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How to Finish Concrete Basement Walls for a Home Office

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Next up, we have Ed from Utah who listens to The Money Pit on KTKK in Salt Lake City.

    Ed, how can we help?

    ED: Hi. I’ve got a basement area that has some interior cement walls that I don’t need to insulate and I really don’t need to frame around them. What I’d like to do is finish the cement in a nice, modern, decorative way that looks good for an office space.

    LESLIE: Are they cement blocks?

    ED: No, it’s actually the same stuff as the foundation. They’ve been poured …

    TOM: Oh, it’s a poured concrete foundation.

    ED: Yeah, uh-huh.

    LESLIE: Hmm.

    TOM: Well, you could do that.

    LESLIE: And you want to do some sort of like modern, cool paint treatment or maybe like an acid treatment?

    ED: Yeah, something that will look nice for a home office space. Because I do some design work and advertising work and so I want to have a little studio office.

    LESLIE: Well …

    TOM: And you want to be inspired. You want to have something interesting to look at.

    LESLIE: There’s a couple of options. The acid staining – which can be done by yourself; it’s better to do it by a professional; it depends on the kind of look you’re going for – depending on the chemical that they use, causes the concrete to turn a variety of colors. And it can be done in like a marbled effect or it can be done even in like a systematic sort of design process where they quarter off a specific graphic that maybe you designed and they can acid stain each part to be a different color so that your detail, your image, goes on that wall.

    Another cool idea is I’ve seen in a floor installation where they polish the concrete. It almost gets like a clear resin on it but then it’s polished to such a high sheen that it looks like it’s encased in this resin. And that’s called like polishing the concrete. And you can also stain the concrete first and then polish it so you get like this cool color that looks really sort of like almost wet and shiny.

    ED: I was even contemplating some different types of materials that I could maybe put up with adhesives or something like that without using any nails or anything else.

    TOM: Sure. Or you could just use some good, old-fashioned stucco. I mean the kind of stucco that’s used outside on a concrete surface could work well inside as well and it could be troweled on in an interesting way, in a decorative way, and then painted with lots of neat effects. And if you put on something that’s very textured like that and you add some lighting that kind of like shoots across the textured effect, it gets really interesting with the patterns that it can create.

    ED: Right. And it sounds like, with all these options, I can use a lot of different colors and I can do different things with the colors.

    TOM: It’s going to look so nice, you’ll never want to leave your office. (Leslie chuckles)

    ED: Right.

    TOM: OK, Ed?

    ED: Alright.

    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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