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Question DetailsAsked on 7/17/2016

What's the most frugal flooring option (materials & labor) for a dry, condensation-free concrete slab?

Mixed use (living, dining, office, kitchen) room in a small ground floor condo in a very dry environment.

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Depends on your area of course - particularly labor costs, but generally (ruling out hardwood because of low water tolerance, and carpet because in kitchen/dining use as that gets wet and grundgy way too quick and wears very quickly under dining room chairs), just sealed or painted concrete (though will require resealing every couple of years and paint will wear off, especially in front of sink and under chair feet) followed by the more common living room/dining room economy linoleum or sheet vinyl - preferably seamless. Or plank vinyl flooring (though joints accumulate dirt fast and not quite as good in areas where it will likely get spilled on at times and need fairly frequent mopping.

More artsy and longer lived than sealers or paints but quite a bit more expensive - tile flooring, and epoxy or polyurea coating on concrete or polished or stained concrete.

Totally cheapest is concrete sealer or floor paint that you do yourself - just be sure to follow cleaning instructions well and let dry at least 2 days before any significant shoe traffic on it. Can commonly follow recommended cure time in sock feet, but not with shoes - pretty much all manufacturers are grossly overoptomistic about cure times.

Be sure tables and chairs and moveable chopping blocks have appropriate pads on feet to prevent gouging of the flooring.

You can find ballpark common cost ranges for various products in the Home > Flooring and Home > Carpet and Home > Tile links in Browse Projects, at lower left.

My recommendation - a seamless sheet product like linoleum or vinyl. And get a chair mat (the roughly 4x5 plastic sheet mats from office supply places) for under desk chair, or build a platform to go under the chair to protect the flooring - I use tongue and groove connected 2x8's to make about a 4x5 foot mat to roll the desk chair around on, but you need to watch knee clearance and elbow height at desk. Plywood and OSB and particle board does not work worth beans - splinters too quick.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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