There are a lot of different types of floor surfaces that one can install in a home today. Your choice is determined by a variety of factors, including your budget, function and lifestyle. One option that you might not have considered is stained concrete. If your home is on a concrete slab, then it’s a great option. Here are the basics so you can decide if you want to give it a shot.
Like most projects, the prep work is the most time-consuming, important part of the project. TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) is a strong cleaner that will get most of the grease, grime and stains off of the surface. Give it plenty of time to dry before moving forward. It must be completely dust-free, too. If your surface has been sealed, then most stains won’t work; you might need to go with a paint instead.
Most concrete stains are acid-based, which means you’ll need protective gear like chemical-resistant gloves, eye protection and other protective clothing. To protect walls, you should mask them off with painters’ tape.
Follow the directions that come with your product, and understand that the whole idea of this type of flooring is that it’s a natural process and is going to vary a little from floor to floor. The more you work with it, the more interesting it will become. If you are unsure of the results, you can always try a test area in the garage somewhere.
You might want to apply a clear sealer to the surface once it has dried completely to add a layer of protection. A throw rug or runner also would be handy for high-traffic areas, just to keep it looking good.
Q: I have a tiled floor in my bathroom. The tile still is in good shape, but it’s pink and I hate it! I want to cover it with carpet, either squares or a roll of carpeting. What is the best way to attach the carpet to the flooring? Do I need to do anything to the tiles beforehand? – J.B.
A: Carpet is not a very popular choice for a bathroom because of the moisture it will encounter. But if you install it like a pro, you will also need to add tack strips, which will damage the tiles. If you still are determined to do it, you should install the tack strips, a very-good-quality padding and a carpet that has a great warranty on it. Nothing else will need to be done to the tiles. You might have to trim off the bottom of the door to accommodate the carpet.
Q: Our driveway is starting to get a few small cracks across the surface. Since it’s asphalt, I don’t know what to use to make repairs. What do I need to buy, and where will I find it? – H.N.
A: You can buy asphalt repair in a caulking tube, which would be perfect for smaller cracks. For larger areas, you can buy cold-patch in a bag. Both of these materials are available at your hardware store or home center. Apply a sealer to the driveway when you are finished with repairs to prevent problems in the future.
A Super hint
You can make a wall clock out of just about anything. The “works” are available at most hobby shops for only a few bucks, and they can easily be installed on just about anything you can hang on a wall. Usually a drill is the only tool you’ll need, so put your thinking cap on and get creative. It’s time!
We talk a lot about adhesives, glues, tapes and other materials that can be hard to remove when you finally decide to. Well, Duck, the folks who make tape, also make a super adhesive remover. The one-step, no-mess applicator even has a built-in scraper on it. It works great, and can tackle everything from tape to gum. So the next time you find yourself in a sticky situation, go to your hardware store and pick up some Duck Adhesive Remover. To find out more, go to www.duckbrand.com.