Will a polished concrete floor alone make my basement colder? What about slippery when wet?

by E S
I'm pulling the vinyl and carpet out of our basement and was thinking about having the concrete slab polished, if that's even possible. I'm wondering if pulling out all the flooring will just make it colder though? And our laundry room is downstairs, do I have to worry about a concrete floor being really slippery when wet? (More so than tile or vinyl?)
  10 answers
  • E S: We only occasionally use concrete: mostly floors and countertops! But we know a Hometalker who we've seen work some magic with concrete and would be a great resource for your question: http://www.hometalk.com/member/ybponrrf1w - Check Out Amazing Improvements!
  • ES, it may or may not be a good candidate. Best to have a pro have a look. We had a client in Marietta in the old warehouse district near Kennestone who wanted this done. When we started cutting the floor, we found it simply was not a good candidate at all. Is there a specific reason for polished floors instead of stained and sealed floors? Do you know the difference? We can help guide you through the various options if you reach out. THANKS AK for the kind consideration!
  • Carol Carol on Feb 22, 2012
    ES, we just ripped the carpet out of our basement and had the concrete stained - thanks to Amazing Improvements. :) I am NOT a cold weather person and while the floors feel a little cooler when it's very cold it's not a big deal. I don't have to worry about anything when our young family members or the dogs are down there. If it gets wet slipping could occur but that can happen on lots of flooring. We are very happy we went with stained concrete. Good luck!
  • 3po3 3po3 on Feb 22, 2012
    I think if you go ahead and polish the concrete and think it's too cold, add some area rugs to provide both warmth and traction without the concerns of carpet in a basement.
  • E S E S on Feb 24, 2012
    Thank you all for your help. @Amazing Improvements - I didn't really know there was a difference between polishing, staining or sealing the floors. My sister lives in a loft in SC and her floors are polished I believe and they are beautiful, so that is why I was leaning that direction. And other information would be greatly appreciated!! @Seve - I am planning on putting a rug down as well. My kids love the basement and that is where my office is as well.
  • Polishing is the most costly route. In residential applications it can run $5-6psf or more. Stained and sealed floors are much more cost effective and if installed by a professional, quite durable and easily touched up, if needed, in the future. Within the spectrum of stained floors there are several methods currently being utilized. Only one is best for your specific requirements. A real pro will be able to discuss all of these and help determine the best direction for you. Good Luck and if you want to discuss your project with me, just reach out.
  • the floors will never be colder than ambient earth temperature which usually is 68f - that's kind of cold to our footsies which's why we have throw rugs on the floor,,, otherwise, pay attn to gary's posts ( amazing )
  • Danielle Danielle on Feb 24, 2015
    What about putting a poured epoxy in? There are so many amazing finishes you can get now that it's crazy. I saw some on Youtube that came out looking like polished stainless steel, rippling water, hammered copper and even marble, and still only took about an hour to install and a couple days to cure. Plus there's an additive that you can sprinkle on that will make it really slip resistant but not uncomfortable to bare feet. Best thing is you can DIY and its really economical. My DH and I are going to put it in our guest bath as soon as the weather warms up enough around here for us to have windows open and dogs outside so there's no flying hair!
  • Capernius Capernius on Apr 18, 2015
    to remove the carpet & tile from a concrete floor, will make it colder, and yes, polished or not, wet concrete will make the floor very slippery. My advice is, if the carpeting & tile are needing replaced because of age, wear & tear, etc., put new carpeting down(with a heavy duty padding*) to make the basement feel a wee bit warmer... as for the laundry area, vinyl flooring or vinyl tile would be good....or just leave the floor bare. it's your choice. FYI: depending on what part of the country you live in(and I'm not asking), a bare concrete floor can be hard to walk on in the winter because that part of the floor will go so cold. *the reason for the heavy duty carpet padding, is that it will insulate against the cold better than a regular duty carpet padding....Be aware however, that heavy duty padding CAN BE, super expensive. Last time I had my carpet replaced, I had the installer put down a waffle padding...it's a lot thicker, & insulates against the cold better...but that was 35 years ago; I'm not sure if waffle padding is even made anymore....back then, I paid $20 a linear foot....by today's standards, I think that cost would be about $50 per linear foot...or maybe even higher.
  • Michelle Michelle on Aug 29, 2016
    I used a Behr concrete paint on part of my basement floor and its not any more slippery than any other wet floor. My basement is just too damp (dehumidifier always working), has the laundry room, hot water heater, all potential flooding worries for me. It also gets too much dirt/sand tracked in to keep carpeting. In the winter I wear socks or slippers anyway but of course the floor does feel colder than carpeting. My neighbor thought it was brown carpeting and the clean up is SO SO worth it!! There are lots of DIY choices but if you can afford it there are some stunning products a pro can do. I'm doing the whole family room as soon as I can get some help bc I need to get rid of nails along the edges that are in concrete - I cant figure out how to remove them wo damage to concrete... And Im not very strong. I say go for it!