There’s something about home improvement projects that just makes us feel so darned satisfied. Maybe it’s the sense of accomplishment we feel when we finally finish a project and see our hard work pay off. Or maybe it’s the satisfaction of doing something ourselves, and saving some money in the process. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that home improvement projects are always fun to DIY. But it’s also important that you take the necessary steps to ensure you’re doing everything right, especially when it comes to bigger undertakings – like resurfacing your floors. Prepping concrete floors properly is very important if you want to achieve a professionally-done look, and there are several things you need to do in order to make sure the resurfacing project goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Grinding And Cleaning the Floor
The first step in any concrete resurfacing project is to grind and clean the floor. The process of concrete grinding involves removing any existing sealers, coatings, or adhesives from the surface of the concrete, as well as grinding down any bumps or ridges. Be sure to wear the appropriate safety gear while doing this, including a dust mask, goggles, and gloves. When it comes to grinding, you have two options to choose from – dry and wet. Wet grinding is more common, and it’s pretty much what it sounds like – you make sure that the floor is wet enough so that the concrete particles aren’t flying around in the air. Because concrete particles could otherwise end up in your lungs which could potentially cause some damage, a lot of people opt for this method. Dry grinding is a bit messier since the dust will be flying around, but if you’re planning on repainting your walls as well – it’s also a viable option. Once the grinding is complete, you’ll need to clean the floor thoroughly to remove all the dust and debris. This can be done with a broom and/or a vacuum, after which you should go over the floors with a wet mop in order to ensure you’ve gotten rid of the dust.
2. Repair Any Damage
The next step is to repair any potential damage your floors might have endured over the years. While durability is one of the main reasons why people choose to install concrete floors, they might still get cracked or chipped over time. If there are any major damage areas, you’ll need to fix them up before you can proceed with resurfacing the floors. This could involve patching up the cracks with concrete or using an epoxy filler to fill in any holes. Typically, you’ll need to let the floor dry completely before you can move on to the next step. Depending on the severity of the damage, this could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
3. Apply A Primer
Once the floor is clean and damage-free, it’s time to apply a primer. This will help the resurfacing coatings adhere better to the concrete, and it’ll also help to hide any imperfections on the surface. When it comes to primers, there are a few different types to choose from, but epoxy-based primers are usually the best option. Be sure to read the instructions on the primer can carefully so that you know how to apply it properly. Usually, it’s recommended that you apply two coats for optimal results. The coats need to be relatively thin, and you need to give each one 24 hours to dry before applying the next one. Of course, this can differ depending on the primer you’re using – most of them have the time needed for drying listed on the can. If you notice that the primer is a bit bumpy in certain places – for example, if you can see the concrete pores through the primer – you can lightly sand it down before applying the next coat.
4. Resurface The Floor
Now that the primer is dry, it’s time to start resurfacing the floor. Again, there are a few different options to choose from, but typically epoxy-based coatings are the best bet. There are two types of epoxy coatings – solvent-based and water-based. Solvent-based epoxies are a bit more durable, but they also tend to be a bit more toxic. If you’re opting for water-based epoxy, be sure to choose one that’s specifically meant for concrete floors – this will ensure that it has the best adhesion and durability. When it comes to applying the epoxy coatings, you can either do it yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. If you’re doing it yourself, be sure to read the instructions carefully and follow them to a tee. This will help ensure that you get the best results possible. For most of them, the easiest way to apply it is with a push broom. Just make sure that the surface is completely smooth before applying the coating. If there are any bumps or lumps, they’ll show up in the finished product.
5. Seal The Floor
Once the epoxy coatings have dried, it’s important to seal the floor. This will help protect the coating from scratches, moisture, staining, and chipping, and it’ll also help to keep the floor looking its best for years to come. When it comes to sealers, there are again a few different options to choose from. Acrylic sealers are usually the best bet, as they’re both durable and affordable – plus they take less time to dry than oil-based sealers. Just like with the primer and epoxy coatings, be sure to read the instructions on the sealer can carefully before applying it. You’ll usually need to apply two coats for optimal results, and it’s best to do this when the floor is completely clean and free of any dust or debris. Once the sealer has dried, you’re good to go! While proper ventilation is important during the entire resurfacing process, it’s especially important when it comes to the sealer. Be sure to open all windows and doors in the room to allow the fumes to escape.
When it comes to resurfacing concrete floors, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure you’re doing everything right. This includes letting the floor dry completely before moving on to each following step, applying a primer, and using an epoxy-based coating. Once the coatings have dried, it’s important to seal the floor with an acrylic sealer. Following these steps will help ensure that your floor looks its best for years to come.