Concrete floors have been growing in popularity due to their durability and affordability, as well as recent changes in available styles. They look great in any room and can be given a finish to mock any desired material. Even a simple concrete floor can add an industrial feel to a kitchen or create the right look for a minimalist-style home. Understanding different styles and techniques can help you choose the best concrete floor for you, your needs and your home.
Before you rush out to buy materials, research the different types and styles of concrete available. Many people assume that concrete only has one look, one color and one style; however, there are a growing number of variations that can give concrete more appeal.
Concrete floors can be textured, smooth, stained, polished or colored. Many techniques can be used to create different looks and even mock more expensive finishes such as stone floors. Deciding how you'd like your concrete to look is important in determining what materials you'll need to purchase.
Once you've determined the style, color or texture of concrete you want, you'll need to research the appropriate processes. This, in turn, will help you determine which materials and tools are necessary for the project.
Check around for different prices on the required materials. You may need to rent equipment to mix the concrete, especially if you're doing a large-scale project. You will also need to purchase lumber and splints to support the concrete. Supports are especially important as the concrete is being poured and hardening.
Thicker floors should also utilize steel mesh for support. Steel mesh can help prevent cracks and other issues from arising.
About the Process
Pouring concrete can be a time-consuming task. It takes great effort to smooth out the concrete and ensure a level surface. Follow all instructions regarding concrete mixing; if you don't, you could end up with a mixture that is too watery and does not set, or too dry and sets too quickly. Either way, you run the risk of ruining the concrete and your project.
If you're planning to use reinforcement, you should only fill the concrete partway before installing the steel mesh. Once the steel mesh is in place, pour the remaining concrete. Initially, you can use a large two-by-four to spread out the concrete and fill in any gaps, and a level to ensure it's been evenly distributed. Then use additional tools such as a trowel, broom or brush to get the type of surface texture you want. Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.
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