A few years ago I was faced with a problem. I owned a very sweet French bull dog name Rudy who suffered greatly from an anxiety disorder. Problem: he hated to be left alone and noises scared him. My carpet was the dumping ground for his anxiety disorder–literally, I came home to urine and/or feces daily. I tried crating him and he bruised his snout badly trying to push between the bars. I tried medication, confinement in the kitchen and even a dog door but still found accidents on my living room carpet.
I desperately needed a new Austin floor after 6 months of owning him. He had gotten in the habit of soiling the carpet, so to break the habit I needed to remove the old carpet which, regardless of all the cleaning, still smelled to the dog like the place to use the bathroom. So I ran through my options: new carpet, laminate, hardwood, or tile. After much research of costs and materials, I was disheartened. Carpet was definatelly out–I don’t believe in repeating mistakes. I couldn’t afford hardwood. Tile was cheaper and durable, but labor intensive and difficult for me to install myself. I certainly couldn’t afford the installation of tile over such a large area.
Laminate, although affordable and easy to install, is prone to warping if wetness leaks into the core. I even considered vinyl sheeting, like most people have in the kitchen or bathroom, but really didn’t want the look in my living room. The more attractive vinyl planking was not yet an available flooring product. I even thought about alternative products such as cork and linoleum, both way expensive for a large installation because they are not commonly chosen as floor coverings, and therefore few manufacturers produce them at low prices. But then I had a brain storm, stained concrete! After doing some research I discovered, that if I did the work myself, it would cost me under $300 for my entire living room. After getting the carpet up and patching some of the holes, I judged my slab in good enough shape to be stained.
Now that the job is done, I LOVE my floor. People tell me my concrete floor looks beautiful, just like stone. But to be honest, I would recommend using a contractor over a DIY project to anyone wanting to follow in my footsteps. I have an art degree, so understanding color and surface absorption is my forte. However, as talented an artist I may be, I am not a contractor and have limited spare time. It took me, what would have taken a crew a few days, 3 months to complete. However, that being said it has been 4 years since I changed my floor to stained concrete. It still looks good and and still get unsolicited compliments from all who visit. And that sweet, tinkler Rudy is now my ex-husband’s responsibility.