Using the concrete slab as our final flooring was one of the draws to building post frame for our family home.
Concrete is a durable surface, but it has its hang ups. It’s a great option if you want something that can hold up under country life, pets, kids, etc.
Don’t forget though that concrete is INCREDIBLY porous. We can testify to how prone to staining it is from our time living in the garage. There’s a ton of staining in spite of us using a penetrating sealer before moving in.
Our research led us to use epoxy on the entire surface of the concrete. You’ll find complete process details in our video. These are additional thoughts/suggestions.
- Epoxy truly seals the porous surface of concrete
- It’s self-leveling so it makes the concrete and grouted stress cuts even (especially great for cleaning)
- It can scratch/dent, but overall lasting and durable
We used a 2-part epoxy from Z Counterform to seal the entire floor. Now water literally sits on the surface in a pool and doesn’t soak in at all. Same goes for anything else we find dropped or spilled.
This was only our second time using epoxy, and the first time on a floor surface. This is a possible DIY project, but skill is moderate-advanced level.
We recommend epoxy as a durable floor sealer, but have these tips if you’re thinking of doing it.
MULTIPLE PEOPLE | 3-4 total would have been a lot easier and we would have had a better result. You need 2 people to move epoxy, one for mixing, and then another to fill in where needed.
SETS of TOOLS | Have a backup or two of your trowels, spikes, trays, etc. It would have been ideal to trade out the trowels halfway through the process because the epoxy started to harden on our trowel making it harder to move around the new product. This led to some of the imperfections in our living room.
SUPPLY STATION | Don’t leave your rollers, trowels, or anything with epoxy on it on your concrete! It can deposit epoxy that will begin to cure, and we have a couple of spots on the floor where you can see the outline of our tools. Always keep them on a tray and off the floor.
POWDER APPLICATION | We mixed a metallic powder into the float coat and wish we would have manipulated it more because it tended to pool in sections instead of evenly spreading out. We love how it settled into the grout lines though. It really added dimension.
If we would have done those 3 things our floors would have been as close to perfect as you could get. The epoxy is wonderful, and we plan to use it again for other projects. Z Counterform (Concrete Countertop Solutions) was amazing to work with, and we recommend going to them for supplies. If you’re considering concrete countertops they have an awesome selection of supplies for that too.
Please note, epoxy is HIGH gloss, and that will emphasize imperfections. We lightly sanded the epoxy surface and applied Polyurethane 501 Satin to tone that down. Our floors still have a sheen, but it’s much less and our personal preference.