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Old 03-24-2009, 05:25 PM   #1
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


I'm going to remove the ~700sf of carpet from the house in a week or two, and use the concrete slab underneath as the floor. I was planning to use linoleum or vinyl tiles, but they are either too expensive, or in the case of vinyl, quite toxic. So I've decided on the most straight forward route, using the concrete as the floor.

My posting at this point is to get input on what needs to be done to have the concrete floor come out as desired. Two options are to (1) polish the floor, or (2) stain with acrylic and seal. I would like the floor to be relatively smooth, look good, and have a non slip surface.

There are a few places in the living room where there are small humps under the carpet. I don't recall them being there a few years ago, unless they are just showing up more with the laxity of the carpet. They're about 4" in diameter, 1/4" high, and might be from roots pushing up from a drain line through the slab, from a city tree in the front. If so, what might need to be done to make sure the slab is suitable for a floor?


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Old 03-25-2009, 08:03 AM   #2
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


I was going to tell you to look into concrete overlays and staining but knowing the cost and going rate for those services - and your saying that vinyl tiles were too expensive - I thought twice about suggesting that because I's probably be wasting my time. Vinyl tiles expensive? what prices are you thinking? and whatdo you mean by being "toxic" and what substantiation of that do you have? are you allergic or hypersensitive?

Staining would probably be best although the concrete would have to be properly prepared and then the whole thing sealed...but before getting there, I would certainly have the drain you mentioned with the tree roots, scoped and/or cleared since the last thing you want is to have to tear a stained floor up and do it all again.

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Old 03-25-2009, 12:24 PM   #3
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


I hope your knees and feet can handle concrete. Walking on concrete gives many people knee and foot pain amd can do long term damage. It can also cause varicose veins. Talk to people that work at Wal-Mart and grocery stores about the problems.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:45 PM   #4
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


Linoleum tiles in this area are $7 sf, or $4.50 from the net plus shipping, whatever that comes out to, not including adhesive and extras. Yes I consider that to be way too expensive. Vinyl tiles are quite inexpensive, about $1 sf at home depot. I was planning to go with those but fortunately looked into the toxicity of them first. I've already gotten rid of the vinyl shades in front and replaced them with bamboo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn0z8...eature=related

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I was going to tell you to look into concrete overlays and staining but knowing the cost and going rate for those services
Isn't this a DIY forum or did I venture into the wrong place.

No I am not allergic or hypersensitive.

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Old 03-25-2009, 01:01 PM   #5
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I hope your knees and feet can handle concrete.
Good point, Rusty. Yes, and figure I don't walk all that much in the house anyway. I run on the roads for at least an hour every morning, and am on my feet all day, including right now standing while using the computer. I'm always barefoot at home, including in the garage and on the concrete walkways outside. My knees and feet are fine.

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Old 04-05-2009, 07:37 PM   #6
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


Almost 1/2 of the carpet is out of the house.
I've been removing it piece by piece before running each morning.

The concrete is in great shape and smooth.
The humps turned out to be just matted padding under the carpet.

I have decided to use Soycrete adobe for the stain like in the photo below.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:49 AM   #7
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


A friend of mine lives in a industrial conversion loft type place. They had, originally, painted concrete floors.

They had them ground and polished. Looks great.

To me, concrete floors look best when they're simply ground to expose the aggregate, and then sealed. I generally don't like the stained look.

They hired someone to do it. It was expensive. I think he used an angle grinder to do the whole floor - but that's crazy. The contractor used a surface sealer. I'm not sure what it was - it might have been an epoxy. It's taken years of abuse without problem.

Personally, I'd do it myself and rent a floor grinder/polisher purpose built for concrete floors. They're pretty reasonable to rent. I made a concrete countertop a few years back, which I polished with a hand-grinder. I wouldn't want to do that for a whole floor.

I will say, though, if I'm over at their place for a party or something where you stand a lot, you really know it. After about an hour on my feet, my legs and knees are killing me.

You should be able to get hardwood or engineered wood for $3-4/sf if you wanted. I agree, I wouldn't pay that for linoleum, but I would pay it for hardwood. Will be easier and less dusty to do as well.

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Old 04-14-2009, 06:09 PM   #8
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Personally, I'd do it myself and rent a floor grinder/polisher purpose built for concrete floors. They're pretty reasonable to rent. I made a concrete countertop a few years back, which I polished with a hand-grinder. I wouldn't want to do that for a whole floor.
Yes I would do it myself too, but am going to stick with the soycrete at this point.

Thanks for your comments.

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Old 04-14-2009, 07:56 PM   #9
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


I missed a point made to me earlier...and I'll add this.

Concrete grinding is a messy business; can anyone do it? Sure they can but - having done it once myself and vowed never to do it again - I can tell you it'll be more expensive - plus you'll get a lousy job. And it's dangerous. Friends of mine up here do this all day long and although it may run somewhere around $5 per sq ft depending on the state of the initial substrate, it does look like a million once it is done with the equipment and speed of a pro.

Just because this claims to be a DIY site, not everything is DIY and there are very good reasons why they aren't. Take hooking up an electric panel. Easy enough to do, just buy a panel, ask where things go and connect the wires. But no-one here will recommend you do that, no matter how broke you are, no matter how gifted you are and no matter if this is DYI site or not. Look if you can't affford the $600 for an electrician, don't come bawling to me.

It's a bit the same with concrete polishing. Sure, if you can rent a machine to do it, with all the diamond wheels and chemicals and figure out the technique at a "reasonable cost", in terms of $. But what is the real cost of a messed up job, an accident or damage to the surroundings? I bet you the real cost is higher than the actual cost.

Earlier, I also suggested concrete overlays...easy! Just buy a bag, mix it, pour it, stain it and there you go...About $4 a sqft. But you'll take twice as long and will goof it up. Then try to scrape it off...it's not like a coat of paint. You'll need a jackhammer.

All that to say sometimes DIY is great for a sense of accomplishment; painting is great for that because there's not too much that can go wrong that isn't easily fixed. But (some) plumbing, (some) electrical, some processes are not DIY-conducive. Do what you do best. If you're an accountant, get a few more clients; if you're working on commission, put in a few more hours, sell a few more widgets; if you're a truck driver, put in an extra shift; do that and then buy the services you need that you can't do.

It pays you in then end. And the cost is actually less...
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:59 PM   #10
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


All the carpet is out of the house, and gone. Woo hoo!

Next is to remove the sheet vinyl flooring from the dining room and kitchen.
Part of it comes off easily, but the other 1/2 seems to be bonded in with the glue.

Update:
The project has been on hold for a few weeks, but I've managed to get 1/2 of the vinyl off.
Chisels and a small paint scraper have worked the best for getting off the thin smooth top layer.
Regular tap water, a mop and squeegee helps to get the rest of the vinyl and hard glue off EASILY!

Removing the rest of the vinyl is going to take awhile due to furniture and this being a high use area.
Then I will clean the rest of the concrete thoroughly, etch it (with soycrete products), stain and seal.

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Old 01-05-2010, 09:12 PM   #11
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


The rest of the vinyl came off easily last spring, by just scratching the surface, covering with water, and removing the vinyl with a scraper Then I used Soy-it polyurethane stripper to remove the rest of the glue. Since then I have been very happy with the smooth bare concrete and have left the surface with no changes. In the meantime I did a test of Soycrete in a closet and it looked terrible. The Soycrete vendor said this was because the concrete was hand trowled and cured. Based on his recommendation, I got a Deco-Poz cement covering mix, that was supposed to then take the stain. However I was not ever happy with that idea and should have waited longer before deciding what to do.

Polishing the concrete always looked the most attractive option, but seemed out of reach due to the high cost of having to purchase or rent an expensive machine. The wait since then has been worth it, as I have found a variable speed concrete polisher from Ebay for $123, which includes a set of concrete diamond 50 to 3000 grit pads and a cup. I've already done the main hallway in the house with the 50 grit pad, and it is amazing how much better the concrete looks already. Things I'm looking into now are the following:

1) I filled a few of the carpet tack holes but they are a different shade than the concrete. I'm wondering if it would be better to drill them out and leave the rest as is, or if there's a better filler that would blend in with the concrete.

2) How to polish under the counters in the kitchen.

3) Would going light with the metal cup save wear and tear on the 50 grit diamond pad.

The polisher vendor is very helpful, but perhaps sharing this info here can be helpful to others as well.

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Old 01-05-2010, 10:07 PM   #12
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


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Originally Posted by johnlvs2run View Post
Linoleum tiles in this area are $7 sf, or $4.50 from the net plus shipping, whatever that comes out to, not including adhesive and extras. Yes I consider that to be way too expensive. Vinyl tiles are quite inexpensive, about $1 sf at home depot. I was planning to go with those but fortunately looked into the toxicity of them first. I've already gotten rid of the vinyl shades in front and replaced them with bamboo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn0z8...eature=related



Isn't this a DIY forum or did I venture into the wrong place.

No I am not allergic or hypersensitive.
But you can get Arthritis prematurely if you prance (For lack of a more descriptive term. No offense meant.) around on concrete floors all the time. Plus. It must feel terrible to step on a concrete floor first thing in the morning with bare feet! I also ripped out the wall-to-wall carpeting in the entire dwelling and had the (old) wood floors scraped and polished. Less allergies, coughing and sneezing due to the accumulated dust (in spite of weekly vacuuming and bi-Monthly carpet washing)!!
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:15 PM   #13
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


Probably the concrete results in stronger feet, legs, hips, and less chance of having joint problems. I have walked barefoot on concrete all my life and have never had arthritis.

The concrete is 3 to 5 degrees warmer on cold mornings than the walls, not any colder than was the floor with the carpet. It is much better at retaining heat from the sun. When the weather is quite cold I usually wear socks, the same that I did with the carpet. There are rugs in various places and they stay right in place, rather than moving like they did on carpet. The concrete floor has a good grip even when wet and will last a long time. The vinyl tile was slippery and dangerous.

Yes, the concrete floor is fabulous. I am very happy the carpet is gone.
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:48 PM   #14
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getting rid of carpet > concrete floor > polish or stain?


1) The tack hole fill turns out to blend in with the concrete so far. I've not found the thread on a different forum yet where someone posted about drilling out the holes and refilling. In the meantime the current fill is working okay.

2) I've not found a solution about polishing under the counters, and have not been searching for one yet anyway.

3) The 50 grit pad is working quite well. I was going too light with it at the start and have been getting more aggressive, which works better. I can probably still get more aggressive and put more weight on the pad.

I'm doing 15 to 30 minutes a few times a week. The floor is looking nicer, bit by bit.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:43 AM   #15
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pictures?

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