Mention concrete floors and most people think of industrial spaces, sidewalks, or buildings, but modern concrete interior floors are something else entirely. Polished concrete floors have several advantages over other flooring options.
Concrete flooring is durable, easy to maintain, and hard to damage. Pets can’t scratch it, toys won’t dent it, and high heels can’t dig into it. Properly sealed and maintained, it can last indefinitely. Some spaces already have a concrete floor, you just need to remove whatever is covering it. Polished concrete floors are hypoallergenic, since they can’t collect dust or pet dander or harbor mold. Coloring or staining an interior concrete floor offers nearly unlimited design options.
How to stain interior concrete floors
Considering the availability of concrete floors already in many areas, and the nearly unlimited design possibilities, you might be surprised that you can easily color or stain an interior polished concrete floor. Here are five steps to a great decorative concrete floor.
1. Prepare the surface
Before anything else, you want to make sure you’re working with a clean slate. Make sure that oil stains and any other contaminants present on the floor are removed.
Once your floor is clean, you’re ready for the next step of grinding. If you know how to use a floor buffer and angle grinder, you can do this step easily. Rent a floor machine sander and fit it with a diamond pad. Single-pad machines are readily available and easy to use. Use an angle grinder fitted with a diamond grinder for the edges. Wet-grinding is preferable, because it reduces dust generation, but a HEPA filter and safety glasses will protect your lungs and eyes.
2. Clean the surface for optimal results
Once the concrete is smooth and free of any previous coatings, vacuum or wash away dust. Then, use a mop to apply a concrete cleaning solution to the entire surface. Usually, this is done with a mop or soft brush. Then, let it dry.
3. Mask the design
Mask off any areas you don’t want colored, such as thresholds, baseboards, walls, or floor fixtures. This is where you can get creative, using masking tape and butcher paper, or tape and drape to lay out designs as intricate as you desire. If you want to use multiple colors to create a pattern, move on to Step 4 with one color and then mask again for additional colors.
4. Apply the color
Use a sprayer to apply the color in two or three coats, allowing time for it to set between. A brush can be used for detail work and cutting edges. Concrete colors are available in many shades to mix and match according to the space and your design objectives.
PROSOCO Consolideck GemTone Stain is available in several basic colors that can be mixed or layered for unlimited color and design options.
5. Seal the color
Finally, apply concrete sealer. Depending on the sealer, there are several ways to apply it to your polished concrete floor, once it’s had time to cure. A sprayer and microfiber pads is the most common method for an exceptionally smooth and glossy finish.
Apply two coats of sealer with less than four hours of drying time between. Finally, wait three or four days before opening your floor to foot traffic and furniture placement.
The long life of a colored, polished concrete floor
Cleaning and maintaining your polished concrete floor is easy. Regular cleaning is best done with a duster. Wet messes and stains can be picked up with a soft rag and neutral cleaner. Tough stains can be tackled with a non-scratch pad.
Over time, especially in high-traffic areas, the concrete may exhibit an uneven sheen, a sign the sealer is wearing thin. To restore the seal, clean with mild floor cleaner and allow to dry. Apply two or three coats of sealer and allow to cure. High-traffic areas might last three months, while low-traffic areas should last over a year.
With so many colors and design options, you can be sure your interior, decoratively colored concrete floor, no matter the scale, will be entirely unique and beautiful.
Questions about your colored concrete project? Customer Care is available to answer your questions, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m., Central Standard Time, at 1-800-255-4255. Or see our decorative concrete section of our website for more information such as product data sheets and specs.