Concrete mixers are a staple piece of machinery in all construction realms, but can also have a few practical uses for the everyday homeowner. Concrete mixers can even be used to revamp your home’s garage and set you off with a brand new and sturdy floor, ready for any overcoats, design ideas and room repurpose ideas. This quick guide will show you just how you can go about using concrete mixers to spruce up your garage, with a few extra design tips.
STEP 1: Using concrete mixers for the foundation
Whether you already have a concrete garage floor that just needs a revamp, or whether you have an old garage floor made with some other outdated material, either way you should still be able to spruce up the floor with a fresh concrete base. In order to do this, you will need to measure the area of the garage floor, and follow the appropriate ratios on your chosen cement. When choosing cement, you can decide if you would like a simple regular grey (ideal if you plan on painting over or adding topcoats) or if you want to add some depth and texture you could incorporate larger stones which would give a speckled effect.
Once you have chosen the perfect cement, add it to your concrete mixers, following the ratios, and wait while your concrete mixers do all of the hard work for you, churning until you have a seamless batch of smooth concrete, ready to be poured. If you already have a concrete floor, but it is worn out and has a few cracks, holes and discoloured patches, then using a concrete overlay, mixed with concrete mixers, is the perfect way to redo the room. Regardless of whether you’re adding a simple overlay to existing concrete or hoping to create an entirely new garage floor, there are a few things you need to do first.
Before you attempt to lay a new floor using concrete mixers, you will first need to move everything outside of the garage, including your car. For this period that you are planning on redoing the garage, it may be worth finding safe alternate parking for your vehicle/s, or if it’s the weather that you’re concerned about, you can also use concrete mixers to build a simple car port, which could come in handy for guests in the future, or if you want to repurpose your garage space, say into a gym or office. Make sure that everything is off the walls and floors and that you are left with a completely empty shell of a room, with a barren floor waiting for its makeover.
Now that the room is empty, you will need to give it a thorough clean to ensure that your concrete layer can go on smoothly without any dirt, grease or oils under it. The first step in cleaning the garage is to sweep all of the dirt and larger particles out, and then use a vacuum to get any finer dust and dirt that you may have missed. Now, depending on the material of your current floor, you can use a mixture of dish soap and hot water, with a dash of bleach, to mop away any grime or residual dirt, paying specific attention to the floor under where the car was parked, as there is often a build-up of grease.
Once you have a fresh, clean and dry floor, it is time to pour the concrete. If you have anyone around the house who is willing to lend a helping hand, now would be the time. Cover the floor in a thin layer of concrete (1 inch) ensuring that it is evenly spread into each corner of the room, you can use a long squeegee to ensure that the concrete mixture is thoroughly dispersed along the floor. It’s now time to let your floor dry thoroughly, for a minimum of 24 hours, while you mull over floor coating options.
STEP 2: Coating and covering the floor
Once you have used concrete mixers to create a beautiful new floor, you may think it’s perfect and appreciate the minimalistic feel, or you may want to add an extra furnishing to take the floor to the next level. When it comes to adding something on top of your concrete floor, which needs to completely dry by now, you can essentially choose between coating the floor or covering the floor. Coating is essentially a liquid, usually paint or epoxy, that is applied in a thin layer to the floor, which can add colour, sealants and sheens, and are usually applied using a paint roller. Covering refers to layering a specific material on top of the concrete floor, to act as a new floor or floor cover.
Epoxy is often confused for paint and falls under the coating section, but it differs from paint in that it hardens using a chemical reaction, in contrast to paint which hardens using evaporation. Epoxy can be used directly onto concrete and be slightly tinted, transparent or have colour and is generally a durable and sturdy coating that will last a while. It is important to keep in mind though that genuine epoxy is different from epoxy paint, which uses one part latex to strengthen the paint, but is still not as strong as an actual epoxy coating would be.
Paint is another coating option which is incredibly effective if you’re looking for vibrant or solid colours, and is brilliant if you are looking to cover uneven colours on your floor or if you would like to create a contrast with the walls. Concrete floor paint is also popular because you can add other layers as you get tired of specific colours, so it can keep up with the restless aesthetic homeowner. A good quality concrete floor paint, ideal for concrete that has been mixed in concrete mixers, is one that has oil-based or latex products which leave a beautiful non-slip smooth finish. The concrete floor paint you choose should also be resistant to stains, solvents and heavy foot traffic.
Mats fall under the covering section and are a brilliant idea If you’re looking for something that upscales the room. Mats are also incredible if you are looking to turn the room into a gym or office. For a home gym, black or grey textured mats will look very clean and simple, and will also provide extra grip while you’re training. These mats are usually made out of a type of plastic or rubber which is durable and flexible, and they can be rolled out easily onto any concrete, treated or not.
Roll on mats can be made to fit your room, but you can also opt for the cheaper option of purchasing individual pieces, which fit together like a puzzle, and create a cool textured effect on the floor. Mats are also incredibly easy to clean and if you are looking to give them a deep clean, you may even be able to temporarily remove the mats, give them a thorough wash, and set them back in position.
The next and final covering option for a concrete floor, mixed with concrete mixers, is floor tiles, which can really bring a room together and make the garage appear very classy and elegant. For tiles that you are planning on laying directly over an existing concrete layer, you can indeed use regular vinyl tiles that you would use in the home, but if you are planning on storing your vehicle in the garage then you may want to invest in sturdier tiles. These garage specific tiles are usually made our of rubber, plastic or wood composite and have locking edges so they are incredibly easy to apply to the concrete floor.
STEP 3: Final Touches
Now that you have created your concrete floor using concrete mixers, and have decided on the perfect floor cover for you, it is time to add some final touches and spruce the place up. Depending on what you will be using the newly renovate room for, be it for cars, a gym, home office or storage, there are so many options! Firstly, in order to make the room appear tidier and less cluttered, it will be ideal if you could utilise the dead space that is the walls and ceiling.
If the room will be for your car but you always have tools and supplies scattered around, then consider either a peg shelf wall or a simple DIY nail wall. For this, nail either hooks or single nails (the head must protrude out at least one inch) to the wall in a linear pattern. If you don’t want to nail directly into the wall, consider using corkboard against the wall and set the nails up in the board instead.
You can use these hooks to hang up all of your tools and supplies in a neat, organised and aesthetic fashion, and it also helps to be able to see all of your tools so you know exactly what you’re grabbing. You can either use the natural curvature and crevices of the tools to hang them, or get a bag of cable ties and tie a cable tie to each tool, leaving a small hoop that can be hooked onto the nails. For smaller items and supplies that can’t solo hang, you can buy a light pen holder, stationary holder, or even shower caddy to hang on the nails, and then you can place items inside.
If you are into fitness and love a good home workout, and are hoping to turn this renovated space into a home gym, then there are a few wall related options for you too. Consider covering one of the walls in a floor to ceiling mirror, which will make the whole room look bigger and brighter, and will let you check your form while you’re sweating it out. If you are using items such as fitness balls, medicine balls and yoga matts, then consider creating a strong shelf at the top of one of your walls.
You can do this, in the top quarter of one of the walls, by attaching a string approximately 15cm from the wall, all the way to the other wall, and then another string approximately 30cm from the first string. Picture a double washing line just below your ceiling. You can now store the balls, mats and anything else that is stable up on this makeshift storage line.
If you have a treadmill or any larger machinery, consider placing them in the corners of the room which will make the room look less busy. If you train with weights it would be a good idea to add a weight rack along the side of the room, which you can make yourself out of wood or and old shelving unit, or purchase a new one specific for weight storage.