Interior concrete floors can often be a good low-budget, and low-maintenance way of finishing some of the rooms in your home. They work well in places like basements, garages, or utility rooms, locations that act more as working rooms than hosting spaces. Though what does installing an interior concrete floor involve if you want to do it yourself?
Below we list several steps you will want to think about before even touching the concrete mix. Consider each point with care so you do not end up with a big mistake sitting on the floor of your home.
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
Take care to think about every step of the concrete laying process, both before and after you put a drop of the mix onto the ground. While this article lists some of the considerations you will need to think about, also plan for:
- How much concrete will you need?
- Do you have the right tools?
- Do you have enough people to do the job?
- How much are you going to do now and how much later?
- Do you have the right knowledge to do this task yourself?
Also, sit down and consider if you have any questions specific to your home or your region. For example, if you are in a homeowners association, might they have an issue with you installing concrete floors?
Prepare the Site
A concrete coating will not sit well if you have not prepared the space well first. Any time you put concrete over an area you need to ensure it is free from anything that might either interfere with the seal concrete will make. Also, you do not want to leave things alone that you might not want to remain underneath a stone surface.
Clean the whole location where you will pour concrete. Make sure there is no debris of any kind around there, and ensure you remove the tiniest imperfections if possible.
You should then make sure the surface is level enough to prevent the concrete from running off of it in its liquid state. We cannot recommend what to do if it is not level, due to there being too many variables. Though if you have gotten this far in the project you should be able to figure that step out or find someone who can.
Select the Right Concrete
There are a few different types of concrete you can use for any project. Some of them will work in this situation, whereas others are less suitable.
In general, a standard concrete mix would work for most indoor floors. It is mixed from cement, sand, and gravel. This is the most affordable choice and is good for beginners, making it very popular.
Alternatively, you could select a high-strength mix. This is only useful, though, if you plan on bringing heavy equipment into the area where you install the concrete. If you use the area to store work equipment or have especially eclectic hobbies, this might be a sensible choice.
Another choice is to use self-leveling concrete. It is better than standard concrete due to its ability to create smooth surfaces. One can install a whole floor with this, or use it after the standard concrete mix to create a flat concrete coating over the top of prior work.
While interior concrete might not need to hold up a whole building, it can often be useful for the area to include some kind of reinforcement. If you plan to have cars, gym equipment, or work equipment moving on top of it a lot, you might want to consider a heavy-duty mesh, for example.
If you want to go the whole hog, you could even consider rebar reinforcement, though it is unlikely this will be necessary for the average homeowner.
Plan to Cure the Concrete
It would not be sensible to lay the concrete down and then step aside to wait. Getting the best finish on concrete flooring demands you take an active role in its curing process.
You will need to try to keep the concrete at a constant temperature throughout the job to prevent it from cracking. You will also want to keep it slightly moist for the first week or two, hosing it down. This will let the water in the concrete evaporate over time instead of doing so too fast and thus damaging the surface.
What Kind of Finish Do You Want?
You are going to want to make sure the concrete has a professional finish, no matter the look you will want at the end. As such, you will need to first level out any concrete there is, making sure it is free of pits and cracks. You will also want to use tools such as a float or a trowel to make the whole thing smooth and appear polished.
When it comes to more details, though, you have a few options.
First, you can consider staining the concrete. You can use either water-based or acid-based stains to give the concrete a specific color that matches the rest of the decor in the area.
Second, you might want to think about stamps to imprint a pattern or design into the concrete. This can give it a unique finish you can feel proud of.
Are You Better Off Hiring a Professional?
This might be all too much, and you might want to talk to someone else to do it for you.
Companies like Garage Force can talk to you about your concrete flooring needs and get you exactly what you want. You do not need to do an amateur job that might lead to more work down the line.
The Best Interior Concrete Floors
With all the above concerns resolved, it might be time for you to put those interior concrete floors in. However, if you still have any other questions, you can always check out the rest of our articles.
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