Many Great Ways to Finish a Concrete Floor
LESLIE: Tom in Oregon is looking to paint his basement floor. Tell us what the floor is now.
TOM IN OREGON: It’s a concrete basement floor. And I cleaned it up pretty well. And I’m just trying to figure out what kind of paint I should use. I was going to stain it but I think there’s just too many marks on the floor to really stain it and have it look nice. Because I thought stain might hold up better. But I just want an idea of what kind of paint to use, really.
LESLIE: Well, it depends … are you looking for something that has more of a stain look effect? Because you can get a lot of interesting looks whether you use a concrete stain or whether you use something that has more of a chemical reaction, like an acid stain.
TOM IN OREGON: Oh, well, I … there’s a fair amount of like marks and there’s a little bit of paint on the floor. And I’m just thinking that it might not …
LESLIE: It might make it more pronounced.
TOM IN OREGON: Right. Yeah.
TOM: Well, you know what, Tom. You can … the nice thing about stain is what’s the worse thing that could happen? You decide you don’t like it and then you’re back to paint. (chuckling) If you go paint first, and you really can’t go the stain route.
TOM IN OREGON: Right. And stain will hold up better, won’t it? Generally?
TOM: Well, I don’t know. What do you think, Leslie? I mean I think because it sort of fades, it doesn’t really break down. That it probably will hold out better; as opposed to paint, which is a surface that abrades.
LESLIE: Right. And the stain, you can go as translucent or as opaque as you like. Because concrete stain comes in a variety of opacities. So you can go with something that’s as heavy, almost, as a paint. Or you can go with something that’s a little bit more sheer – like a wood stain – even though it’s a concrete stain. And you can get that tinted to just about any color.
TOM IN OREGON: OK, great. Yeah, I think I’ll … maybe I’ll give it a try with the stain first; maybe on a small area and see how it looks and if it doesn’t look right (inaudible).
LESLIE: (overlapping) Yeah, and there’s also another interesting choice for a flooring covering; especially for a basement or even an outdoor area. It’s something that Tom and I love. It’s called EPOXYShield.
TOM: It’s a paint that is specifically designed for concrete. And it’s epoxy-based. There’s two parts that you mix together and then it hardens. And it’s really tough stuff. And it has sort of like a decorative sort of a sprinkly coating that you put on, when you’re done, that gives it some …
LESLIE: Kind of like 1950’s but it’s really cute.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. But it’s really tough stuff.
TOM IN OREGON: So it sort of looks like linoleum or something like that?
TOM: A little bit. Yeah, a little bit like the old-fashioned linoleum. You know, we painted … my son has a Boy Scout troop here – it’s very active – and we needed to redo their kitchen and painted the whole floor with this stuff and … and it was an old, nasty floor and we cleaned it up really good and put the EPOXYShield down. And it really is standing up well. And boy, take it from me, those kids can really abrade that surface and …
TOM IN OREGON: Yeah, right.
TOM: … wear and tear the surface. So that’s a good product, too. But again, as we were saying, you can start with a concrete stain because I think you may be pleasantly surprised, Tom, at the colorful effects that can come from a concrete stain or an acid stain. And maybe that’s something you’ll just do and be very happy with.
TOM IN OREGON: OK, great. I’ll give that a try. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.