- Decorative Concrete Overlays Home
- Common Questions about Overlays
- Floor Overlay Cost
- Types of Overlays
- Comparison Chart of Overlay Systems: Which is Best for Your Project?
- Five Factors to Consider When Choosing a Resurfacing System
- Getting Surfaces Ready for an Overlay
- When to Use a Cement-Based Polymer Overlay
- Surface Preparation: Getting Concrete Ready for Resurfacing
- Concrete Underlayments: Tips for priming the substrate
- Design Ideas for Concrete Overlays
- Concrete Coloring Methods
- Stamped Concrete Patterns and Designs
- Concrete Overlays Color Chart
- Applying Decorative Stencils
- Polishable Overlays
- Maintaining Resurfaced Concrete
- How to Protect and Maintain Resurfaced Concrete
- Routine Maintenance for Overlays
- Other Resources
- Concrete Contractors: Find Concrete Overlays Products and Suppliers
How to Install a Concrete Floor Overlay
A decorative concrete overlay or microtopping is a great solution for restoring and enhancing worn, damaged or discolored concrete floors. Overlays can also be placed over other flooring materials, such as vinyl tile or wood. The application tools and techniques for installing cement-based overlays will vary, depending on the type of system being applied, the size of the project, and the look you are trying to achieve. Always refer to the overlay manufacturer’s installation recommendations for their specific product.
The most critical step when installing any cement-based overlay system is surface preparation. You’ll need to clean the substrate, remove any existing coatings, and then profile, or roughen, the surface to ensure a good bond. There are several methods you can use to profile concrete, including acid etching, shotblasting, diamond grinding, scarifying, and sandblasting. For guidance, see Concrete Surface Preparation.
If there are cracks in the concrete, they also must be repaired before you can install the overlay so they won’t reform and mirror through to the topping. The type of repair method you use will depend on the nature of the cracks. See these concrete crack repair tips.