Concrete flooring has made the transition from edgy to elegant. Once found only in industrial settings, it’s quickly becoming the answer for an affordable, green alternative.
There are a lot of misconceptions about concrete flooring out there, and a lot of advantages that few even consider.
Concrete is hard
Concrete is cold
Concrete is boring and grey
Concrete is only for industrial uses or design style
It’s hard. True, it doesn’t give under bare feet, but then again, neither does any other stone, such as tile or slate. In addition, depending on the finishing technique, it’s not abrasive on bare feet.
It’s cold. Again, true, but so are a lot of other flooring options, even hardwood. One thing about concrete many don’t know is that its thermal properties give it the ability to store and radiate heat. If your home relies on passive solar heating it can help store warmth and reduce your heating bills in the winter. In the summer, cool floors make a room more comfortable, also leading to reduced cooling costs.
Another plus is its compatibility with radiant heating, the process of burying radiant heating cables within the floor itself. This allows the home owner the option of controlling the heat and keeping the floors toasty warm.
It’s grey. Well, it can be. It can also be any color imaginable. One of the biggest pluses to concrete flooring is its versatility. Almost anything you can imagine can be brought to life in concrete flooring. There are additives available, everything from recycled glass to seashells. There are color techniques ranging from acid dyes to stains. Concrete can be etched, stenciled, overlaid and polished, creating looks that put high end flooring to shame.
It’s industrial. Again, it can be. But it can be used with any design style, depending on the finishing treatment. It looks equally well in a metal loft or a room with exposed wooden beams. Concrete flooring is the best option for affordable self expression.
It’s eco-friendly. Concrete flooring is also eco-friendly. There is no more durable flooring around. It can be made from limestone-the most common mineral on earth. It can also be made from waste products like slag cement and silica fume, byproducts from power plants, steel mills and other manufacturing processes.
It’s easy to care for. There’s no need for fancy equipment to take care of it. Just periodic damp or dust mopping is needed to keep it looking beautiful.
It’s cost effective. Compared to other flooring options it comes out on top every time, if you consider the fact that it will never need replacing if it’s properly maintained with a variety of different protectants and sealers. Actual cost per square foot varies, but usually ranges from $2.50 for a basic, one color, one finish application; to $15 for a high end, custom look. Even the high end look comes out well below other pricier options like marble and terrazzo flooring.
It helps reduce allergens. Carpets trap dust mites deep within their fibers where vacuums cannot reach. For people with allergies to dust and pet dander concrete flooring can be a life saving option.
All in all, decorative concrete flooring is long awaited option in housing and commercial flooring. The benefits are many and the costs are few.
Tom “The DIY Guy” Wesley is your quintessential DIYer (aka, “Do-It-Yourselfer”), and shares his experiences and expertise through his growing portfolio of “do-it-yourself”-oriented websites to help make your home remodeling or makeover easier and more efficient. Learn more about concrete flooring and other ways of decorating concrete.
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