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Old 08-15-2016, 08:12 AM   #1
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Concrete resurfacing


Hello! I am a complete newbie to this forum as well as to any sort of home improvement projects - it's generally my husband's domain. But.. we just moved into a new house and I'm determined to tackle something myself. He can help me out a lot but I'd like to kind of come up with a plan on my own.. with the help of any internet strangers who would be willing and gracious enough to help! Thank you in advance!

Here's the question:

We moved into a 150 year old farmhouse so as you can imagine the basement is rough. It does have a full bathroom and one wall has drywall. It's actually not as bad as I would have anticipated... but I'd like to make it fully functional. I have a lot of questions but I'll start with the floors. Right now it's cement that has clearly been sealed with something. It's not smooth - it's like a gritty paint... but not paint. I have no idea what it's been sealed with but it's flat - not shiny. I'd like to use some self-leveling compound to even it out - maybe lay some floor or just get decorative with the concrete.

Any suggestions for what the best type is? How much would I need for roughly 200 square feet? It's VERY uneven so I feel like I'll need a lot.

Or, are there any alternatives that could warm up the floor? I've seen brown-paper bag floors. I am not opposed to just staining it, etc. but something needs to be done before that due to the sort of gritty, flecked material on it.

Does any of that make sense? Thanks for helping a newbie out!!
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:01 AM   #2
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Re: Concrete resurfacing


This is a job best left to a flooring contractor; he has the tools and materials on hand, and is prepared for any of the countless 'little' things that crop up.

I'd start with some demolition - open up that basement as much as you can. Any places you 'go around' will become low spots, and that's where trouble starts.

The first thing is to add lots of ventilation; you'll need it.

Preparation is next. Any paint or sealer needs to be removed / destroyed. Maybe a simple acid wash will be enough; maybe the floor will have to be "ground" or mechanically beaten to expose clean concrete.

Topping compounds come in countless varieties; I happen to like gypcrete myself. Typically, the compound is less than 1/2" thick. Unless, of course, more is needed to get everything draining into the sump.

As for 'warming up' the floor, I ask you to remember that ALL basements flood at some point. So, keep your flooring choices to things you can easily remove, carry out wet, dry, and return.

I used to suggest area rugs (none larger than 5'x7'), but recently I've been impressed with commercial-duty carpet tiles. These are not the flimsy glue-on junk of the 70's; they're 24" square, have thick rubber backing, and are NOT glued down.

Another choice are rubber floor tiles, either simple or interlocking. I've even seen them look like bricks.
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