Basement Concrete Floor Finishes: Basement Floor Options

Basement Concrete Floor Finishes: Basement Floor Options

There are quite a few different options for concrete floor finishes. Concrete flooring is a traditional option in basements. It may have been an extension of the original foundation, or poured because it provides an ultra-durable surface for a basement laundry room, kids playroom or other use. But concrete flooring has come out of hiding, and not only because it wears like, well, concrete. This makes it a great option for your basement flooring.

Concrete floors can be finished with an extremely smooth, polished surface. Since they stand up to just about anything, they’re great for areas that track in snow, mud, sand and other outdoor materials. But they can also be highly attractive.

Modern techniques can turn that plain grey floor into something that looks like marble, slate or highly polished ceramic. Acids designed to react with the lime in concrete can etch the surface. They blend in to produce a veined look or a geometric design that can simulate marble or tile. Dyes mixed with or paints applied later can turn that surface into any colour or any painted design that the homeowner wants.

Polished Basement Concrete Floors

Polished Concrete Floor is one option for concrete floor finishes. The metallic salts used prepares the top layer, then acid in a chemical stain reacts with the lime deposits in the concrete. That creates a colour or surface effect that can cover a wide range of choices. But, take care, the effects are permanent. Re-doing it would require removing a considerable portion of the surface, which is usually prohibitively expensive.

Even adding the cost of that finishing job, the total price can be much lower than other options. Hardwood floors are durable and beautiful, but they can run £6-£10 per square foot or more. Concrete, even finished, can easily be less than half that. And, when the job is done there are no tell-tale seams.

Surface effects or custom painted floors are durable and super easy to clean. Dirt mops up easily. With the exception of certain acids, it’s very difficult to stain them. Automotive oil will, of course. But that’s rarely a problem where concrete is used in the home outside the garage. Even that can be prevented with the proper surface treatment.

Concrete floors can even be a healthier alternative to carpets, throw rugs and the like. Dust cleans up easily and doesn’t stay trapped in the surface. That reduces dust mites. Other allergens such as pollen, pet dander and even smoke residue can be easily eliminated. Concrete can even be wiped with a mild disinfectant such as bleach or an anti-fungal liquid to reduce the chances even further.

Keep in mind, though, that even treated concrete surfaces can crack. Since they’re coloured or contain surface effects, the crack may not show as prominently. But they can still provide a home for moisture and hence mildew. As always, it’s still important to keep the concrete surface dry. A short-term exposure from snow, mopping and so forth is unimportant. But water that stays down for days or weeks can lead to problems.

Also, staining isn’t completely predictable. Because of variations in lime content, temperature and other factors, the results can differ slightly from what was envisioned.

But these minor issues aside, concrete flooring can be one of the best options available for certain applications.

We hope you have got some useful information about basement concrete floor finishes from our Home Improvement Experts.

If you have any DIY tips you would like to share, visit our about us page and leave a comment.

Plumbing Tips for Preventing Pipe Freeze

Plumbing Tips for Preventing Pipe Freeze

As winter approaches on chore to make sure we do is to take steps to avoid having your pipes freezing in the colder nights. Pipe freeze isn’t the only problem.

After all, copper pipes can get to temperatures far below the freezing point of water without cracking. But too often it is accompanied by an ice blockage inside the pipe. That can lead to a pressure build up that ultimately bursts the pipe. Not only do you lose the ability to get water from the faucet, but now have the larger problem of clean up and repair.

In many homes, the odds of a burst pipe in winter from low temperatures are very low. But others have exposed pipes in crawlspaces or elsewhere. It takes only a modest opening around the base of the house to let in winds that can chill pipes to sub-freezing temperatures.

Even without that exposure, temperatures below about 20F/-6.7C present higher odds of ice forming inside pipes that will plug them up. Fortunately, to prevent that is usually straightforward and typically very inexpensive.

One old-fashioned remedy to avoid pipe freeze still works well: opening up the faucets to a slow drip.

Running water is slightly less susceptible to freezing than still water. But the main effect comes from simply opening the valve. That allows air and water to move, reducing any pressure build-up in front of the ice blockage. That gives the pressure ’somewhere to go’… somewhere other than pressing out the sides of the pipe, i.e. causing a break.

But there’s another old-fashioned saying that’s useful here: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preventing the pipes from getting too cold in the first place reduces the odds to near zero of having a break.

One way to accomplish that is to wrap them with low-cost insulating foam.

The foam itself supplies no heat. But it helps the pipes and water retain any heat they have. Water and pipes at, say 35F/1.7C, will tend not to go below freezing if they retain the heat present in the water and pipe before the temperatures outside dipped.

The foam comes in different forms. One popular style is a long, flat rectangle that curls into a cylinder. The cylinder formed is the circumference of the pipe. That makes it easy to wrap the pipe along its length and simple to cut the rectangle to the proper length and/or width.

If you want to prevent pipe freeze try this tip. It’s inexpensive, easy to install and easy to replace.

Another method is more costly and a little more difficult to install. But it has the advantage of protecting pipes no matter what the temperature. Foam will only retain heat up to a point. Some is always lost. Installing a heating system for the water pipes is as sure a thing as possible.

There are two basic types: wires or tape along the pipe, and a circulating system.

The first type is simply a wire or tape containing one that sits along the surface of the pipe. Electricity passes through it and heats the wire, which transfers heat to the pipe and the water inside. Costs vary, but if it’s properly installed the method is nearly foolproof.

The second type is a little more expensive, but uses existing facilities. Sometimes it’s already built into the home. In this technique, hot water from the water heater is pumped slowly through the pipes. Cold water is circulated back into the heater. The system operates automatically via an in-built thermostat and pump that is put in the water line.

It costs a little more to run, because the system heats and re-heats water that isn’t being used. But it is the surest way to prevent any ice blockage. Any ice that forms will be quickly melted by the warm water before it can become a problem.

We hope you have got some useful information about preventing pipe freeze from our Home Improvement Experts.

If you have any DIY tips you would like to share, visit our about us page and leave a comment.