Concrete Flooring Options for Your Basement

November 12, 2019
Concrete Polishing
Epoxy Coatings

Basements are notoriously moist in Iowa, but luckily, you have flooring options other than carpet and expensive tile. Depending on the look you want and the condition of the underlying concrete, mechanically polished concrete or a decorative coating might be perfect for your basement floors. Here are a few ways to transform your boring or impractical basement floors.

Polished Concrete Floors in Basements

Mechanically polished concrete floors are ideal for basements. They are low maintenance, durable and attractive. They are also extremely water resistant, so any standing water or spill can easily be mopped up without any damage to the underlying concrete. On top of this, they are stain and dirt resistant. If the underlying concrete is in good condition, these floors offer a sleek, shiny, contemporary look. If the concrete in your basement is in less-than-ideal condition, they can still be mechanically polished. However, the finished product will show “character”, but plenty of homeowners actually prefer this industrial look.

Decorative Epoxy Floors in Basements

If your basement floors are not in the best condition and you prefer a perfect look, a decorative concrete coating might be your best option. Epoxy concrete coatings can be customized to match the design of your home and result in a high-performance, attractive floor. They cover all flaws, but they are also more expensive due to the materials used and increased prep time.

Stained and Sealed Concrete Floors in Basements

A concrete stain and seal can be a good compromise between concrete coatings and polished concrete for moderately flawed floors. It involves grinding the concrete and applying a stain and seal over the top. This process covers imperfections slightly better than mechanically polishing the floors. In summary, if your floor is perfect, polished concrete is probably your best option.


If you are okay with a more industrial look, polished concrete and stain and seal will both work for you. If your floors are flawed and you want them to look perfect, a decorative epoxy coating is the best choice. It’s hard to know what you want until you actually see it. Visit our showroom to see samples of mechanically polished and coated concrete floors!

8 Ways to Upgrade Your Concrete Floor

There are so many ways to upgrade your concrete floor from polishing to coating to engraving or staining. We love helping our clients pick out the right fit for what they are looking to accomplish. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming to choose what to do with your concrete flooring. Here are 8 ways you can upgrade your concrete to protect and/or enhance it with a little explanation about each technique. We hope this helps when deciding what to do with your next project!

Mechanical Polishing

Mechanical polished concrete is a process that takes abrasives (diamonds) and mechanically places scratches in the concrete. This scratching process uses finer grit abrasives to remove and replace the scratches with smaller and smaller micro scratches.

The objective is to refine the floor and take away the small scratches so that you see a reflection in the floor. This process can be achieved with older concrete, new concrete and/or coated concrete.

This process is considered to be the maximum refinement method, and can be considered the best long-term solution for polished concrete.

Topical Polishing

Topical polishing is similar to the mechanically polished floor, but the course of action is shorter, and it leaves the floor at less than maximum refinement.

Most of the time the topically processed progression ends at a 200- or 400- grit step. These grits leave peaks on the top of the scratches that have zero lateral support. A topical sealer is then added and is placed into the gaps left by the scratching process. As the sealer settles and dries, it gives the appearance of being completely polished and is referred to as “polished concrete.”

This process is a much cheaper alternative to the mechanical process. The “topical polish” is exactly the same thing as putting on a coating. This method can be done with a burnisher, a floor scrubber and even a swing machine.

Decorative Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy floor coatings are hard wearing and durable solutions for both commercial and residential flooring. These floor coatings can be applied over concrete floors to provide a high performance and an attractive surface.

New technology now offers you the ability to choose almost any color. Metallic additives create a gorgeous surface and multiple colors can be randomly applied together revealing a swirling effect that is very unique and attractive.

Decorative Overlays

Overlays are a great option for concrete floors that are damaged or distressed. They are extremely durable and attractive. Overlays typically consist of a cementitious product, but some may be a combination of polyurethane and cement. They can be stained, mechanically polished, coated or stamped with any pattern you can imagine. Overlays are a great way to make an old concrete floor look brand new.

Dyes and Stains

The skies the limit when it comes to colorants. Multiple colors and patterns add to the beauty of your polished floor. There are a multitude of application techniques to add interesting effects when applying dyes and stains.


We can incorporate engraving into your polishing process to provide borders and logos. Engraving can turn ordinary concrete surfaces into slate, tile, stone, brick and much more.

Hardeners and Sealers

Hardeners/densifiers are products that penetrate into the concrete surface and react with the Portland cement and fills the micro-pores. This reaction creates a very dense surface that helps with ease of cleaning, abrasion, dusting, staining, and overall wear of your concrete surface. These products do not change the appearance of the surface but can generate a sheen after burnishing and actually becomes harder the more you use the surface.

Sealers are an option for some floors. Depending on your needs it may provide a shiny surface that is easy to clean. All sealers will need to be reapplied at some point depending on wear and tear.

Final Notes

Performance Concrete Polishing is focused on providing services that are related to concrete surfaces. These services are appropriate for new and existing concrete. The majority of services we offer are oriented to improving the aesthetic appearance of these surfaces. Decorative concrete services are the hallmark of this company, and we’d love to help you out with your next project!