Polyurethane is a hard, polymeric finish that can be applied to numerous areas, including concrete floors. It creates a seal against dust and liquids and also helps to protect the floor from scuffing and scratching.
They provide a non-skid surface to walking areas such as hallways in the home. Two coats of polyurethane supported by an earlier primer coating yield long-lasting results on any concrete floor.
Here is how to apply polyurethane to concrete floors:
Step 1: Clean the Floor
Clean the floor surface with odorless mineral spirits to remove any contaminants like dirt, dust or grease. Make sure the concrete is completely dry before applying any finish. Clean the floor properly to ensure adhesion.
Step 2: Apply the Primer
Take an oil-based primer to apply at least a coat on the floor before applying polyurethane. To get the best adhesion, let the primer dry overnight. You may even skip this step and start with the next step, but that will surely make the finish less lasting. Remember that without primer, polyurethane fails to get stuck to concrete and becomes vulnerable to moisture delamination.
Step 3: Apply the Polyurethane
The primed floor is now ready to be applied with polyurethane! Stir the polyurethane in a container slowly using a paint mixer to ensure an even mixture.
Pour a quarter-sized amount of polyurethane in an area about 6 inches square. Spread it with a paintbrush, roller or squeegee so that the polyurethane covers an area 1 foot by 1 foot.
Allow it to dry for 20 minutes before spreading additional coats on adjacent areas of the concrete flooring. Let each coat dry for 24 hours before walking on it to avoid damaging the new surface.
Step 4: Apply the Second Coat
Let the first coat dry for 24 hours before applying the second coat. Using a brick trowel on large surfaces and small hand trowels on corners, edges, and other hard-to-reach places will ensure an even finish. You can even use a sprayer for a more even coating.
Step 5: Final Step
If you are not happy with the look after two coats, repeat the application process up to three or four times in order to build up the thickness in high-traffic areas.
Allow 48 hours between applications so that sections of the floor can dry completely. It is unnecessary to allow time between applications if you are just trying to get a thick finish on a tiny area in your home.
What Else to Use on Concrete Floors if Not Poly?
Some other sealers such as Epoxy, Acrylic, Polyaspartic or Polyurea can show better results on concrete for being more effective on granular materials. However, acrylic and epoxy last long on concrete floors only if they are interiors. But for exterior concrete floors, you must pick polyaspartic or polyurea, avoiding epoxy, acrylic.
Tips on Polyurethane Concrete Floor Maintenance
Should you maintain a primer and polyurethane-coated floor or floors coated by other competent sealers as stated in the prior paragraph, the finish can last even up to ten years! Let’s come to the maintenance process.
- Use an industrial dust mop to dry mop the floor daily in order to prevent degradation of the conductivity.
- Use a mix of water and non-residue alkaline to wet mop the floor every week, then dry.
- Soft scrub with pads (red buffer or soft nylon bristle) to remove floor contaminants every two weeks using diluted non-residue alkaline floor cleaner. Too aggressive scrubbing may dull the floor gloss. But if you need to remove scuff marks mandatorily, use detergent. Of course, let it soak before scrubbing. But make sure the detergent is of a non-residue nature.
- You can also wax the floor as an extra measure for shining. Remember, once you wax, it should be a regular process.
Polyurethane is a great way to protect your concrete floor if applied accordingly. It is a great alternative to concrete dye if you are looking for something that isn’t permanent.
If you want more information on sealing your concrete floor, visit our website, we’ll help you design your floor.