What is Concrete Overlay?

Everything You Should Know from Kansas City Concrete Experts

Decorative Concrete Techniques / July 1, 2020

There’s nothing more frustrating than looking down at your concrete floors and seeing cracks, stains, and other unfortunate signs of distress. While you may be thinking, “do I need a replacement?”, there’s another option that could save you time and money. A concrete overlay gives your floors the restoration it needs so that you gain the floors you deserve. 

As leaders in the concrete flooring industry, our team at Big Red Decorative Concrete has seen it all. That means we know exactly what it takes to transform your worn down floors into something you’d be proud to show off. 

If you’re wondering whether a concrete overlay could work for your home, keep reading for everything you need to know. 

What is a concrete overlay?

Concrete Overlay - Kansas City

A concrete overlay is basically a layer of concrete that’s poured over the concrete you already have. This helps to fill in cracks and repair damage without going through a total flooring overhaul. Overlay thickness depends on your needs and what you want, though a professional will probably make recommendations after inspecting your floors. 

There are also different types of concrete overlay systems that range in color, durability, and function. That’s what makes concrete overlays great for outdoor patios, pool decks, and even indoors. 

We would like to add that not every home can benefit from a concrete overlay. Some floors are simply too worn for resurfacing. If you have severe cracks, sunken concrete, and other excessive damage, you may have to get a concrete replacement instead. Of course, you don’t have to make this decision on your own, especially if you’re not sure what to look for. For those in the Kansas City area, you can always contact our team, and we’ll be happy to help you out!  

How to choose the right concrete overlay

Stained Concrete Overlay - Kansas City

Choosing the right concrete overlay for your floors can be a little difficult, but as long as you know what to consider, you’re on the right path. Based on our experience, here are a few things you should keep in mind when deciding on concrete resurfacing. 

How sound are your current floors?

Again, you can always call a professional to help you out with this, but take a look at your floors. Are there cracks throughout the entire floor or are they concentrated in one area? Have places begun to settle? Are you noticing spalling? Answering these questions can help you determine how thick or thin your overlay should be. In addition, you want to check for excess moisture buildup that could show in the form of frost heave (when moisture freezes and pushes the concrete up). 

Will your floors be exposed to harsh conditions? 

If you live in Kansas City, we all know how unpredictable the seasons can get. One day it may be warm and the next there’s a blizzard. In those instances, you’re probably going to want to choose a stronger overlay just in case—better safe than sorry. 

You also want to consider traffic. For instance, if you run a warehouse where machines, vehicles, and people are constantly moving around, a thicker concrete overlay will probably work best. Some systems are better suited for high-traffic areas than others.

How do you want your floors to look?

This is the fun part, and feel free to bring out your inner designer. Many people don’t realize that concrete overlays aren’t just another basic layer of gray. In fact, the possibilities are almost endless. You could go for a stamped overlay, which can give expensive tile flooring a run for its money. Or you could find an overlay that mimics wooden planks. An experienced professional can take your wishes and make them come to life while integrating your floors seamlessly with their surroundings. 

Important things you should know about concrete overlays

Concrete Overlay - Kansas City

Before you dive into a new flooring project, you’ll want to make sure you have as much information as possible. We believe that when our customers are informed about overlays, they are better prepared for the process and maintenance. 

Concrete overlays come with different textures

Depending on the tools a professional uses to lay down your concrete, you could end up with super smooth floors or something more heavily textured. At Big Red, we use tools such as hand trowels, squeegees, stamps, and more to give your floors a unique touch that perfectly matches your home or business. Truly it’s up to you and what you want. 

Concrete overlays can be extremely long lasting

As long as you take care of your floors, a concrete overlay can last for years and years to come. Keep in mind that a floor is only as good as its installer. If an installer doesn’t seal your floors properly, that could definitely impact how long your floors will last. That’s why it’s important to do your research to find the right installer for the job. If you’re in the Kansas City area, Big Red Decorative Concrete can help you achieve the look you’re after while increasing the longevity of your floors. 

Concrete overlays are quick to install

Since you’re replacing your floors, you don’t have to worry about waiting weeks upon weeks for your overlay to be ready. Some overlays cure pretty quickly and can withstand foot traffic within hours. Unfortunately, we can’t give you an exact amount of time it will take to complete your overlay, because it all depends on which type you decide on (along with its finishes). However, when you work with a professional, he or she will outline an expected timeline. 

Concrete overlays are better left to professionals

Even though overlays are quicker to lay down than a concrete replacement, it doesn’t mean you should do it yourself. Mixing, priming, and installing the concrete takes expert care. You want your floors to look better once they’re done, but a poor application could quickly leave them worse for wear. 

Our top picks for the best concrete overlay systems in Kansas City


Concrete Overlay - Kansas City

We’ve spent years providing the best overlay systems to our customers, and we’ve found that some systems simply stand above the others. Specifically, the brand Sundek has offered long-lasting concrete overlay systems for decades, and that’s why we lean on their products to provide pristine results for our customers. From our time laying down floors, here are our favorite Sundek systems that will take your floors to the next level. 

Sundek Classic Texture Overlay System 

The Sundek Classic Texture Overlay isn’t called classic for nothing. In fact, this system was developed over 40 years ago and revolutionized the concrete repair industry. If you’re looking to expand the lifespan of your old and worn concrete, this system could be your solution. We love this system because it comes with a broad range of repair abilities and design options (and 16 Signature Finish coat colors)  to truly make your floors your own. As a huge bonus, you can apply this system on: 

  • Pool decks
  • Driveways
  • Retail entries
  • Parking garages
  • Patios
  • And more! 

Sundek Tuscan Overlay System

Just because Sundek has a classic version, doesn’t mean they’re not coming out with more new and innovative systems. The Tuscan Overlay System is a “thin-set” system that creates a gorgeous finish through hand troweling and custom staining. To kick it up a notch, you can even opt for taped or hand-carved stones, tiles, or stencils (and it looks like the real deal!). 

In addition, the Tuscan Wood Plank System simulates hardwood floors without the cost of expensive wood planks. After being sealed with a High Traffic Urethane coating, you’ll find that this system is sure to last a long time. 

We recommend this system for a variety of flooring needs, including: 

  • Patios
  • Walkways
  • Retail
  • Restaurants 
  • Pool decks

Sundek Sunstamp Overlay System

Great news! If you love the look of stamped concrete, you don’t have to start all over with completely new flooring. Believe it or not, this stamped overlay system can give you the same look without the tear out mess. With a stamped overlay, you can add style and value to your home that will keep your neighbors in awe.

Boosting the look and feel of your floors is as easy as adding color, textures, and unique borders. For the indoors, custom design options can replicate hardwood floors and tiles that are great for basements, bathrooms, and more. Along with interior installations, the Sunstamp System works well for:

  • Patios
  • Driveways
  • Sidewalks
  • Front stoops

Discover the best concrete overlay in Kansas City at Big Red Decorative Concrete

When it comes to concrete overlay, don’t you want to give your floors the best treatment possible? At Big Red Decorative Concrete, we serve businesses in the Kansas City metro area on both sides of the stateline, and our results speak for themselves! Our wide variety of concrete overlays that range in color, chip blends, and finishes. We can even add different designs and stamps to make your floors all your own. 

From start to finish, we pride ourselves on having a seamless customer service experience, so all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your upgraded concrete floors. 


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