An old flooring option became a new craze around the beginning of the pandemic. Concrete has historically been used for driveways, garages and basements in residential settings. However, concrete flooring in homes might just be the next big thing.
It’s especially popular in minimalist home design for its easy maintenance and simple appearance. However, you can customize concrete flooring to accommodate almost any style.
Table of Contents:
I. How to Use Concrete for Interiors
Depending on your situation and desired finished look, you have three options for adding concrete flooring to your home.
- 1) New build poured slab: If you have the luxury of building your home from scratch, you can opt for concrete flooring from the beginning. Work with your team to customize your slab however you choose, with several color and texture options.
- 2) Polished existing concrete: A thorough cleaning and polishing can update an existing slab. You’ll be locked into the color of the original concrete, but the higher-shine finish will give it new life.
- 3) Overlaid design: An overlaid design adds a thin new layer of concrete over your slab so you can make new style choices. Pick a new color to match your style. You can even imprint or paint on a pattern if you want a bolder statement.
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II. Concrete Flooring Finishes
Plenty of homeowners looking to install concrete floors fixate more on the color or mix-in options for the finished product and forget about the available finishes. However, the finish may have the most significant impact on the overall appearance of your floors.
- Matte: This finish is currently very popular for its rustic or boho look. Matte concrete floors resemble natural stone or tile and are great at hiding daily dirt and debris. They also don’t scuff as easily as a polished floor.
Since they don’t need to maintain a high level of shine, you don’t need to reseal them as often. The major drawback with this finish is it tends to stain more easily.
- Polished: Polished floors have an immediate wow factor. After pouring the concrete, your installers will gradually wear down the surface with diamond grit sanders until it reaches your desired sheen. You can choose a semi-gloss or high-shine finish.
Polished concrete floors tend to get slippery quickly and require frequent maintenance to keep up with their shine. However, they are more resistant to staining and reflect natural light around your home.
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III. Benefits of Concrete Flooring in Homes
Concrete floors are an unexpected design choice that pairs simplicity with a wow factor. They’re also easy on your wallet and the planet.
- Low Cost
Concrete can give you a similar look to natural stone or tile at a fraction of the cost. Generally, basic concrete floors with one color and a simple polish run between $2 and $12 per square foot. Adding stains or patterns will cost a few dollars more per square foot. Elaborate designs, like faux marble or terrazzo, cost even more; however, the price is still substantially less than using the real thing.
You probably wouldn’t expect concrete to be considered eco-friendly, due to its industrial connections. However, most homes already have a concrete slab, so when you tear away the floors needing replacement, all you need to do is clean and polish what’s already there.The process of making concrete uses less energy than making other forms of flooring. Also, any leftover materials can be recycled and used on another project, causing very little waste.
Concrete is extremely hard. Homeowners with pets, kids or a lot of foot traffic will appreciate its resistance to scuffs and scratches. You can live a lot of life on these floors and barely tell. In contrast with many other flooring options, concrete can last decades.
- Easy to Maintain
Concrete floors are incredibly easy to maintain if you seal them properly. You’ll need to sweep them regularly, like any other hard surface, and damp mop occasionally. Depending on the recommendation from your installation professional, you may also need to have the floor resealed every one to three years to keep it in top condition.
One of the best parts about concrete flooring is that it doesn’t need to look like sterile concrete if it’s not your preference. You can choose a design to mimic almost any other option, especially natural stone and tile. You can even add subtle or bright colors to match your taste.
IV. Cons of Using Concrete Flooring
Concrete floors aren’t for everyone. You should know the possible drawbacks of using them in your home.
- No Cushion
Depending on your preferences and lifestyle, concrete’s hardness may be its downfall. Any breakable item you drop will shatter, and the floor feels hard and cold underfoot without area rugs. Also, families with older adults or young children should be careful to prevent falls.
- Slippery When Wet
If you choose a high polish for your concrete floor, it will get extremely slippery when wet. Therefore, it may not be ideal for bathrooms or kitchens. If you decide to move forward with concrete floors in those areas, lay down rugs and wipe up spills immediately.
- Potential Cracks
Concrete tends to crack over time due to natural settling and adjustment to temperature changes. You can have a professional patch and conceal the cracks as they happen, but you should be aware that it can change the look of your floors slightly.
- Excess Moisture
Concrete poured directly onto the soil is likely to absorb excess moisture and bring it into your home, causing mold and mildew to grow and destroying any paint job on the slab. To prevent this, you must seal the bottom and top of your concrete flooring and renew the topcoat every few years.
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V. Is concrete flooring for you?
Concrete floors are trendy at the moment, but they aren’t for everyone. Their design aesthetic and cold nature can be a turn-off for some. However, if you like the minimalist look or don’t mind layering with rugs, you may enjoy them.
Keep the pros and cons in mind as you’re thinking about adding concrete floors to your home. With their eco-friendliness, low cost, low maintenance and clean and stylish appearance, concrete floors could be your ideal new flooring.
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