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I am moving into a new home for 1-2 year period. Its an old office building and the landlord is flexible with how I decorate; as it will eventually be totally gutted and renovated.

My 3 rooms are covered in horrible blue carpet. Underneath is a concrete floor, the surface of which feels quite flakey and dusty and is 90% covered in old dried hard yellow carpet glue. I have tried scraping it off and it comes up very dusty and bitty. I have three rooms each the size of a medium double bedroom so scraping by hand would take too long!

I need to come up with an inexpensive flooring solution (up to £200 for 3 rooms) - something that will look cool and last for a couple of years.

I think painted concrete looks cool but in my experience and from what I have read, the surface underneath needs to be stable or the paint will be uneven and chip off.

Commercial concrete floor scrapers are about £170/day in my area which is out of my budget, especially as I'd probably need to hire both a round one and a pointed one for the corners.

I don't like the look of carpet or that plastic laminate. I like Wood laminate boards but they seem to be prohibitively expensive too at about £15/sq meter.

Can we come up with a "quick and dirty" solution to get this floor looking alright? For example: Is there something I could pour over to smooth and seal the floor? And/or perhaps some kind of latex or paint that will work well enough for 1-2 years?

Remember; this isn't a house I own or will live in forever; it doesn't need to be perfect.

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2 Answers

look cool and last for a couple of years

I'd also suggest concrete stain.

The catch with both staining and painting, of course, is that you need to find the stable surface.

We had a floor that was covered in tile mastic. To remove it, we used this soy based mastic remover. If you contact them, they can send a sample to see if it works for your particular glue. It smells funny, but isn't toxic.

You pour it on, let it sit, and it eventually liquifies the mastic. You then squeegee + wetvac it all up, then give it a quick wash with water to get ready for staining.

Acid staining is fairly easy. You add the stain to a sprayer (a manual-pump garden sprayer works well) and just spray it all over the place. Let it sit for a while. Then you pour a neutralizer on it and as before, squeegee/wetvac it all up.

As a final step you can apply a roll-on sealer of some sort.

I think it's a great look and relatively painless (it's a bit tedious, but not back-breaking work).

Barring all of that, I'd perhaps just opt for a cheap floating laminate floor. Theres so much variety now with laminates and they should last a couple of years.

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Well you can scrape up the padding the old-fashioned way for probably $20 worth of scrapers and water. Then stain the concrete. If you want to get fancy you could put an epoxy paint, similar to what you would put in a garage (this would have to be a good sale to make your budget).

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Do you estimate this the scraping could be completed by 1 person in under 6 hours for my 3 medium rooms? The area that I did try and scrape an hour ago took a fair while and afterwards the surface underneath still seemed rough and dusty also scraper didn't get ALL of the glue off. Is this going to be a problem? Would I need to seal and prime the concrete after scraping? –  user14932 Sep 4 '13 at 20:49
    
Like you said it doesn't have to be perfect. You need to get paddinng up or almost all and then loose particles. It's a lot of work. The area needs to be really soaked so the padding comes up easier. Soak it in small section. Maybe use some solvents too. –  DMoore Sep 4 '13 at 21:01
    
In the US you can rent power scrapers. They are like a flat shovel with a motor that pushes the blade back and forth. That would probably speed things up a lot. This might be suitable but there are bigger and smaller ones too: toolstop.co.uk/components/com_virtuemart/shop_image/product/… –  Philip Ngai Sep 5 '13 at 23:58
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