A Free Guide On Innovative Concrete Flooring Ideas

The very words concrete flooring may create a sense of dissatisfaction in your minds, as we have always known concrete floors as rough and plain flooring. However the trend has now changed. Concrete flooring has evolved from the olden styles to completely innocative and break-through designs in the recent trends.

While you might dismiss concrete flooring as just a way to hold up more decorative flooring, you're missing out on a simple way to bring bright colo and life to your home. Most interior designers and construction specialists are selecting concrete flooring ideas over tile or marble designs to suit the expectations and the taste of the present generation customers.

A Flexible and Cost Effective Flooring Option

Most homes have some area where they have concrete flooring. Whether it's the garage, basement, or even main living quarters, there are opportunities to create a warmer, more inviting living space without having to spend the money to layer over it.

Using Your Concrete Flooring Help You:
  • Save Money as installing concrete flooring is comparatively less costly than other modern flooring ideas.
  • Be more flexible in your decorating
  • Use the solid surface for support
Why Some People Decide To Cover It Up:
  • The Surface is too hard for their purposes
  • The concrete is stained beyond repair
  • The surface is uneven

Stained Concrete Flooring

Stained concrete flooring is a great look, when you do it intentionally. This flooring is a marvelous colar mass for passive solar-heated homes, as well as a good surface for radiant floors. But having concrete may not be the look you wanted in your home. In that case, applying a stain is the route to go.

 Acid stain, one staining option, is not a paint or coating agent, but a coloring process involving a chemical reaction. You get a beautiful mottled look to your floor with this finishing approach. And you could even score a pattern or design into the concrete before it's stained to add interest. Once the stain is dry, be sure to apply a protective coat or two, so the stain wears evenly.

is a marvelous solar mass for passive solar-heated homes, as well as a good surface for radiant floors. But having concrete may not be the look you wanted in your home. In that case, applying a stain is the route to go. Acid stain, one staining option, is not a paint or coating agent, but a coloring process involving a chemical reaction. You get a beautiful mottled look to your floor with this finishing approach. And you could even score a pattern or design into the concrete before it’s stained to add interest. Once the stain is dry, be sure to apply a protective coat or two, so the stain wears evenly. 

Adding a smooth look and cleaning concrete floors becomes easier when they are stained.

Painting Concrete Floors

Concrete flooring in homes can also be painted. This approach to decorative concrete flooring can be a money saver. You don't have to spend additional money with other flooring options, you just start with cleaning concrete flooring and decorate them as you wish - paint, stain, or etching.

These floor designs can be made with stencils or well-placed painting tape in order to use certain colors in certain areas. A polished concrete flooring scheme can look sophisticated and classic. 

Add a nice cocktail bar and a billiard room and you have a great place for entertaining and relaxing. Consider a checkerboard pattern by putting tape over the opposing color, letting the paint dry, and then painting the bare areas. Cover with sealant and you're done.​

Easy Maintenance

Maintaining a stained or painted concrete floor basically requires regular cleaning and a gresh coat of sealant every few years. Talk about a low maintenance flooring! The shine stays put with regular sweeping and mopping. Though removing concrete flooring is a tedious process, maintaining these floors take less effort and stays stronger for a long time.

Easy Repair and Installation

Concrete flooring repairs are easily done by the honeowner or by a local concrete floor installer. A professional is probably the better person to tend to the repairs. There are several options and a professional will be able to suggest the best concrete flooring ideas for your situation. You can patch the problem, do a concrete overlay, or even an epoxy coating could work - depending on the problem being repaired.

Hollow Core Concrete Flooring

If you are building a new home or office, consider hollow core concrete flooring. It...

  • Lets you build more quickly
  • Reduces sound transfer between floors
  • Spans longer spaces without support
  • Is lightweight and fire resistant
  • Allows design flexibility

If you are planning to paint or stain your flooring, this is just another interesting option. The average price for this flooring is determined by the square footage of surface that you want to cover. Some people even have their original flooring taken out in order to pour a smoother surface - but this is the costlier option. If you can simply clean the floor, it will save you time and money. But there are those that don't like the hard surface and support that concrete provides.

A working area is great with the hard design, but in a playroom or a workout room, it might not be the best choice. Always try to save the original flooring if you can, because the options are endless — just like your ideas.

One must be careful in selecting concrete flooring designs, as there are numerous designs available int he market and could be quite confusing too. However these designs are customized to meet the requirements of costomers of all tastes and budgets.

96 thoughts on “A Free Guide On Innovative Concrete Flooring Ideas

  1. I just had my concrete floors stained, some areas where concrete was very rough are dull looking (wax did not take very well); what can I do or use to shine this area up?

  2. It sounds as if you are saying the concrete surface is an uneven smoothness. If that is indeed true, it will always have different looks between the smooth and rougher surfaces — kind of like velvet that has been brushed against the grain.
    You could try stripping the wax off the concrete and applying a concrete polyurethane. My thought is the viscosity of the urethane would fill in the texture of the concrete and give you a more even reflective surface.

  3. What is the best thing to use to mop concrete floors? I like to use ammonia, because I feel it cleans it better, but there is not much shine.
    Thanks!

  4. Ammonia is pretty harsh. I personally try to not use it for my cleaning because it can be harmful to your health. Have you tried a 10:1 water:white vinegar solution for your cleaning? And be sure the water and mop stay clean — ie, change the water frequently. See what happens with that and let us know, please.

  5. I need to paint the cement floor in our children’s playroom. It sees a lot of activity. What do you think would be a good color? If it is glossy, would it be too slippery?

  6. Be sure to use a low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint; Sherwin Williams has one that I like a lot. I personally love bright, vibrant primary colors for kids. I think a bright pattern would be good. It could be geometric patterns, trains/cars, flowers, or even a race track. And then, especially since it sees lots of activity, be sure to seal it with several coats of a water-based polyurethane (water-based has lower VOCs so won’t pollute the air the kids breathe). I think the paint won’t make the floor slippery, but I don’t have experience with a glossy floor so can’t be positive.

  7. We planned to lay hardwood flooring and used several bags of leveling compound over the cement floor, but didn’t cover the entire thing so it is blotchy. Can it be stained or painted?
    Also, what kind of mop works best to clean cement floors? It’s really stained and dirty, and it seems like a sponge mop would shred.

  8. I’m not understanding: you gave up on using the hardwood flooring and are going to use concrete instead? Yes, concrete can be stained and painted. and the kind of mop really depends on your surface smoothness. A string mop may be your best bet, though I can’t be sure at this point.

  9. That’s right. Husband didn’t know how to do it, but wouldn’t admit it, then moved out. I can’t afford to hire someone and don’t want to do it myself, so am considering what I can do with the concrete floor. Unfortunately, it’s partially covered with leveler, so I assume I can’t stain it?

  10. Since I can’t see it I have to just shoot in the dark about your options. I don’t know if you can stain leveler or not, nor do I know how durable leveler is as a flooring surface. Given all of that, my thoughts about your options include:
    1. stain and seal the floor you presently have, getting a faux-painted look — could be very cool
    2. have linoleum installed
    3. install carpet and padding
    4. go with a bamboo floor installation
    The first choice is probably the fastest and cheapest, but may be the least durable.
    Let me know what you decide to do and how it comes out.

  11. We are going to try to paint our concrete flooring in our home, it is 9 yrs old and I am scared we will mess up. Just need alittle advice! We want to use the non skid surfacing additive to our paint, mostly to the baths, kitchen and laundry areas, will this be too rough and since we are in our early 60’s should we apply to all floors? Does the temperature have anything to do with when we paint?

  12. I like your idea of the non-skid surface. I’ve seen it used effectively outdoors and just hadn’t translated to its usefulness indoors. I guess it hadn’t occurred to me indoor floors would be slick!
    Having never personally worked with the additive I can only guess that there must be different styles or types of additives. The additives I’ve seen are rough and I wouldn’t enjoy them in my home. I’d want something softer than the “sand” that’s often used. Your paint supplier must have some ideas there. My Google search for alternatives came upon several options, the most exciting to me was iPaint.us”. Look around and see if you can find products that fit the bill for you.
    Temperature does matter, and your specific paint will tell you the right temperature to work in. Generally you don’t want to paint when the surface is less than 40 degrees or is going to get that cold in the following couple of hours.
    Please let me know what you find about the additive.

  13. We had some water damage to our walkout basement. The carpeting that was down there was all ruined and has been removed. We think we have fixed the underlying problem, but don’t want to reinstall carpet. We are thinking of doing a faux stone paint job instead. My question is: What kind of prep work is needed to prepare the concrete? Right now it has remains of adhesive and some carpet tack strips.

  14. I like your solution. It makes good sense in a variety of ways.
    First of course finish cleaning the floor of the carpet job and then consider washing it with STP (sodium tri-phosphate) and maybe something to kill any possible remaining mold spores. After it’s dry from all this cleaning, test to make sure it doesn’t have a moisture problem. Do that by taping a clear plastic square — say 10-12″ — making sure you have a good seal around the edges. Leave it there for several days and look for condensation. Condensation means you still have a water problem and dry means you don’t.
    Priming the floor will help the paint cover better, but consider other approaches as well. You could also stain or use an epoxy paint. Stain and paint will need a polyurethane top coat but epoxy won’t. Let me urge you to use low VOC products so you don’t impair your interior air quality.
    Have fun!

  15. Can we use two colors on top of each other to create a different design and what kind of paint rollers are the best? I have looked at the paint rollers with the holes and I’m wondering if that would work or not to make a different color design? Is the stain as pretty as the paint and can you stain on top of each other to make a different texture design?

  16. Yes, you can use two different colored paints to create different looks. I don’t know about using two different colored stains together though.
    Having never painted concrete myself I don’t know what the best rollers are for the job. Your paint supplier should be a great source for that answer.
    I love the clerks at every Sherwin Williams I’ve used across the country; they should be able to help you with your paint, stain and roller questions.

  17. My basement floor is already painted but I don’t like the color or the painted look. I have been looking at different floor solutions but all seem very expensive. Can I use stain over the paint that is there(its beige)? Would I have to strip the entire floor to stain and wax it?
    Thanks

  18. I don’t think you can successfully stain over paint, though I guess it would be an interesting look. But if you are looking for the stained-concrete look you’ll need to strip the paint off the concrete, which may not be possible to do completely. And once you get the stain the way you want it using polyurethane rather than wax will be more durable and less hassle.

  19. I have stained floors. I got the stain from Home Depot so it’s not acid stain and I put one coat of sealer on top of it. Now it’s all scratched and chipping in some places. I was wondering what I could do to fix this and keep it from happening again because other concrete floors I see look so smooth and shiney. Also, what should I mop with to keep it from looking cloudy or hazey?

  20. What exactly is chipped and scratched: the concrete itself or the top coat?
    What are you cleaning with right now? Cloudy and hazy looks usually mean there’s a residue of the cleaner left on the surface, but sometimes the cleaning product is actually reacting to/with the surface that’s getting cloudy. Knowing what you are using may help us figure out what you can do to avoid the problems.

  21. The top coat (sealer) is scratched and the stain is chipping off. It’s not the concrete I don’t think.
    I have tried everything. I have used Mr. Clean, Vinager and dish soap mixed with water, and right now I am using Pledge that you squirt on the floor and mop off with a wet mop. The last 2 have worked the best but I was just wondering if there was something better.

  22. Sounds to me as if you need to remove the existing sealant and stain and start over with an acid stain and sealant formulated for concrete floors. Or use more area rugs. ;~>
    I’ve been experimenting with an environmentally friendly cleaner that might work. I haven’t tried it on concrete floors, but a friend is going to be trying it on her patio soon. I have liked it for my bamboo flooring and general household cleaning. Maybe it will work for you. It’s called Enviro-One, and this link will take you to the order page.

  23. Question: We have removed vinyl from our kitchen floor. What is left is adhesive, which we are now tackling. What is the best way to proceed if a polished concrete floor is our goal? Would self-leveling concrete help with any level issues? Thank you from 2 weekend warriors.

  24. That might work, but self-leveling concrete can be hard to work with because it sets up so quickly. But if you can work fast in small areas, that might be just the answer for you.
    But there are also adhesive removing compounds you can buy that might get the last of the adhesive up so you don’t have to fuss with the self-leveling concrete.
    And are you going to use vapor barriers and cement board for your project?

  25. Which is the best and last the longest on concrete floors, acid staining or paint? We know how to apply the first coat but are not sure of how to apply the second coat of a different color to make the design we desire, can we use a pump up sprayer? How many coats of sealant do we use and how long is the drying time? Will this method stand up to alot of traffic? We read all of your Q&A’s daily for helpful tips we can use.

  26. Hi Trish!
    Both painting and staining are very durable & long lasting so long as you have a very good finish after you do it. Yes, a pump sprayer can usually be used with stain, and you can use different methods to make the designs in different colors, a lot of them involve using stencils that you can buy or create yourself if you’re crafty!
    As far as sealant goes, it’s best to investigate how many coats are recommended by the manufacturer of the finish you decide to use, drying times should be included in the directions as well.
    Your finished floor should stand up to high traffic if you choose a finish that is specifically for stained concrete and formulated for high traffic areas. A good polyurethane sealer for concrete should do the trick though.

  27. Hi! Was wondering if ripping up nasty carpeting and going with my existing concrete floors was feasible. Also, have been told that if one paints or seals concrete flooring, then one can never put anything else (i.e. laminate, hardwood, tile, etc.) on top of it. True or false? Thanks from one who is trying to be thrifty and crafty at the same time..

  28. Can I (and should I?)sand the concrete if it is rough, and is there a specific website or place to go to learn how to stain or paint my concrete floors? P.S. I also love Sherwin Williams!

  29. Hi Donna!
    As far as sanding, it really just depends on how rough your concrete is – I can’t see it, so I can’t say for certain. If you think it needs it, then by all means, give it a try – you’ll know quickly if it’s going to help.
    There’s lots of sites on the internet that can help you with your project. Go to your favorite search engine and do a search – you’ll get tons of ideas and helpful info.

  30. Hi Donna!
    Going with your concrete floor is very feasable. Things to take into consideration: is it cracked, are there chips/chunks missing?.
    You can recover concrete even after painting or staining – especially if you go with a floating floor. Paints/stains would have to be stripped, and it might be almost impossible to remove all of the paintstains because the concrete is porous. Even with stained floors, it would still have to be stripped because of the sealers, while a painted floor would include stripping the sealer & the paint.
    Since you’re so crafty, I’m sure you’ll be coming up with a fabulous idea for your floor! There are even stencils that you can buy (or make!) to make wonderful designs with your stain or paint. Best of luck – I’m sure you’ll do a fantastic job!

  31. Hi, I have two dogs that are in the house on the stained concrete floors. My floors were just redone with a polyurethane sealant and their paw pads are leaving a print that I can’t get up with water. I tried diluted apple cider vinegar and swiffer pads and still couldn’t remove their marks. They are not scratching the floor just leaving tracks. Any suggestions on how to clean these up? Thanks so much. ,

  32. Hi Kim,
    This is weird, and I’ve seen this kind of question/comment before. Perhaps the polyurethane wasn’t cured at the time, or can’t cure properly because it’s too thickly applied or because the stone wasn’t sufficiently dry when applied.
    Could it be possible that it’s the cleaning supplies leaving a residue that shows tracks? Do weave socks leaves an imprint, or bare feet leave a footprint. This might be a difficult one to figure out, but I’m willing to help you brainstorm on it!

  33. Thanks for the response. I know the concrete was dry when polyurethane went down the first time. However, afterwards we had a white haze that developed throughout the house in different areas. They were obvious mop strokes. I never used any chemicals on the floor except for water so, it wasn’t that. The flooring people returned recently and recoated the floors with a tinted polyurethane seal that elimnated the white haze. Now on both seals appear the dog pad prints. Socks do not leave marks nor do bare feet. I tried your idea of small amt of soap and water and think I might see a little difference in some spots. I think your thought of too heavy a seal may be valid. I look forward to your next post

  34. Well, one down one to go then, I guess. What did the flooring people seem to think of this? It is odd that it’s just the dog’s prints that leaves a mark….. Would they be willing to try to think the poly on one of the pawprints? Of course, that could lead to more problems rather than a solution, but I’d imagine there probably aren’t any pawprints in an area that can’t be seen….

  35. I have 2600 sq ft of restaurant space. The previous tennant had a painted or stained finish(not sure) When the land lord renovated the space they covered the floor with a gray paint( laytex),
    Can you give me some advise on what I can do for a new covering.
    Tile, wood, paint, strip restain, concrete overlay,
    Any Input would be helpful. I have had a lot of opions and would like yours.
    Please advise on cost, durability, maintainance.
    I do not want carpet or basic vynl square covering.

  36. Hi Joe!
    Most likely, any of the choices you’ve mentioned would work. If the concrete was stained – that would be the most problematic if you’re not planning on covering it with something else. A stained concrete floor, when done properly, can be absolutely beautiful.
    Other concrete treatments which are common are epoxy flooring and rubber and are both very durable. Stained concrete is very durable, as well as stone tile flooring.
    I cannot advise you on cost, it will vary with the area you live in, how difficult of a job it would be, etc.

  37. Help! I have painted my daughters bedroom floor. This is our first time to try painting concrete. We pulled the carpet up (no glue under the pad) and cleaned the floor four times with small amount of soap and water then waited four days to paint. We used the whole gallon of paint in two applications. (We now know way to much paint) It has been ten days and the floor is still not completely dry. Dry to the touch but still tacky and will leave imprint if you stand to long in one place. Is there any way to get the paint to dry any quicker?

  38. We used Sherwin Williams Concrete floor paint. How many more days do you think it will take? We are here in North Mississippi. May try finding a dehumidifier.

  39. Hi Debs,
    Glad you came back, the info helps a lot. Seriously, you should call Sherwin Williams and ask them your question – they’re the best ones to know the answer since it’s their product.

  40. Hello,
    I own a auto repair shop and I recently epoxyed my floors I bought the epoxy from Home Depot.It is not as shiny as I thought it would be, I have entered shops where the floors looked like an ice skating rink.What can I do to make them shinny? thank-you

  41. Hi Charles,
    You should call the manufacturer and ask them. I would guess that either the flooring needs buffed or needs a sealer. I don’t know what the manufacturer would recommend as I don’t know what product you used, but I’m sure they’d know. ;~)

  42. Hi there. My husband and I are going to be building a house soon and we would like to use mostly Hickory wood and acid stained concrete flooring throughout. My question is about the place where the 2 meet. I know it will be covered with something, but what and will it be awkward going from one floor type to the other as far as hights? Thanks.

  43. Hopefully not, it depends on what the contractor does as far as a transition – there’s quite a few options. I’d discuss it with your contractor, but I’m sure you would have been included in any discussions of what to use. Schluter has some examples so you can get an idea of what can be used, I know there are others as well. I’m sure everything will be just fine.

  44. We have laminate floors in our den and kitchen but would like high gloss concrete. How should we go about this task?
    Suzie Savannah, Ga

  45. Hi Suzie,
    Is the flooring underneath the laminate concrete? If so, just remove the laminate. Are you wanting to paint, epoxy or stained concrete? You do whichever treatment you want and seal with a high sheen (gloss) sealer, probably have to be buffed to bring out the highest gloss. You need to get the concrete ready for whichever application you choose. You can find more info on each of these processes by using the search box in the upper right hand corner of the page.

  46. Hi
    I’ve bought a house and the one bedroom has a concrete floor but I don’t know if it’s finished or not because it makes a lot of dust on the surface and when sweeping it makes more – its almost like sand you’re trying to sweep away. It’s also stained – how can I repair it or get rid of the dust – what can be done with it?

  47. Hi Ina,
    It sounds like your concrete has efflorescence. Efflorescence is the loss of water (usually as evaporation to air) in an aqueous solution of salts, leaving behind crusts of solid salt crystals, called efflorecent salts.
    So, in short, you have moisture under your slab somewhere and the moisture works it way through your concrete bringing up these salts with it.
    There are several ways to attack this problem, but to find the best way it’s probably going to be best to find a conctractor to help. I really can’t help because it’s going to take a bit of detective work to find out why this is happening and I’m not there to do it. Solution might be as simple as installing French drains so that water is carried away from the house, meaning less moisture in the dirt under the slab to something along the lines as using a plastic film vapor barrier and having a new, thin layer of concrete poured.
    Aldon makes some good products for efflorescence, they also have a very good page describing eff and explaining what their products do and why as well as lots of photos. That page is here.
    You can also check out http://www.aquamix.com – they have products for eff as well.

  48. I’ve run across a cement/concrete looking topcoat, I believe, that has a bit of a spring to it. It’s not hard like regular concrete. I’ve only seen it used in commercial retail applications so it must be extremely durable. I would love this in my home but I’m not having any luck tracking it down. Are you familiar with this product?

  49. Hi,
    I had put polished concrete floor in my newly purchased condo. However, the floor got cracked and sometimes i can here different foot steps under the cracked part. Some of my friends say it looks natural, gives the floor character. well, I am talking to the contractor since it is under warranty. Contractors are willing to help me and come up with some options, but try to minimize their responsibility at the same time. They said concrete shrinks and expands naturally, so it is kinda natural to be cracked. Is it true?

  50. Flooring Lady and Katie, my wife and I have a house of concrete flooring and it does have cracks. As hard as our contractor tried to compact the soil before pouring our foundation the ground still settled. I think the crack has been made worse by having let the concrete cure too quickly.

    I have a neighbor who took the slow-cure path and doesn’t have floor cracks. My concrete man says that concrete just tends to crack, period. The more expansion joints in the concrete the less the problem, but it still tends to crack.

    I’m guessing the “footsteps” you are hearing are echoes within the substrate, though that’s only a guess.

  51. Hi Darlene,
    I would go with using a vinegar/water solution (1 part vinegar to 15 parts water or more). I’ve found that the best thing to do is to put it in a spray bottle (though not necessary!) and use a microfiber mop. I also use a separate clean, dry mop head to use afterwards to sort of ‘polish’ my floor afterwards.

  52. I’ve tried to stain concrete basement floor with acid stain(it looks terrible). Can the floor now be painted over? If so, how do I prep and what kind of paint should be used? Can it be sealed and waxed after painting? Thanks!

  53. Hi Angie,
    Just out of curiosity, how did your stained concrete turn out? FYI it’s not supposed to be evenly stained. Once sealed/finished it should look more like stone. The floor can be painted over and sealed. There’s more info elsewhere on the site under the categories Painted Floors and Painting Kitchen Floors.

  54. Cleaning Lady,
    I recently had my living and dining area concrete floors, stripped of old carpet and then painted with a high gloss paint. Now that it is time to clean the floors and keep that high shine, what should I use?

  55. We have a stained concrete floor that to me the color is ugly. Can this be stripped and restained and if so where do you start in finding out how to do this ourselves.

  56. Hi Priscilla,
    I presume that you sealed/finished the surface to make it more durable? If not, you definitely need to do that first so you don’t ruin your wonderful paint job – make sure it’s compatible with the type of paint you used so you don’t have a gooey mess.
    I like to use a vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 15 parts water or so) to clean floors – it’s cheap, disinfects and environmentally safe. I use a microfiber mop and follow up with a dry microfiber mop or rag if there’s any streaks or smudges to kind of “polish” it.

  57. Hi Cindy,
    Presuming your floor has been acid stained, this kind of process is kind of a ‘forever’ thing. Yes, it can be removed, but as you can infer from the article above, it won’t be easy. You’d either have to grind down into the cement to get below the stained level and then smooth it, have a thin layer of new concrete added, paint over it, or live with it. Acid staining is a chemical process – the acid reacts with the concrete. Now that it’s already been acid stained there isn’t enough left in the concrete for the acid to react adequately again. You can read more at Stained Concrete Flooring.

  58. Hi,
    We moved into our home in June 2007, and have 4,000 sq ft of concrete flooring. We opted not to stain and I love the soft gray color. It was sealed then waxed. The problem I am having is that in the kitchen area the floor has spots that are darker than the surrounding flooring. Usually the spots eventually fade but these have not, any suggestions? Also, how often do we need to have the floors re-waxed?
    Thanks,
    Luci

  59. Hi Luci,
    I’m sorry, I haven’t a clue as to what the darker spots are from – the only thing I can figure is that they were there before you sealed/waxed and became more apparent afterwards as this is often just a characteristic of sealers – they often enhance color (and stains, discolorations, etc.).
    You didn’t mention what type of wax you used on your floor. General rule of thumb is 6 months to a year, dependant on foot traffic to the area of course.

  60. Hey Flooring Lady!
    It really didn’t turn out!?!? It looks GREAT when it’s wet, but once it drys it looks no different than when I started. I am starting over…TSP cleaning and maybe a different color stain. I am afraid the paint verses stain just won’t hold up. Headed over to look at your other information on painted floors!

  61. Hi Angie –
    You’ve lost me……what didn’t really turn out? I’m not following what you’ve done to your floor. I’m guessing you’re talking about stain? If it looks great wet and then not so great once it dries, it sounds like you’ll like the results once you seal it. I can recommend Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane – easily found at local hardware stores, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. It’s also the same product I recommend when you paint your floors. Another good line of produts for concrete can be found at aquamix.com.

  62. So, we have about 1000 sq feet of a really lovely epoxy overlay on our indoor concrete floor. It was sealed and looked great for well..oh..about 3 days. Now it shows lots of scuffs and dust and the high shine is gone in all but the most underused areas. We’ve called the installer who really had no other suggestions then to try wax (which we don’t want to do because of the stripping issue later on). No matter what I use to clean it, it still is dull. Even tried renting a buffer but no success. Help! I want my high shine back!
    Caroline

  63. Hi Caroline,
    You’ll need to call the installer to find out what it was sealed with – it wouldn’t hurt to find out what epoxy product he used as well. Once you know what products have been used then I can recommend what action to take. It’s possible that the sealer he used just isn’t that great of a product. It is possible to re-seal with a better product but you definitely need to know what was used first in order to prevent the possibility of a messy chemical reaction. ;~)

  64. Hi Flooring Lady! My husband & I are building a new home & are hoping to have stained concrete. How does the concrete react to doggy accidents, toe nails, etc? How often will I have to do anything other than just dust & mop it?
    We would love to install travertine but know that it’s not a great option with two small dogs in the house. Right??
    Thanks,
    Jessica

  65. Hi Jessica,
    There shouldn’t be a problem having travertine with two small dogs so long as they don’t have ‘accidents’ on the floor and you keep their toenails trimmed. Same with the stained concrete. Both types of flooring are sealed/finished. You shouldn’t have to do anything more than just dust & mop (only when needed). Stripping and/or re-sealing will depend on how much traffic the flooring gets. The biggest issue would be the doggie accidents – that’s going to ruin almost any finish. A clear coat epoxy might work, that’s something that would need investigated as I’m not sure if it would react to the accidents – I’ll bet it wouldn’t though.

  66. Hello Flooring Lady,I recently moved into a condo and I belive that I have stained concrete floors. (They are concrete for sure)But not really sure if they are stained,colored, sealed etc.
    I dust mop the floor and vacuum,BUT what should I use to clean the floors? I can not find any product that is green and actually cleans as well… any sugguestions>

  67. Hi Natalie,
    Yep! Good ol’ vinegar and water does wonders for cleaning. I use 1 part vinegar to 15 parts or more water. I use a spray bottle and a microfiber mop. I also have a second one to go over the area I just mopped again to dry it really well so there’s no streaks or smudges. A microfiber cloth will do just fine too – I usually just use my foot to wipe it over the floor.
    If you use a regular mop, be sure to use a separate bucket for rinse water and keep that water pretty clean so you’re not just depositing grime back onto your floor.
    Don’t ever use any type of mop and glo or orange glo type products. They soon create a nightmare! (Google it)
    Hope that helps. ;~)

  68. I have a scored concrete floor with a water-based sealer on it. We are now looking at stripping the sealer and refinishing our floors. Dirt just seems to be building up and I can’t get it off with anything. What kind of stripping agent do I use and any suggestions on a water-based sealer?

  69. Hello: I own a small clenaing business. I recently got an inquiry form a coffee shop to clean their stained concrete floor. They vacuum and mop it regularly but the shine/luster has lessened especially in heavy traffic areas. It still is shiny under rugs, etc. They would like me to clean it and try to get some shine back. What do you recommend.
    Thanks, Sandi

  70. Hello Flooring Lady,
    My problem is I used a water base sealer and after I had applied this product with a roller like it said to do per product instructions problem is now it looks white in most areas very little clear like it was suppose to be; in other words I must of applied to much or let the brush dry out but really have no idea what I did can this be buffed down to get a clear gloss look before applying the wax.
    I am on a stand still and your suggestion would get us back to actually finishing the floor

  71. Hi Craig, You’re best off to contact the manufacturer of the product you used to see
    what they recommend. There’s even the possibility that you have a bad batch of product and they can help you. There could be other issues around the
    situation they can counsel you on.

    Good luck. Let us know what you find out.

  72. Some good friends of mine just bought a home that has mostly stained concrete floors. They are dull and don’t look to have very much of a sealer on them. The thought of stripping them seems overwhelming. Is it possible to apply another high gloss sealer over them without stripping? The stain is beautiful and the concrete is scored with a tile pattern, just looking for a higher gloss option. Thanks!

  73. Ron,
    Yes, you can apply the high gloss sealer without stripping, however after time, the sealer could start to come away from the concrete or previous layer of sealer.
    There is also another known side effect that occurs after too many reapplications of a sealer. The coatings can no long breather and moisture can build up and condense under the sealer, leaving white streaking. Knowing that, it is up to you to decide if you want to reapply over the previous sealant.

  74. I am very, very seriously considering ripping up my carpet in the family room. We have too many pets and kids to keep the carpet clean and smelling fresh.
    If I stain or paint the concrete, can I stain or paint over it in another color years down the road if my decorating changes OR am I stuck with the paint/stain color I choose today – forever?
    Any issues with carpeting or putting wood down again over the painted and sealed floor?
    Thanks for your help!

  75. Mary,
    You should be fine to repaint in another color later on. The problem with painting over an already painted surface is usually caused by painting with a water-based paint over an oil-based paint. They don’t bond well.
    I would be sure to use a low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint; Sherwin Williams has one that I like a lot. I personally love bright, vibrant primary colors. And then, especially since it sees lots of activity, be sure to seal it with several coats of a water-based polyurethane (water-based has lower VOCs so won’t pollute the air the kids breathe) like Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane water-based poly.
    Having a stained or painted and sealed surface should not cause problems if you decide to add carpet or a wood floor later on. However, if you paint, it would be difficult to stain later on. Stain on paint gives a different look than
    you may desire.

  76. I have a stained concrete floor in my home I just purchased. Can I re-stain it so when I stain the other floors after taking up the carpet it will match? THANKS for any help!

  77. Patti,
    You can re-stain the concrete floor if it is not sealed. However, the new stain will be going over the old color and will create it’s own results.
    If you know what stain is on it now, you may be able to match the other floors to it, or after re-staining, try to match the other floors to your new color.

  78. We have decorative, stamped concrete floors in our kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. I’m not sure what to seal it with. It has a sort of rough surface that makes it difficult to clean. Not only does dirt get deep in the crevices, but it tears up any mop or sponge we use.
    So, we want something that will make it easier to clean. But, we also have radiant floor heat and are worried about a sealer turning color because of the heat.
    Do you have a product to suggest?

  79. I need a cost effective, low maintenance flooring that is pet urine and water proof. Is concrete the best solution? What is the average cost per square foot? I have a slab (no wood and/or crawl space). Will this decrease the cost by having the current slab surface “prepared”? Or will additional concrete have to be poured on top?

  80. Hi! We are building a house in Madagascar. Looking for a cost effective concrete flooring. We are Novices here and the locals do not know method for polished floors. Can you possibly advise or give me a referal. Thanking you in advance, Veronika

    • Hi Veronika,
      I would suggest you speak with whomever the contractor is building your house about at least pouring the concrete. If they can do the manual labor of pouring the concrete, doing the polishing on your own is fairly simple. If they are not familiar with pouring interior concrete, you may want to do some investigating as to why: is it just because it is not a common flooring choice in the area, is concrete more expensive there, or is there another contractor you could work with for the concrete flooring portion of your home who is familiar with the process? I would think that concrete should be a really common choice in Madagascar, as it is probably the very best flooring option in a humid climate.
      If you are willing to do the floor polishing yourself, there are a number of videos that can show you the process. Here are a few good ones:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bx4gXJ4jkE
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gWNp_B-dhw
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoI1o4yNZYM
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4kwm6DuTsU
      You may also want to show these videos to your contractor, as sometimes the issue is simply a communication problem. Perhaps instead of “polished concrete” they may refer to this flooring style by a different name.
      Best of luck!

  81. Thanks for your advice. I agree– concrete flooring requires less maintenance and can look great. I’ve never seen painted concrete floors, though. Your article was great, but I think it could be much stronger if you included some pictures!

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