An update on our DIY stained concrete floors

As you may know from my last post, recently we bought a new house and converted our old house into a rental property. My biggest concern about converting the house into a rental property was how the concrete floors would hold up. If you don’t recall, I wrote about installing our DIY stained concrete floors in a series of three posts:

  1. Preparing to stain concrete
  2. Staining and sealing concrete
  3. Caring for your floors

While we took good care of our floors, they did get small nicks from our 50 lb dog’s claws and would get scuffs from furniture if rubber pads weren’t used. When we moved out, we found that the couches did a number on the floors in a couple of spots. Because we knew almost any tenant we would find in Austin would have a dog or two, and that tenants probably wouldn’t care for the floors like we did, we decided to put a more durable sealant on the floors.

EcoProCrete makes a harder sealer called EcoTuff. We passed on EcoTuff when first installing the floors because it was considerably more expensive than the Acri-Soy and it was much shinier. Once we decided to turn the house into a rental property, we knew the time had come to make the investment to protect the floors.

After talking with our supplier in Austin, House and Earth, we learned all about EcoTuff. It’s applied in a two part process using a two part primer/sealer and a clear coat finish. The primer/sealer is much like an epoxy, you have to mix two parts together before applying it. Apparently EcoProCrete has just come out with a primer/sealer that is just one part, but House and Earth was unable to procure it in time for us.

After reading the extremely poorly written and organized Manufacturers Application Guide (which I can’t find online), I decided that in addition to mopping the floor to clean it prior to the primer/sealer, I needed to mop it with a diluted citrus degreaser. The application guide warned against having any oils or waxes on the floor when the primer was applied. We did have a light floor wax as the top coat. To be super safe, I then mopped the floor again after degreasing. Let’s just say I was done with the whole mopping process by that time.

The next step was to do a test run of these products in one of the closets since I was uncertain about if and how this would work. I used a 3/8″ nap roller to apply the primer/sealer after mixing up just a bit of it. I must have applied the coating too thick in the closet because it never really dried to the point where it wasn’t slightly tacky. The instructions said that the coating should not be tacky. I had to go ahead and apply the clear coat to complete my test, and after that dried I wasn’t able to scrape up the coating so I decided it was fine. I had the green light to do the rest of the house.

I used a paddle mixer with our drill to mix the two cans for the primer/sealer together. I would then dip my roller in the can and roll out the material on to the floor. It was quite sticky. I used a T-bar applicator with a foam pad to smooth out the primer after it had been applied to ensure that I wasn’t applying it too thick. The primer hardens after a while, so I actually had to mix up a second batch once I reached the living room because the first batch was too thick. After drying for about 7 hours, the primer was no longer tacky and I moved on to the clear coat. The clear coat was quite fun to apply because I didn’t have to bend over and use a roller. I just used the T-bar applicator and the clear coat would just glide on. I poured the clear coat on the floor and then went back and forth from one end of the room to the other smoothing out the coat to ensure that no lap lines were left. After drying for an hour, I applied the second coat and was finished!

A few things I learned:

  • When dry, the primer and clear coat was very hard. When removing the blue painters tape from the baseboards, the paint would peel right off. Luckily, you couldn’t really tell with our baseboards since they’d recently been touched up. Definitely use the tape to cover surfaces like the transition areas from the concrete to another type of floor. Leave a small gap between the painter’s tape and the floor so that the coating on the floor does not trap the tape, leaving you unable to get it out.
  • Because we had first used Acri-Soy, we used less than 50% of the primer/sealer and clear coat that was called for by the manufacturer. This saved us a great deal of money since House and Earth was able to accept a return for the remaining material. I don’t know what the results would have been if we had not already had 2 coats of Acri-Soy on top of our Deco-Poz floors.
  • The T-bar applicator with foam pad was worth it’s weight in gold. It was quite heavy and good for smearing everything around, but the primer/sealer definitely needed to be first applied with a roller.
  • They don’t mess around with the shine on this coating. I kind of preferred the Acri-Soy + wax look, but needed the durability of the Eco-Tuff.

Since you’re probably tired of reading, on to the pictures!

Whoa, look at that shine!

Yep, pretty shiny from this angle too.

 

Now that we’re in a house that is partially carpeted, I desperately miss my concrete floors. I’m already counting down the days until I can rip out the carpet and do something different!

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12 thoughts on “An update on our DIY stained concrete floors

  1. Hey Laura, looks great! How have the floors held up? I’m considering using the eco tuff sealer as well, although I’m wondering if it’s actually any better than a conventional sealer, outside of being green.

    Thanks for your reply, much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Erik,
      Thanks for asking! We recently were able to see the floors, since this house is now a rental. They were still in excellent shape with the eco tuff sealer. I have no personal comparison to a conventional sealer, although I’ll say the eco tuff is easy to use and you don’t have to worry about fumes, which is a big plus.

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  2. Hello,

    Just curious how the floors are holding up after a year or so down the line? About to seal my house that is on a slab and go the route you did. EcoTuff looks to be the best option

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    • We no longer live in that house, but keep it as a rental and floors still look good. Just remember to treat them as finished floors and put furniture protectors on the bottom of all furniture to avoid scrapes and gouges.

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  3. Hi Laura, excellent post and thank you for the invaluable instructions! We want to stain our basement floor and are frustrated with the numerous reviews of concrete dye peeling and fading under foot traffic. It did not sound like you had this issue with the EcoproCrete products. Are you still happy with the floors (I know its a rental now), no peeling or fading? And do you think the eco tuff sealant was part of the reason that the floor colors were protected from peeling and foot traffic?

    Thanks so much and again, fantastic post!

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    • Thanks! We have not had any peeling issues at all. I definitely recommend the eco tuff coating for added durability, the previous coating we used was easier to damage.

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      • Yeah, I read that the stain would likely not take if we did not use the overlay. The overlay acted sort of like a sponge, absorbing the different coatings we put on top.

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  4. hey laura,

    This same company also does a sealer called EcoFlorz. Is there a reason why you chose the EcoTuff over this one or was this one not on the market when you did this project? is the EcoFlorz the same one that you used first the “acrisoy sealer”?

    thanks

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    • Hi Brevin,

      I definitely don’t remember anything called EcoFlorz when we did the floors. I do remember being told that a new product that was one can, instead of the two cans we mixed together for the EcoTuff was supposed to come out soon, so maybe that’s what EcoFlorz is?

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