If you're turning your garage into a living space, you typically need to redo the floors. That process can involve everything from concrete grinding to laying carpet or floorboards. There's something surprising that can help throughout the process: play sand.
1. Play Sand for Stain Removal
Ideally, you want to start with a clean surface. Most dirt and debris can be easily swept up, but when it comes to oil stains, you may need to use a bit of play sand. If the stain is wet, pour the sand directly on it. Then, let the sand absorb the oil. As the sand gets darker, you can sweep it up, and much of the stain should be gone.
2. Play Sand for Removing Glue or Mastic
If you've ever had carpet or flooring glued to your garage floor, you may need to use a concrete grinder to remove it. The grinder smooths the surface so you can get ready to lay your flooring.
However, the sticky substance may gum up on the blade of the grinder. That can slow down the grinder and prevent it from working effectively. To prevent this from happening, spread a thin layer of play sand over the floor before you start grinding. Then, as you move the concrete grinder over these areas, the sand will mix with the glue. That reduces the stickiness and allows the grinder to work more effectively.
3. Play Sand for Sharpening Grinder Diamonds
Even if you aren't removing carpet mastic or any other sticky residue, you may still want to put play sand on the garage floor. In particular, you should take this step when you notice that the grinder is no longer cutting at full strength. The play sand provides abrasion that sharpens the diamonds.
4. Play Sand as Underlayment
After the grinding is done and the floor is ready, you have a few options. You can use the concrete grinder to polish the floor and embrace the aesthetic of concrete flooring. Alternatively, you can put an underlayment on the concrete, and you can lay flooring on top of that.
In most cases, the concrete grinding should have taken care of any unevenness in the garage floor. However, if you find some unexpected dips or depressions in the floor, you may want to fill them with play sand. Make sure that doesn't affect the warranty of your flooring—some manufacturers like that approach while others advise against it.