Friday, July 4, 2014

White Painted Concrete Floors

Later this morning I am hopefully catching up with the draftsman who is drawing up my plans for our renovations. Most of the renovation is clear in my head and I have thought long and hard about almost every aspect. One thing, however, that I still need to decide on is the flooring for the lounge room. Currently we have a old pitted and cracked slab of concrete that I have painted white. It's pretty dodgy but I love it. I love that it's nice and bright, and I love the imperfectness of it.  I also love not having to be precious about it.

We used to have carpet in this room but we had a little flood and the carpet got ruined so instead of replacing it I just ripped it all up and painted the floors with Bergers Jet Dry Satin. We've now had the painted concrete floor for several years and I love it. I repaint the floor about once a year as I paint my furniture on the white floor without a drop sheet and as it's pitted it's very hard to keep perfectly clean. If it was a better slab then it would be much easier to clean. When we renovate, this room is being brought in on one side and extended at the back by about two metres. A new slab will be laid over this slab bringing the height up by about 100mm. I don't really want the NSW Spotted Gun floorboards that we have in the rest of the house, I hate tiles and I also don't like it when polished concrete has exposed aggregate so I've been talking to different people about how to get the look I want. One option I was investigating is the Arapido cement cover over the slab which is basically a coloured (including white and very light grey) cement spray about 3mm thick over the slab but I'm worried about the strength of it and also it's $7500 for the room (which sounds a lot but is similar to laying floorboards). Then I was talking to our clever builder and he said that by using a helicopter finish (for about $300 extra) when he lays the slab he can get a similar finish. Apparently you can also order your cement coloured. I want a very pale grey as I think the pure white in a good slab will look too white. (is there such a thing as too white??)

Here is a sample of the Arapido that I will try to replicate (and you can see how pitted our floor is!)

I think the very pale grey will suit our furniture and style. I know that concrete floors can crack but I'm actually happy with the cracks as really, if we lived in a 500 year old house in France we'd have cracks in the floor and it would be considered patina and character.

What floors do you have and does any one have some tips for me?

cheers Fiona


  1. Everyone should do what makes them happy as far as decor. After all, you have to live with it. Others just visit.

  2. We are going to have whitewashed floorboards in our new house. I was debating getting concrete or tiles but got put off by the fact we have young kids that are likely to fall at least a few times, we live in a cold place and wouldn't have underfloor heating and that things are highly likely to smash if dropped on tiles or concrete. I also found out that prolonged standing on either can be awful on your back and I already get issues with my lower back. I'm not a fan of carpet because I have allergies and hate vaccuuming lol.
    Resin is another option for you.

  3. We have a number of different floor "styles" in our 1870's stone farmhouse in Ontario, Canada - and only a couple of them are the result of our efforts since we moved in (unless you count the faux-persian area rugs scattered around). One of these floors is very worn concrete with pits, cracks and ill-conceived patched/re-poured areas. I don't know if you've looked into painting concrete, but many special effects from marble finishes to deep-water pools is possible! In the end, I also decided that I liked the aux natural look - it's character just goes with the house, and I am free to do whatever in the room. If I were to do something, it would probably be just a straight forward stencil - maybe hinting at another area rug, like this:

  4. I do love your painted concrete floor. Our family room has a sort of apricot/cream matt ceramic tile and I have been pondering either painting it with the Berger Jet Dry or just taking the tiles up and leaving the bare concrete (even though my husband says he won't take up the nice (eugh) tiles to have bare concrete. Throughout the rest of the living area they are shiny, nasty, white and grey ceramic tiles which I truly despise. I'm not sure the Berger will stick to them as they are so polished. Tiles/concrete are hard on the feet and I would prefer reclaimed oak floorboards but they are sooo expensive. We took down a very long fence earlier this year and are contemplating using the pailings to make a reclaimed floor. Good luck with your decision.

    1. You could try White Knight Tile and Laminate Primer and Paint. It's supposed to be specially formulated for painting over glossy tiles.

  5. I have noticed some of the fake woods come in a nice light grey colour now, I wonder if you can get real wood in that shade? I like the idea of keeping the floor light.

  6. Excellent blog post, keep up the great work

  7. Such a well-researched and informative piece.

  8. I'm obsessed with white painted concrete floors! They give a room such a clean, modern, and airy feel. This post has given me so much inspiration for my upcoming home renovation. Thanks for sharing these fantastic ideas! Thanks for sharing.
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