How hard to stain concrete?

Susan Booth
by Susan Booth
I have asthma and lung problems due to lupus. Was thinking of pulling up carpet. I cant afford flooring right now due to medical bills so I was wondering how hard would it be to stain the concrete and if I could go back later and add hard wood flooring.
  3 answers
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Apr 07, 2013
    @Susan Booth it is not difficult to paint cement at all. Not sure if you can buy a low odour product though. You may want to plan on being out of the house a few days and have friends do the painting, but check with someone like home depot or lowes on the low fume aspect. As far as applying hardwood at a later date, I don't think that is a problem, but may need some prep work. I think @KMS Woodworks may be able to shed some light on the issue. May also depend on how damp the area is that you are applying it in. Hope it all works out for you and thanks for posting :)

  • Susan, check with your MD on doing improvements that are related to your health in your home. Some medical insurances and tax rebates may be available to you if you want to improve your home because of your health issues. Staining cement is not all that hard, but it does come with some draw backs if the cement surface is not really smooth and hard. Softer cement oftentimes meant to be covered will tend to chalk if not painted as compared to staining. Stain simply soaks into the surface of the material is is placed upon dries and leaves color behind. Paint coats the surface while is soaks into the surface to create a bond to prevent peeling. Low VOC products must be used unless you can be out of the home for perhaps one or few days depending upon the product chosen for your needs.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 08, 2013
    Hardwood over concrete is about the poorest choice. The two main issues are potential for moisture damage (concrete is a bit like a big hard "sponge") Hardwoods like a nice stable moisture environment. Wood is hygroscopic which means is absorbs and releases moisture with its environment. This increase and decrease in water content contribute to the wood expanding and contracting. In most application this is not as much of a concern as the floor is nailed down and there is a little bit of "wiggle room". Hardwood over concrete is typically glued down and this "wiggle" room can lead to separation from the concrete. The second big issue with wood over concrete is that some of the bowing that is inherent in most strip flooring can be brought into line with a nailed down installation. This is much harder to do with a glue down. I'm curently working on a project where I am installing about 850 sq feet of tile in a highrise condo. Here the tile is being set directly on the concrete floor. Painting is a good low cost option, but good prep is needed and the use of concrete bonding primer will really help. In the future you could tile over the painted concrete.