Projects & Improvements

Before and After: A Budget Fix for a Tired, Old Linoleum Floor

published Mar 13, 2018
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(Image credit: Lily Ardor)

Haven’t we all had a kitchen with this floor at some point—a faded, yellowed, aggressively patterned linoleum that’s nearly impossible to decorate around and incredibly expensive to replace? What kind of floor should it be replaced with that would be worthy of that beautiful paneling, table, and chairs?

(Image credit: Lily Ardor)

A concrete floor is a fabulous solution! But installing a concrete floor is surely a major undertaking best tackled by a professional, right? Lily Ardor is the brave soul who “concreted” this floor without the use of specialized—and persnickity—products, unlike my faux concrete countertops. Lily achieved this enviable look through two coats of a strong primer, three different grey paints, and three coats of a water-based sealant. The results are wonderfully creamy, with a glam look that seems to suit this dining room even better than real concrete might have.

Lily explains the reason that a faux concrete floor was chosen over wood or tile, and it’s a great reminder that many standard-seeming flooring options simply aren’t an option for certain homes—as well as certain budgets, of course:

I’m sure you’re starting to put the pieces together on why we chose to go with a polished concrete look for our floor . . . Since this is a mobile home and the floor has a lot of movement, installing tile was out of the question as well as installing new wood floors. It’s too costly for the condition this house is in. Gosh, it would be like a domino effect. Replace the floor and the whole house crumbles. HAHA! Why a concrete look? Let just say… I LOVE a good modern industrial look in any home!

(Image credit: Lily Ardor)

If you’re interesting in creating this floor in your own home, definitely check out Lily Ardor’s post, which included detailed instructions, product recommendations, process shots, and a video. It also includes instructions for dealing with different types of floors, how to prep your floors (shoutout to TSP Heavy Duty Cleaner!), and lots of little tips and tricks. The photos of how Lily achieved that unmistakable concrete look—all the details, irregularities, and subtle color variations—are particularly interesting. Do note that unless you’re doing a tiny patch of floor, Lily estimates that, with drying times, this project will take at least a week. But the results seem totally worth it! And if you’ve made your own concrete floors using any technique, please share your experience in the comments!

Thank you, Lily Ardor!