The Best Concrete Floor Coatings?

Q: I want to turn my basement into an office and gym. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to refinish it with hardwood or tile. What type of concrete floor coatings are available, and which one would be best suited for this type of project?

A: There are a variety of products well-suited for this type of project. If you were only going to turn the basement into an office, a simple acrylic floor paint would work well. On the other hand, if you’re thinking of using part of the basement as a gym, paint may not be durable enough to endure dings from heavy weights. In this case, you could apply a durable epoxy coating. This type of finish is perfect for floors forced to endure a lot of abrasion, a big reason why people apply them to garage floors.

The only problem with both of the above indoor decorative concrete floor coatings is that you must employ specific preparation strategies to get them to stick. New finishes won’t adhere unless the floor is roughened with an acid etch. Typically, contractors use a muriatic acid etching solution for this task; however, this process is fraught with danger. There are some milder, citric-based solutions available; however, I’m not sure how effective they are.

If you don’t want to deal with all of the preparation hassles, you can apply an acid stain. Just be sure to seal the finish with a solvent-based poly, or you may ultimately end up with patches of fading.

Jim Dugan has over 20-years of experience as a professional contractor.

By Jim Dugan
Home Improvement Expert

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