- Concrete Floor Information
- Concrete Floor Pictures
- Common Questions about Concrete Floors: Are they cold? Are they loud? Are they expensive?
- Popular Flooring Types: Kitchen floors, garage floors, basement floors and more
- Interior Floor Finishes: A comparison of finishing options available
- Concrete Floor Cost
- Concrete Floor Installation
- How to Clean Concrete Floors
- Concrete Floor Design Ideas: Get inspiration from floor installations across the country
- Concrete Floor Applications
- Staining Concrete Floors
- Painted Concrete Floors
- Stenciling Concrete Floors
- Polishing Concrete Floors
- Self-Leveling Concrete Overlays
- Related Information
- Concrete Products:
Concrete Stains | Concrete Overlays
- Design Ideas: Concrete Floor Info
Concrete Finish Options for Indoor FlooringExplore different concrete floor finishes, what they cost, and how they can be customized
Stained and polished concrete in a residential office. By Liquid Stone in Warminster, PA
For many homeowners and designers, the chief advantage of concrete floors is the tremendous design versatility they offer. Concrete floors can be:
- Colored or stained to match any hue
- Finished to resemble tile, slate, or marble
- Enhanced with decorative stenciled borders, medallions, or custom graphics
No other flooring material gives you this unlimited array of design options and opportunities to create custom one-of-a-kind looks. Contact concrete floor finishers near you to help decide what finish is best for your floor and get quotes.
6 FINISH OPTIONS FOR CONCRETE FLOORS
Many floor finishes—including staining, dyeing, polishing and decorative coatings—can be applied to existing concrete as well as new concrete. This gives you the ability to expose concrete floor slabs hidden by other floor coverings, such as carpet or vinyl tile, or add a finish to a concrete basement floor.
Acid- or water-based stains impart rich color to concrete surfaces. Stains are semi-transparent and enhance, rather than disguise the surface. Acid-based stains are generally limited to earth-tones, while water-based stains have a broader color palette.
Dyes offer more vibrant colors, like yellow, purple, or blue and can be mixed and blended for color matching or custom blends. Dyes are available in water- and solvent-based formulas.
Using stencils allows you to add attractive, yet economical, color and texture to indoor concrete surfaces. With hundreds of patterns available, and the ability to create custom stencils, the possibilities are endless.
The ultimate no-wax floor, polished concrete offers great value and is a superior, low-maintenance flooring option. Concrete polishing results in a floor with a smooth, high-luster finish that resembles polished stone, yet never requires waxing.
Add shimmer and shine to your concrete floor with a metallic coating. Available in multiple colors, metallic coatings create a contemporary, upscale look for interior floors. Metallic epoxies contain real metallic powders or special reflective pigments to give concrete floors the look of copper, silver, aged bronze, nickel, and other shimmery patinas. They are especially popular in settings where a modern, upscale look is desired.
Epoxy-based products are an affordable and attractive way to enhance plain garage floors. They not only help protect the floor from grease, oil stains, and tire marks, but also impart color and texture. These heavy-duty epoxy-based systems are available in many color choices and can be enhanced by decorative quartz or color chips.
HOW TO FINISH CONCRETE FLOORS
For existing surfaces, most projects will consist of three phases:
- Prep work and cleaning: How this is done will vary depending on the finish to be applied. For instance, you can’t clean the surface with muriatic acid if you’re planning on using an acid-based stain, and cracks or holes may need to be repaired for some finishes, but can be left as is for others. Additionally, if your concrete surface is uneven, it's essential to have it leveled before applying a decorative finish to ensure a smooth and flat floor (see How to Level a Concrete Floor). For new concrete, prep work is minimized.
- Staining, polishing, or application of a coating: Obviously, the process will vary based on the chosen finish. Some require the use of equipment, such as polishing, others are simply products applied to the surface, such as stains, dyes, or coatings.
- Sealing or other protective treatment: Similar to prep and cleaning, which sealer you use—or if one is even needed—will be determined by the finish that was applied. Polished floors may not require a sealer, but stained or colored floors should be protected.
Concrete overlay handpainted to resemble carrera marble. By SoClean Blasting Services Inc in Ronkonkoma, NY
FINISHED CONCRETE FLOORS COST
Prices for the different concrete floor options vary greatly, starting as low as $2 to $6 per square foot for basic stain, dye, or polishing. High-end finishes with multiple colors, designs, stencils or other enhancements can run $15 to $30 per square foot, or more depending on the materials.
Get more information about what you can expect to pay for finished concrete flooring:
ARE CONCRETE FLOORS EASY TO MAINTAIN?
In addition to their decorative merits, all cement floor finishes are easy to maintain when applied to properly prepared floor surfaces. They can endure heavy foot traffic, they are stain and moisture resistant, and they won’t harbor mold, mildew, allergens, or dust mites. Learn more about cleaning concrete floors.
DO-IT-YOURSELF CONCRETE FLOORS
While some of the processes may look simple, your best bet is to hire a pro. Here are a few reasons why:
- Stains applied to concrete are permanent, which means mistakes are permanent too. (See more about DIY staining)
- There are significant differences in the prep and cleaning if you’re applying acid-based vs. water-based stains that can result in the stain not being absorbed by the concrete.
- Polishing requires the use of heavy equipment that needs to be rented and skill to achieve good results.
- Sealers also need to be matched to the type of finish applied, not all sealers are compatible with all finishes.
WAYS TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR CONCRETE FLOORS
In addition to the more traditional decorative finishes for concrete floors, advances in materials and finishing techniques have resulted in new cutting-edge looks.
Here are some of our favorite concrete floor design ideas:
Concrete Tile: Benefits of using concrete versus ceramic or porcelain precast tile materials