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Old 04-24-2010, 10:08 AM   #1
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Painting concrete basement floors


Hi,
I have a 36 year old house with uneven basement concrete floors. I have no leaking from rain in my basement unless there is major flooding in the area (once in the last 3 years).
My furnace pump leaked and ruined my basement carpet, so we put Konecto in one of the rooms. Due to the un-eveness of the floor, it did not look good, so we pulled it up and there were water beads underneath. (I thought due to being completely sealed and no air escaping. (Now I guess they put a vapor barrier under the Konecto). I would still have to have the floor evened out and that is pricy. We have since waited 8 months to see if my floors get wet. No wetness at all from rain, although when they checked my walls they detected moisture. When we had the carpet I felt no wetness.
I had 2 waterproofing companies come out, and since I have no odor, leaking or mustiness, suggested, I grade by the side of my house.
I really do not want carpet again, just in case. My pump leaked 3 times, and with the floor flowing down from the furnace, I just cannot pull up carptet again. What do you think about painting concrete floors. After we paint do they need to be sealed? Will the sealer cause basement sweating? I have dragged my feet over a year with this. I thought about the thermal floor tiles, but they are really expensive and may not work on a very uneven floor. My ceiling is only 7', so I have to be careful.
Will sweating hurt tile? I am an overweight woman, who is none too handy and has to trust the ones around me.
Help

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Old 04-24-2010, 12:21 PM   #2
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Painting concrete basement floors


Shigma,

There are quite a few different paints that will act as both a paint and sealant. There is, however, an issue with doing that.

Should you choose to paint now (as a temporary means of surfacing the concrete) you may be into issues down the road if you decide to have a floor covering option installed over it. For example, if you were to decide to have radiant floor heating installed with a porcelain tile (which has a low water absorption rate) you would first have to etch the concrete mechanically or with muriatic acid. You'd have to do the same if you wanted to install porcelain without radiant floor heating. Some adhesives aren't recommended over sealed concrete that hasn't been etched so you may be stuck using a floating floor of some kind.

Another alternative could be a Flexfloor that could be loose laid over the concrete. Flexfloors are fiberglass reinforced, do not shrink and in most cases are considered water proof. Most of the popular manufacturers make a version of this type of floor.

As far as hurting the tile, the moisture is far more likely to stain a single fired (monocutura) ceramic tile than it is a porcelain tile.

Let me know what you decide to do, moisture problems are never fun to deal with!

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Old 04-24-2010, 01:24 PM   #3
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Painting concrete basement floors


Thanks.
I meant painting the concrete floor, by etching, like those fancy pictures you see.They almost look like marble.
I will definitely look into flexfloor. My family is really pushing me to get carpet quickly.
Can tile be installed over concrete on an uneven floor, or does the radiant heating even out the floor.
My ceilings are only 7', so I do not know if I have room for radiant heating.
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:46 PM   #4
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Painting concrete basement floors


Hi Shigma,

I'll do my best to answer your questions, but it may be advisable to have a professional from your area at least have a look at the concrete to ensure that it is in appropriate condition for any of these options!

Quote:
Can tile be installed over concrete on an uneven floor
The short answer is yes. The long answer is that it may require additional levelling. The thinset can often act to help level the tile if the installer has experience doing this. The issue I've seen a few times when an inexperienced individual has tried levelling a floor with thinset while installing tile is that the tiles in the low spots aren't getting the appropriate amount of coverage. I.e. they put more thinset in the dip but when the place the tile down they don't press it into the thinset enough for it to bond well.

If the dips are bad enough, it may be to your advantage to have those dips filled with a self leveller prior to installing tile. (See the next answer for more info.)

Quote:
or does the radiant heating even out the floor.
Self leveller should be used to "bury" the radiant floor heating cables which will help alleviate some of the unevenness in the floor!

Quote:
My ceilings are only 7', so I do not know if I have room for radiant heating.
I just installed radiant floor heating and tile in my basement bathroom and lost 3/4". Basically your ceiling will go from 7' to 6' 11 1/4". Not a big trade off for a permanent floor covering that is heated and will help keep things dry.
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