewhat shocking. We asked for a light grayish stain with a hint of green, but the first round looked basically like black to me (the row at the top). We asked to see a "toned down" option, and the two colors on the bottom row were applied to the floor. Both of these still seemed too dark, so we all agreed a good polishing with the lightest hint of green stain and several coats of polish would do. 

Our concrete floors have lots of rock aggregate showing through, which we actually like, but they are rough, so Jeremy set to work grinding them down to smooth and even out the surface. We were warned ahead of time that the type of concrete floors we have weren't going to be completely smooth without days of expensive grinding, so we opted to have them ground down just enough to smooth the bumps and produce a slight sheen.

↓ Grinding the floors

↓ For a moment there it looked like the mighty Mississippi in our basement

Once the grinding was done, Jeremy applied a light stain, then diluted it and removed a good portion so we would get "just a hint" of color. The first coat of sealer went on next, and because it can take 3-4 hours to dry, Jeremy left for the day. He came back this afternoon to apply a second coat, but from the looks of it we may need a few more coats to get even coverage. Sections of the floor soak up more sealer than others, so right now it is still a bit patchy. I am starting to see why he wanted to use a darker stain -- the darker the color, the less patchiness will show through. Fair enough, but even knowing that I still don't think I would want black concrete floors so we are satisfied with our pick. Here's what the floors look like now, though they will probably still look a little different (less patchy, more shiny) after the additional coats of sealer are added.

I will probably wait until we have the baseboards up for a final "reveal" of the floors. Right now it is hard for me to picture how it is all going to look in the end, but I am hoping it pulls together. We shall see!


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I wish to see the final result of your project. :) - www.jcconcretepolishing.com

  2. I heard about this neat online oriental rug company called rugman.com - do you think they are good?

  3. The floors look much better already. I have learned on certain projects it is better to hire a professional to get them done. We do try to do most of them ourselves to save money.

  4. For giving a new look to our House the Concrete flooring is the best and very durable for us. Thanks for sharing such a nice and very helpful info. I think everyone should know about Concrete floor.
    Calgary Floor

  5. Wow! I love the result. This is indeed great. I really find this very much impressive. Refinishing concrete floors help so much in preserving and restoring the value and beauty of our homes. This is actually a great part of the maintenance aspect in order to prolong the life of our floors and home in general. Thanks!


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  7. Wow!! nice blog. Thanks for sharing such a nice blog related to concrete-floor-refinishing .

  8. You guys enhance the beauty and utility of concrete flooring with extraordinary design approach.

  9. Concrete Polishing is the best way to increase the lifespan of floors. It also add the shine in your floors that makes your home or office beautiful.