Flooring recommendation for home on a slab

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hot diggity, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    We've had several carpets since the house was new and it's never been a good thing. Too sandy, too much dog and cat hair, and the occasional naughty dog. It isn't like I can drag the carpet outside, scrub it in a tub, hang it over a line, or beat it like a rug, and without good vacuums and rug shampooers it'd go down-hill quick,

    The slab is far from level, poured with the intent of being concealed with carpet, it slopes down slightly at all the outside walls. Leveling it will be the first battle. After the floor is level I would like some sort of floor that would resist beach sand abrasion and dog claws, be completely water resistant (so I can mop it). Any kind of flooring would have to be sealed to the lower wall molding to prevent water getting under the walls if I'm sloshing mop water around, or have a naughty dog in the house.

    Tile and concrete treatments are looking like the most likely replacements, but there may be something new out there that I'm not aware of. One of the bedliner companies had a flooring product out a few years ago, but I haven't seen any reviews on its' durability, and suspect it may be flamable.

    Whatever the surface, it has to be water tight, abrasion resistant and sealed along the walls. Fire proof is an additional advantage, but staying warm such a small house in the dead of winter is not a big concern. (Unintentional practice with a frozen solid heat pump for a couple weeks last winter wasn't bad.)

    Any advice or recommendations would be apprectated. We'll likely have to live with whatever we choose for the rest of our lives, so we aren't jumping into anything without lots of research.


  2. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have Mexican Tile all through my house and use carpets where needed. They are cool in the summer, warm in the winter, easy to clean (just mop) and dogs can't mess them up.
  3. Rabid

    Rabid Monkey

    At the Nuke power plant we used an epoxy coating that was somewhat self leveling.
    Dunerunner likes this.
  4. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    I'd don;t know boo about anything past lino and carpet...

    However - water coming up thru the floor may become and issue....

    "If you have ever thought of applying epoxy on the garage floor there are some things that you need to know before making a purchase at the local home supply center. All hardware stores and do-it-yourself places all sell some kind of epoxy kit. Some work better than others do. Some people have not had much success applying this type of coating to their concrete floor while others say it is the best thing they have done to protect their garage floor.
    One reason why some people have not had any success doing this type of do-it-yourself job is that the problem was not theirs but the problem was with their concrete floor itself. Some floors have been found to have too much hydrostatic pressure, which means that water moves from under the concrete up to the surface in what is called capillary action. Then moisture collects on the surface, which thereby breaks the bond between the concrete and the epoxy coat if it had been applied. If you notice that areas of your floor stay moist even during dry days then you most certainly should not apply an epoxy to these areas until you apply what is known as a salt blocker to help prevent moisture-causing problems.

    To ensure that your epoxy garage floor project is a success requires you to prepare the floors surface properly. This means that it must be completely clean and all prior coatings of any sort must be removed. If there are any stains, they must also be removed otherwise the coating will not seal properly, it could flake and chip. Contractors usually apply a coat of waxy or silicon based sealer after installation. This should usually last for several years. However, it should be removed if you plan to apply an epoxy to the floor.

    Obviously, if you really plan to start an epoxy garage floor project then you have to decide whether your concrete floor is going to benefit from it. If done correctly then the project can be beneficial, however, if done wrong or your floor is not fit for it, you will just be wasting your time.

    One thing to look for in your garage is signs of a white crystal or white powder. This is moisture seeping up through the concrete, which will cause any coating to lift off. On the other hand, perhaps your floor is painted and the paint is peeling, then likely, that is exactly what will happen to your epoxy garage floor project as well. There is a lot of work for this type of do-it-yourself project. If you have never completed anything like this before then it is wise to gather as much information as possible before beginning a project like this because your floor may not be right for it.

    Your garage floor should be protected and we provide several different methods to protect any concrete floor area whether using a garage floor sealer or any type of epoxy garage floor treatment."

    by T.D. Houser

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tom_Houser
    Dunerunner likes this.
  5. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I've seen the failure of epoxy coated concrete in a number of maintenance shops. This is our living space, so I don't think even nicely colored epoxy would go over well. I'm still trying to get approval for the Mosin Nagant rifle crate coffee table.

    My slab is 3' above grade, and 27 years old, so hopefully it's about as dry and settled as it's going to get.

    I appreciate the ideas, please keep the coming.

  6. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    i would suggest "leveling compound" for low spots and dips. it is a two part mix, part powder, and part "milk". it mixes thin, and trowels in place. It finishes very hard, and has to be "sanded" with a stone, so the smoother it is applied, the better. it is often used before laying asphalt floor tiles, for a smooth finish.
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I used that stuff, called "FixAll" at that time on an exceedingly rough concrete floor poured directly on grade. Worked well, and the sheet vinyl stayed in place for the duration of time we were there.

    Now, you say the slab is 3 feet above ground. What is under it? It will make a difference if it's a ventilated air space or something else.
  8. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    NOT fixall, that is for wall patch.
    the products I have used are similar to these.

    Dunerunner likes this.
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Did one house in tile, this after your same deal. "We've had several carpets since the house was new and it's never been a good thing. Too sandy, too much dog and cat hair, and the occasional naughty dog. It isn't like I can drag the carpet outside, scrub it in a tub, hang it over a line, or beat it like a rug, and without good vacuums and rug shampooers it'd go down-hill quick."

    Along with tile I did a tile base board, on the cheap. If you ever priced bull nose base board tile you'll loose your lunch!!!

    Much easier and less costly to purchase a 4"x 8" floor tile and split it in two.

    Use LATEX base in your mastic and no water seeapage. IT SETS REAL QUICK!

    Good luck and it just takes time and the will to do it right. Buy the tools do, not rent and you can do it as time allows, to rush or work when you are tired wil screw it up.
  10. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Thanks to all for the input.

    We're still living on mostly bare concrete with tile in a few areas where its' always been. Through this past winter I never noticed the floor being too cold for bare feet here in coastal Carolina. Being Damn Yankee's we keep the house about 58 degrees all winter, and enjoyed some really low electric bills. Maybe having the concrete floor 3' above grade level with what I have to assume is sand fill with some vapor barrier underneath helps to maintain a consistent temperature.

    The down side of bare poured concrete is that it is rough. Cat yak sticks to it, and if I knock over a water dish the puddle flows to the nearest low spot. Grout is also a nightmare for me. I can drop a single ice cube out of the freezer and have the melted water travel several feet along the kitchen grout lines...somehow always to the exact spot where I step with socks on. I have had good success cleaning up the bare concrete with a mop and bucket, which is my goal from sustainable flooring, but the roughness doesn't make it easy. No cooking fire in the middle of the living room yet, but being able to do that or any sort of inside wood cooking/heating makes flammability a concern.

    With all this in mind, I'm still stuck. I want to do this flooring one time, throughout the whole house. Maybe slightly different stuff in the kitchen and bathrooms, but all with the same theme. smooth, level, easy to maintain with a mop and bucket, fire proof, able to withstand sand/scratches, (from dragging furniture and appliances around) and be waterproof like a bathroom throughout. I'm thinking that minimizing the grout with large tiles may help. 24" square tiles split to 24X6 would make a nice tall wall molding, and seal the whole mess up with flush grout, and I'd call it done.

    I'll be sure to let you know how it all works out. I will add, that while I'm not happy about it, there's no doubt that bare concrete is more sustainable than carpet in the long run. In a few years the savings on carpet cleaning alone may offset the price of the tile.

  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    There is no reason your bare concrete needs to be rough. There are various coating for concrete, including simple polyurethane. It is common for warehouse floors to be sealed, and the end result can be very smooth.
  12. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++

    Stained Concrete or overlay after leveling would be my choice next time. Wife got to choose last time.
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    There is also the option of grinding off the rough finish. There are powered grinders sim to power trowels used on floors when placing the concrete. You do want to seal the surface, no matter what you put on it.
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary