If you have an old, tired-looking concrete surface, you might wonder if restoring it to its former glory is possible? Fortunately, in many cases, the answer is yes.
Several refinishing techniques transform old concrete into modern, durable surfaces. Now, let’s explore some of the most common refinishing methods:
Filling Cracks in Old Concrete
If your old concrete surface has cracks, you should address them before refinishing. They can be filled with many materials that often match the original colour to make the repairs less noticeable.
It’s a good idea to have concrete cracks inspected by professionals who can tell you if there are underlying problems. Sometimes, unseen issues could cause refinishing efforts to quickly fail, which would be a major bummer.
On an interesting note, kintsugi gold concrete crack repair uses a golden sealer to repair concrete cracks. Kintsugi celebrates the character of older concrete floors rather than trying to conceal them.
This technique involves smoothing the surface of the concrete to create a shiny finish. The polishing process starts with grinding the old concrete smooth, then adding a densifier, and finally using a series of progressively finer grit diamond polishers to leave a glossy finish.
Polished concrete floors might look slick, but they’re actually safe, non-slip surfaces. Also, they reflect more light than they absorb, creating a brighter space that doesn’t require as much electricity to illuminate.
Polished concrete is a perfect option for high-traffic areas like retail stores, industrial buildings or offices because it’s durable and easy to maintain. For homes, particularly in areas like basements or garages where there’s normally an exposed slab anyway, polished concrete floors provide a sleek, modern look that stands the test of time.
Concrete staining involves applying a specialized paint, which penetrates the surface pores to create a rich, deep colour. Stained concrete can create various effects, from a natural stone-like look to bold, vibrant shades.
This concrete refinishing method works for indoor or outdoor spaces and can be used on floors, walls or countertops. Even in moisture-prone areas, like bathrooms or kitchens, the stain creates a protective barrier that prevents water damage.
Epoxy Floor Coatings
Epoxy coating is a popular option for refinishing concrete floors in industrial or commercial settings for its durability and simple maintenance. These qualities also make it a good choice for homes or shops.
It’s a two-part coating that adheres to the surface of your old concrete, forming a hard, durable skin that resists stains, chemicals and abrasion. Epoxy floor coatings offer a non-slip surface and are customizable with many colours and patterns.
With proper care, epoxy flooring lasts from five to ten years.
Concrete Floor Sealing
Once you’ve refinished your old concrete, you might want to consider sealing it. There are two main options for sealers:
- Penetrating Floor Sealers: These sealants are dustproof and harden the concrete surface. Lithium silicate densifier is a recommended concrete floor sealer offering superior performance.
- Topical Floor Sealers: These sealants give you chemical or acid resistance. They will wear away, and your floors will require resealing after a few years.