Concrete Paint Catastrophe: How it All Began…

To even think about how this all began makes my head spin.  Our pool house had smurf blue carpet adhered atop terracotta colored tile.  Smurfs may be able to pull off this atrocious color, but floors cannot.  Without much thought, we (meaning me) ripped off the carpet and demolished the tile.  Though it went much faster than expected, we were left with a bare floor topped with residual from its previous covering.  Stumped and nearly twiddling our thumbs, blank stares occupied our faces as we stared at Pandora’s Box.

Why such a problem?  The whole thing.  Everything about it, really.  The flooring for that space is truly troublesome if you bother to put much thought into it (which we didn’t).  Keeping in mind that we are completely spent regarding any financial resources to proceed with something obvious and simple, like tile.  We needed to be cheap.   Super cheap.  And functional.  And pretty.  Hmmm…

We did have enough tile left from renovating our basement (caused by nasty sewage backup!) to cover half of the 200 square feet needing to be finished.  Option challenges: 1.) it would cost approximately $400 to purchase the other half.  2.) That price does not include installation, and the room is hexagonal in shape (I cringe to think how much tile cutting would be involved!).  3.) It’s slippery when wet, proving to be a liability issue.  4.) After looking into this option, it wouldn’t work anyways.  It needs to be tile that can endure exterior conditions (there is not heating and cooling in this space).  Moving on…

We even considered laminate which was close in resemblance to hard wood floors.  It pained me to consider this option, since I still have a nightmarish image of  ‘Grandma’s’ linoleum, my pain only intensified with the knowledge of the cost!  We could have tiled our floor for less.  NEXT!

Jeff and I have one unresolved debate between the two of us: who kissed who first.  Till the day we die, I know our opinions on this will always oppose each other.  I believe we have just encountered another to add to the list: carpet vs. paint.  He wants carpet, I want paint.  Carpet, in my book anyways, has several strikes against it.  1.) The marine grade (yes, you will notice several references to marine products throughout my blog – with a family boat business and ingenuitive husband, several products get creative uses in our home) carpet was expensive – even at cost.  Not break the bank expensive, but maybe nearing $300 + install.  2.) Marine grade set aside, ‘exterior’ carpet that can be bought at local DIY box stores would be highly doubtful to withstand the test of time.  I do not want to replace it every 3-4 years due to wear and tear.  3.) I want something that can take a good beating!  We have a 5 year old son, 2 dogs, a cat, and the two of us that love to work outside.  On the (very) few occasions we have had people over to swim (in between projects), I invite 5 families and all of a sudden there are 17 + kids in the pool.  I plan to stay here a long time.  I do not want to invest energy, time, and resources into something that will not be in it for the long haul.  I presume those few pool gatherings are just a glimpse of the traffic the pool house will receive as Bentley grows up.  (Stains anyone?)  4.) I apologize now if the following statement offends anyone, but we are under 70.  It reminds me of old people!  Though I love them, I do not want to dress nor decorate in similar mannerisms.

Ahhh…paint.  Not that this particularly seemed all that exciting of an option to place much energy in fighting for, but I knew that if there is a will, there is a way.  I was absolutely determined to find a way to make concrete amazing.  Logically speaking, paint seemed to be the answer.  1.) It fit the budget.  2.) It will last.  3.) It’s trendy (stained concrete in restaurants, lofts, super stores, etc.).

Though staining was my original want, it wasn’t an option.  We had ‘ghost marks’ from the grout of the tile we just removed.  Concrete and grout are both porous materials, allowing for water to flow between the two.  Over time water will deposit minerals and such, creating areas of build up.  What does that mean?  It means the areas with built up minerals will react differently to the stain.  The marks will NOT be masked by the application of it.  Instead, they will become more pronounced.  Lovely (not really).  Oh, and I was informed after had decided not to do this anyways that many of the floors that are stained have to be ‘refinished’ every couple of years.  I’m not sure if this is true or not.  If it is, I’m even more glad we did not go this route.  I’m looking for low maintenance, not more.

So, as you can see, we are left in a real pickle.  I suppose this presents the ‘age old question’: is no flooring better than ugly flooring?

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