Buff it until it shines.
One of the best decisions we've made in our #OneRoomChallenge bath and laundry room revamp has been to polish our concrete floors. Practical with a tinge of unexpected. Grit with a twinkle.
Getting the floors done in Week 5 was the last really big job to be ticked off our seemingly endless list of to-dos.
I always say it's the last ten per cent that takes 90 per cent of the time.
One step forward. Dust. One more step forward. Dust.
Trim. Tile. Patch. Paint. Install. Reinstall.
In its eighteenth season, the One Room Challenge™, takes place in April and October. Each round, twenty design influencers take the challenge as Featured Designers. Every Wednesday, the designers document their process over six weekly posts. Better Homes and Gardens is the official media sponsor.
In addition to following along, everyone with a blog or Instagram account, is welcome to join the fun as a Guest Participant by linking their own room transformations up each Thursday, flooding the internet and social media with interior design inspiration, ideas, and encouragement.
This is our second One Room Challenge as a Guest Participant, but it's the first inside project we are tackling in our new home. See our first ORC - the makeover of our flower studio and garden. We are #LovingLeuty.
What We've Learned About Polished Concrete Floors
Although, we've long-loved the industrial look of polished concrete floors, this is the first time we've had the opportunity to use this technique. Here's what we've discovered along the way:
While I guess you could DIY this if you are able to get your hands on some super-duper grinders/polishers, I'd leave this job to the professionals
The process involves slowly grinding down layers of the cement until it's smooth
Holes or uneven areas may need to be patched in advance (our floor was in really good condition so not much of this was necessary)
The polishing process is not only messy, but noisy work
Leave the house and if you have neighbours close by, you might want to give them the heads-up
Once the floor is ground down, a coating to seal the concrete is applied
The sealant can be tinted and can range from flat to glossy
We opted not to go with a high-polished epoxy finish, instead we wanted a more subtle, worn look and selected a matte, latex urethane (the advantage of this finish is that it dried very quickly and had a very low odour)
We were able to walk on the floor after 12 hours, but we waited a full 24 hours before we did any heavy work on it
The cost will vary depending on the type of finish you select and your contractor, but if you can handle the disruption, this is a very economical option
This is the floor grinder hooked up to a vacuum to capture the dust and debris.
On the left you can see the marks on the concrete and some of the unevenness. The picture on the right shows the floor after it has been ground and smoothed out.
We selected a flat, clear, latex-based urethane coating. You can see how nicely it brings out the details and texture in the concrete flooring.
Here's a side-by-side comparison with and without the coating.
Wow - is it reveal time already? Well, almost.
The lovely people organizing the One Room Challenge have given us an extra week to finish up our projects (whew), so we will take advantage this. We are so happy with the progress being made and so excited to share our cleaned up bath and laundry room with you soon.
Need More Inspiration?
If you missed it, you can catch up on our progress: