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painted basement floor

My husband and I purchased a 1984 ranch home 2 years ago. The basement floor was painted to look like 70's style reddish-brown carpet, we never liked it. Our first two springs here we had major flooding and now the paint is peeling/chipping. We solved our flooding problem by putting a french drain in our front yard. We would like to use the basement space but hate the floors. We are wanting to either stain the concrete or put down Armstrong wood looking vinyl flooring. We have the two ideas but will choose whatever would be easiest of the two. We just don't know how to get the paint off the concrete if we stain or if we even need to get the paint up to put vinyl down. My husband read about using our propane torch to get the paint up but I'm afraid of the CO that it might produce in the process. I really don't want to use harsh chemicals either. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Thank You.

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