I live in a 1st floor flat (relatively new build) that has concrete underneath the carpet. I'd like to remove the carpet and treat the concrete and have concrete floor.

The floor seems pretty solid and has channels for pipework that are covered with wood. Excuse the dirt but this picture underneath the bath gives an idea.

My questions are: Is there a way to tell what kind of concrete floor I have?

Is there any risk to just putting down a sealant in terms of damaging the floor structurally or is it a pretty safe thing to do. I don't want what is a relatively cheap floor treatment turning into some kind of expensive major damage.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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  • Hello, and welcome to home improvement. What's up with those channels; are you thinking to remove them? (A better picture of one would help.) Feb 26, 2019 at 21:03
  • 1
    Paint or stain or sealer isn't going to structurally hurt the concrete. There are waiting times after concrete is poured to make sure you get the best adhesion. Was there some other type of "damage" you're worried about?
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 26, 2019 at 21:04
  • Thanks for the replies. The channels I will keep and stain so they look good with the concrete. Most will be hidden anyway. The concrete was poured around 18 years ago so think I'm good on the cure time :) More worried about whether it could cause the concrete to crack or make unstable in any way. If it's no different to painting a wall then great. I realise I'm being over cautious even just asking this question but better safe. Any ideas if this would be a very solid floor or more likely a thin layer of concrete over something else? Thanks
    – mjuk
    Feb 26, 2019 at 21:27

1 Answer 1


Once concrete is fully cured, you're not going to damage it with paint or other sealer. On the first floor of a building chances are good that it is a solid concrete floor rather than a thin coat of something. As far as the "type of concrete", that shouldn't matter much when you choose a coating.

What does matter is the prep work that you do. When you decide on a coating, read what the manufacturer recommends. In most cases it will call for a strong cleaner/degreaser and some type of concrete "etching". Etching might sound like it could damage the floor, but we are talking a very mild etching that happens on an almost microscopic level. Don't let the term scare you.

The amount of prep you do is directly related to how long the coating will last. Skimp on the prep, and it will start to peel and flake off prematurely. It's not going to hurt the concrete, but it could make the floor look very ugly.

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