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"Level Headed" - Concrete floor leveler and acid staining

 
concrete floor leveler and acid staining 1 concrete floor leveler and acid staining 2 concrete floor leveler and acid staining 3 concrete floor leveler and acid staining 4 concrete floor leveler and acid staining 5 concrete floor leveler and acid staining 6

Of all the types of concrete resurfacing options available to us, the simplest to understand, albeit not necessarily apply, is a concrete floor leveler as was this case in Denton, Tx. We started by removing the existing carpet in the home, grinding the floor and then putting down a primer that helps the concrete floor leveler adhere properly to the existing floor. Once the primer dries we applied the leveler using a steel trowel and wrapped it all up with an acid stain and a concrete sealer.

A concrete floor leveler is usually a one-coat process: the material is mixed up, pigmented if desired, and applied in a relatively thick coat that's about 1/4" thick. This thick coat helps level out floors when needed and it eliminates the gap we sometimes find between the bottom of the trim and the original concrete floor. (A lot of contractors install the trim on top of carpet or tile creating a gap between the trim and the floor). Because it's a one coat process it's faster to install than our other concrete resurfacing options; sometimes you can walk on it in as little as three hours after putting it down. Naturally there is a price to pay for this speed. Of all the resurfacing options available, this is one has the highest material cost.

Even though we are applying a concrete floor leveler, that doesn't mean the resulting floor will be perfectly level. Although the material tends to flow out and "self level", we do have to help it a little using a steel trowel and this always causes slight variations in the final level of the floor. It's not perfect, but it's pretty close. Self-levelers tend to have a very smooth, consistent finish with minimal variations in color or texture; consequently when they are acid stained there isn't as much mottling and variegation as with traditional concrete floors. This is because acid staining is a translucent, reactive process. The more variation there is in the floor to start with, the more there is at the end. For those who want more "personality" in their floors, you'll find it in our next project which introduces the two-coat process.

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