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I have a slab house. I want to take up my carpets and stain the concrete. Do I need to do anything to the slab before I stain?
My first question is why? Second question, is this in the house? If it is, it will be cold, most likely have cracks and not be as smooth as you want it. This is a job for a pro. As a painter, I don't have the equipment to do this job. They need a concrete polisher with diamond heads. Do not try to acid wash it, or use any other method. If you do, you will have a big mess.
Slab finish is never 100% perfect and the main reason for that is that builders know that finished floors will be installed over the concrete.
But if you want to keep the concrete as your floor, you'll have to finish it properly, polish as mentioned and paint with panit for slabs.
Personally, I don't recommend using the slab as floor.
What will happen over time ; the walkways will wear down and the edges will still look new.
Carpets are better imo. Don't know why do you want to go for concrete.
Concrete flooring is appropriate for residential floors. There have a lot of homeowners whose are not aware all of the benefits to concrete flooring.so now you need to think deeply and then decide .
lean and tone
I feel too much hate for concrete in this post. It was a couple yrs back so maybe there is less hate now. Concrete make a great floor. Some like cozy carpet, some like an industrial feel. To each his own. AS mentioned, the slab may not be finished as well as it would have been if the initial intention was flooring but it may still work. If very rough, you may want to consider some grinding. If you can walk barefoot on it now and it does not bother you, then you are fine. It will be even better when complete. First, get ****** and do some research to see what stain direction you want to head, as in chemical stains, water base stains, concrete dye, etc. They all have different personalities and require different skill levels for application. I found good info at concretestains.biz and concretenetwork.com.
After you decide on a type of stain, you will need to choose a sealer. THis is very important. Do not balk at sealer costs. They are what will keep your floor looking good. Cheap sealer = bad looking floor in time. If you use an epoxy, good poly, or something called acrithane, you will not go wrong. The sealer will also certainly "smooth" out the floor, feeling better underfoot.
As a side note, stained floors and area rugs work very well. Do not be afraid to use rugs in higher traffic areas, under dining room tables, etc. They add interest and do slow down natural wear and tear. Lastly, use the sticky felt pads under furniture legs. Concrete should be colored, not left grey!
Concrete floors are the things of old times. You should think once about wood flooring. Hardwood is one of the most popular and sought after types of flooring. Hardwood flooring presents a combination of beauty and durability that you would rarely have from other flooring types. Hardwood flooring comes in Maple, Pecan, Beech, Cherry, Oak, Pine, Birch, Walnut, Hickory and more. This type of flooring provides a long-lasting product, wear resistant surface that could be refinished if necessary.
I like concrete and have formed and laid many thousands of yards of it. But I don't like it as an interior floor. Why? Ask me that after your first fall onto it after you get back home from the hospital. There are places where it excels and that surface hardness isn't such a drawback. Ditto for tile which is equally hard. I've taken many a spill, and the last things I want under me when that happens are concrete, tile, or stone. There is another aspect to consider here as well. Most doctors have patients who have severe back and foot problems from working all day on concrete floors. Given enough time, that might be you too. Our bodies are not designed to spend so much time in such a hard surface. Even thin cheap vinyl on concrete prevents this.
Much of today's styling is all about aesthetics and has forgotten that there's more to life than looks. When you omit the human and nature factors it's going to come back around and bite you eventually. Work with nature and you'll do a lot better- fight nature and you will lose or have a never-ending fight on your hands.