Finishing an Uneven Concrete Floor
LESLIE: Heading out to Wyoming to talk to Mike about a flooring project. What are you working on, Mike?
MIKE: My house is probably 55 years old or so and I’ve got an attached garage. And it’s got a concrete floor in it at present and I’m wanting to make it into a workshop. So I – the floor that’s in it is – concrete’s broke up. It looks like people have tried to patch over the top of it. And I was just wondering about putting a subfloor over the top of that, if I needed to do anything with that concrete or what I should use for a subfloor material.
TOM: Okay, so someone already patched the concrete floor, though not very well, and now you basically, want to cover that uneven concrete surface so you have something that’s more comfortable there?
MIKE: Yes, correct. Something I can sweep easily and it’s level.
TOM: Is the concrete just cracked? Is it actually broken into chunks or does it just have cracks going through it?
MIKE: Well, neither, really. It’s real wavy. I have a son that did concrete for a living for a while and he said he’s never seen anything like it. Don’t even know how they accomplished it.
TOM: Oh, so it’s sort of deformed, huh?
MIKE: Yeah, it’s got low spots in it and ridges.
TOM: How big is this floor?
MIKE: It’s probably 20×8. It’s not very big.
TOM: OK. Would you consider replacing it with a new concrete floor?
MIKE: No. No, I don’t want to go to that expense.
TOM: Yeah. Because my concern is that whatever floor you install is going to follow the curve of the uneven floor unless you level it perfectly beforehand.
LESLIE: Yeah, unless he builds out sort of, you know, like a framed floor to sit on top that has angled bottoms.
TOM: Yeah. Even if he does that, it’s going to be really hard to customize that and get – yeah, what Leslie is suggesting is that if you put, say, furring strips down on the concrete floor and you adjust the height of them to compensate for the curves and that sort of thing – that’s going to be a bit of a challenge for you to do that.
TOM: Could you live with the curving if we could give you a surface that’s easy to sweep?
MIKE: Sure, certainly. That’s basically what I’m looking for.
TOM: Well, I’m going to try to give you the easiest thing to do here and I think that if you were to use a very good-quality epoxy floor paint, I think you’ll get the surface that’s very easy to clean.
Now, the way epoxy floor paint works is when you buy it, it’s in a gallon container but it’s only filled up to be about ¾-gallon of material. And then there’s usually a hardener that makes up the other quart.
You mix them together after the floor is thoroughly cleaned and you apply the paint to the floor. You work it, say, from the back out. Usually, there’s some sort of a decorative chip that you can add to it, which gives it some ability to kind of hide dirt and that sort of thing. And you work your way out of the garage with that. Then after that dries good and hard, you can add a clear finish on top of that. And it actually looks quite attractive and is very easy to clean when it’s done.
That’s the best way to get a very quick finish on that floor that’s going to look good and be easy to take care of. Because even if you were to cover it and build it up with, say, a false wood floor, that’s still going to be hard for you to sweep. As long as the concrete is not cracked and unsafe where the sections are lifted up, I’d just tell you to paint it and forget it and move on.
MIKE: I’ll certainly look into it. That sounds like the best option for me, at this point.