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  • A hand-textured decorative overlay was installed in this wedding venue to cover up several damaged concrete slabs and create a rustic-looking floor that would look like stone yet be easy to maintain. For the realistic stone-like color variations, a combination of golden oak and stone quarry stains was used, finished off by a high-gloss urethane sealer.
  • A stone-textured overlay stained in various custom shades of light and dark gray create a one-of-a-kind kitchen floor that’s big on wow factor. The colors perfectly complement the kitchen countertops, backsplash, and light gray walls.

If you’re thinking of covering up an existing concrete floor with tile or laminate, there are plenty of reasons you should consider a textured concrete overlay instead. Not only do you get a custom look that’s totally unique, you’ll also get a surface that will last a lifetime and be easy to maintain, according to Will Osbrink of Stone FX International, a contractor that specializes in interior and exterior cement-based overlays.

“You can’t buy this in any flooring store; it’s a work of art,” he says. “You can also choose from over 300 colors, and every pattern is different because it’s customized for each client.”

A FRESH NEW START

One of the key benefits of the Stone FX system is that it can be installed over any existing concrete slab, even if it has cracks, pitting, carpet tack strips or other imperfections. It can be placed over sound tile flooring as well, saving the cost of removal.

“That is one of the biggest reason clients choose our cement overlay. It gives them a fresh new start and is thick enough to cover up all the damage underneath. It’s a huge money saver, too, because less work is involved to prep the surface,” says Osbrink.

Stone FX starts by diamond grinding and power scrubbing the floor, followed by application of a polymer adhesive to ensure strong bonding of the overlay to the existing concrete. The next step is the installation of a cement-based fill coat to cap off any defects in the floor. The decorative topcoat follows and is troweled by hand to give the floor a realistic stone-like texture ranging from light to heavy, depending on what the client wants.

The multicolored, veining effects that make these floors so beautiful are achieved by spraying the desired colors of water-based stain onto the overlay in random patterns that resemble natural stone, granite or marble. The final step is the application of a clear, protective sealer in a choice of natural, satin, semi-gloss, or gloss finishes.

Depending on the size of the project, the transformation from bare, unsightly concrete to completed overlay takes about a week and the clients can stay in the home while the work is underway. You can watch a short video of the entire installation process.

EASY MAINTENANCE

Because Stone FX’s stone-textured overlays are completely free of grout lines and seams, they are much easier to clean and maintain than tile or laminate flooring. The protective sealer also makes them very resistant to stains, dirt, grease, and UV exposure. Still, they will need occasional cleaning to look their best, including routine sweeping or dust mopping to remove any abrasive particles and occasional wet mopping with a mild detergent. Floors exposed to heavy traffic may need to be resealed on occasion if the sealer begins to show signs of wear and abrasion.

“One hack we learned that helps to preserve the sealer is to use Mop & Glo on occasion instead of soap and water for cleaning. This product will clean and seal at the same time and minimize the need for resealing,” says Osbrink.

Osbrink also recommends that his clients use floors mats near entryways (both indoors and outdoors) to catch dirt and grit before it can be tracked onto the floor and furniture pads when dragging furniture or other heavy objects across the surface to help prevent scratching.

TIPS FOR CHOOSING AN OVERLAY INSTALLER

A decorative concrete floor overlay can be a permanent solution to covering up and transforming an existing floor. But how the overlay looks and performs is dependent on the quality of the installation. Osbrink recommends choosing a flooring contractor that can offer the following:

  • A customer-satisfaction guarantee
  • A warranty of at least 2 years
  • A daily onsite manager to make sure the overlay installation is going smoothly
  • An installation schedule, along with daily progress reports and photos
  • Creation of a sample board for final approval of all colors and finishes
  • At least 10 years of experience

“We assure our clients that they will get an overlay with the look and feel of real stone without the cost or lack of continuity real stone can bring,” says Osbrink. “They also like the fact that they can choose their own colors and finishes, with the ability to adjust the color and pattern before the project is completed. We won’t seal anything until our clients are 100% satisfied.”

Concrete Contractor
Stone FX International, Humble, Texas

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