Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

March, 2004

Painting Concrete Basement Floor

Q. I have 3 year old house and I'm finishing the basement by myself. I got different ideas for the floor. I want to water proof the floor. Do I still need to raise the floor? How safe is it to lay the carpet straight on the concrete floor? I did not see any moisture or water so far. Please advise.

A. You should be able to apply the carpet directly to the sealed concrete surface. The ability of the sealer to perform well is predicated on the quality of the work performed prior to and during the application of the sealer product. The quality of the sealer is also a factor.

Be certain to clean, and etch the concrete well and allow sufficient time for the floor to dry, maybe open some windows, and use a fan to help dissipate the moisture. A concrete product that is as old as you say does not necessarily need to be acid etched, however I always like to etch the concrete to be certain that the surface is good and clean.

Visit your local do it yourself paint center, or a floor specialty center and explain what you intend to do. They will help guide you in the right direction, and also can recommend the correct products to use, and make suggestions on the type of carpet to install.

Please be aware that coatings and solvents are chemicals and therefore you should always pay attention to proper handling procedures and be prepared to wear protective clothing, such as respirators, gloves, coveralls, etc. For further information on the health and safety requirements for the coatings and solvents you wish to use we strongly advised you to contact your local coating supplier. If possible, go the extra step and look for this information on the website of the product vendor.

Acid etching: You MUST insure that you are properly protected with goggles, acid-resistant gloves and proper clothing so that you don't injure yourself. For similar reasons, please insure that you keep others away from this process.


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