“Plain and Simple” – A concrete refinishing project in Richardson, TX

Sometimes, simple is better than fancy. These homeowners in Richardson, Texas certainly thought so. Instead of eye-catching decorative concrete with intricate designs, the homeowners were looking for uncomplicated and smooth concrete surfaces. They were renovating the ground floor of their home, and they contacted us about a concrete refinishing project on two sections of the existing concrete floor. They wanted matching simple floors with an industrial appearance. The two sections would be filled with black furniture, so they also wanted us to apply a color stain that would complement those pieces of furniture.

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To create the look that the homeowners wanted, we considered a couple of concrete refinishing options. The first option involved applying a color stain directly to the existing concrete floor. This would create the color and simple look that the homeowners preferred. The only problem was that the concrete floor wasn’t in the best condition. By itself, the stain wouldn’t disguise or cover up any defects on the concrete layer’s surface.

This isn’t an uncommon issue. Existing concrete layers often have paint drips, dirt, liquid stains, carpet glue, or other markings. These defects can be as old as the house. While building or painting, builders tend not to clean up these types of spills. They expect any spills to be covered up at a later time by carpets, wooden boards, tiles, or other flooring materials. The spills aren’t an issue until the flooring materials are removed and the concrete floor is once again exposed. This was exactly what had happened at the home in Richardson.

In all concrete refinishing situations, we clean the existing concrete surfaces thoroughly to remove dirt and stains, but other defects may not be removed. When we apply a color stain to the concrete, any remaining defects can cause unwanted colorations.

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The second option we considered for this concrete refinishing project involved a microfinish overlay. We would lay down the overlay on top of the existing concrete layer and apply a color stain to the overlay. This type of concrete refinishing would cover up the defects in the existing concrete and create a new, unblemished surface.

Microfinish overlays use a material made of cement, glue, and sand. This mixture is applied in coats. The first coat adheres tightly to the existing floor. At least one more coat is needed to completely cover the defects in the bottom concrete layer. The final coat is hand-troweled and then scraped to create a smooth surface free of defects.

The homeowners chose the second option. While microfinish overlays can be thick enough to score tiles or other designs, that wouldn’t create the simple look that the homeowners wanted us to create. We applied the coats of the overlay material and stained it a gray color with touches of a black stain. While we can stain concrete a wide variety of colors, there are some downsides to using a dark stain. Dust, hair, and scuffed shoe marks are easier to see on a dark floor. A dark floor can also give the impression of a small room. However, the gray and black stains applied to this floor looked great with the homeowners’ black table, chairs, bookshelf, and desk. The finished floors were smooth as glass and free of the bottom layer’s defects. The floors fit the simple, industrial appearance that the homeowners liked.

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