By James Gordon
It’s no secret that concrete flooring has long been thought of as the gold standard of flooring options for businesses, homes, and industrial spaces. Concrete floors are one of the most widely used styles of flooring across the globe, and there are many obvious (and not so obvious) reasons for this. Contractors installing concrete flooring are popping up seemingly everywhere, as the demand for high-quality concrete flooring has never been higher, so it’s definitely worth taking a serious look at the benefits of concrete flooring.
A big driver of this is how economical concrete flooring can be, and we’re not talking hack jobs here – we’re talking beautiful and long-lasting concrete floor solutions. If you’re in the market for new floors in your home or business, either bamboo or concrete flooring can bring a lot to a residential or office environment. Concrete floors don’t have to be drab and remind you of your dirty old high school cafeteria -- you know, the one where the flooring reminded you of a prison cell block and the cranky old janitor pushed a filthy mop and threw down sawdust down after that Lactose intolerant kid had too much milk and chucked?
Scarring visuals aside, your concrete flooring doesn’t have to be that boring and plain, this highly versatile flooring is capable of being polished to a sparkling gleam, or, it can come in the color of your choosing. While there are countless benefits to this style of floor, let’s talk more about some of the most important – these are the 10 benefits of concrete flooring.
One of the major benefits of concrete flooring is how incredibly eco-friendly it is. More often than not, concrete flooring is installed using already existing concrete slabs, so there is no need to cut and waste brand new stone. Don’t think this will make it look beat up and old – on the contrary! If it’s sanded and sealed correctly this can look great in any modern kitchen or living room, no need to hide your concrete flooring in the smelly old basement.
Also, oftentimes putting in a concrete floor just involves ripping and gutting whatever material was used for flooring on top of it…you’re already halfway there! If you’re concerned with your carbon footprint and would hate to waste new materials, then this is one of the better routes to go down when it comes to renovating your floors. Decorate it with area rugs that suit your taste and you’ll have one of the hippest rooms in town.
When it comes to flooring, it doesn’t get much tougher or more durable than concrete flooring. It is amazingly resilient and is able to standup to all sorts of pressure, whether it be in your kitchen, or in garages and warehouses where the concrete is subjected to stress from trucks, forklifts, and all sorts of hazardous materials.
This is why it’s often used in those places, as well as basements for storing old and undesirable things. Commercial areas will almost always have concrete flooring, as it’s the cheapest and toughest thing they can find. While it’s actually possible to chip and crack concrete flooring, you will have to work pretty hard or subject it to an exceptional force – these floors are built to last.
Keeping your new concrete floors in great shape isn’t going to require all that much elbow grease, as the effort needed to maintain them is minimal when compared to other styles of flooring. A mop and a mild cleaning agent are the most you’re going to need if you have some sort of spill or accident, and this should knock out most of those surface stains.
However, depending on the level of wear and tear – like maybe you run an auto shop or park vehicles that leak rusty oil in your concrete covered garage – you might have to have the concrete flooring sealed and waxed every 6 to 12 months.
Concrete flooring is the most versatile flooring you could possibly have, because even if at some point you decide to upgrade to something else, the new work can be done over the top of your existing concrete surface. Concrete can be used just as easily outdoors as it can in, and it makes for a great patio and other recreational areas. And, when polished it can even be used in your most elegant rooms without anyone batting an eye.
It can be utilized in hallways and transition areas, such as going from indoors to out. There really isn’t anything that can’t be done with this versatile material, and its versatility is one of the biggest benefits of concrete flooring.
One of the biggest benefits of concrete flooring is one of the simplest: it doesn’t cost very much. And, when compared to other types of flooring, the costs can be very low. So, if you’re being economical about your flooring and have a tight budget, your best bet is to install classic concrete floors. A square foot of plain gray slab isn’t going to cost you more than $6 or so, so if your contractor is asking for more than that you may want to start asking questions.
There are some higher-end options, but even those should not set you back more than $10 dollars per square foot. If you factor in the low maintenance costs (you can basically set it and forget it!) and its insane durability, there really isn’t another quality flooring option that can compete with concrete.
No other flooring is going to give you the kind of longevity you get from concrete – these floors can last between 50 to 100 years! This is assuming they are properly maintained when the tiny bit of care concrete needs to flourish is required.
Once the job is done (this too is much simpler than most flooring) you can look forward to having your beautiful and sturdy concrete floors for life.
7: Design Freedom
Many people think concrete floors and they think they will be plain and boring – on the contrary! One of the biggest benefits of concrete flooring is the virtually unlimited design options it comes with. You will have the ultimate design freedom when working with concrete floors.
Modern advances in concrete mixing allow for a ton of color options to suit any purpose, so chances are you’re going to see a variety that really pops to your eye. It can be made smoothed and polished during setting, in addition to having the capability of being manipulated into a host of design patterns. That’s why concrete flooring is used in modern homes almost as much as it is in parking garages.
8: Slip Resistant
While unfinished concrete flooring can be slick and slippery, if you finish it with some non-slip epoxy you will really see the difference. A well finished concrete floor is going to be one of the safer surfaces in your house to walk on, and you’ll never have to worry about young kids, or worse yet, the elderly, taking a spill.
Non-slip epoxy is most called for in homes with high traffic areas. You shouldn’t worry too much about this in garages and other industrial spaces, as those people will be wearing proper footwear, but the home can be an unexpectedly dangerous place – not anymore!
9: No VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)
You may or may not have heard the term VOC before. Don’t worry if you haven’t, as VOC simply stands for volatile organic compounds. Luckily, concrete flooring is VOC free, and it’s one of the biggest benefits of concrete flooring.
Oftentimes, hardwood floors, vinyl and synthetic carpets come loaded with volatile organic compounds, and if that is something you worry about, stick to concrete flooring. It’s another big win for concrete on the eco-friendly end of the spectrum.
Can you really beat the beauty of well-done concrete floors? Sometimes it's just as simple as that: polished concrete floors look stunning. No need to overthink this one, as jaw-dropping beauty is something most everyone can understand.
And, with the added versatility and design freedom that comes with concrete floors, you can rest assured there will be a flavor everyone can support.
The benefits of concrete flooring are immense and this style of flooring should be right at the top of the list for any home or office renovation. No matter what you’re tastes and style preferences, you’re bound to find something you love in concrete.
Finally, remember that concrete isn’t just for parking garages and prison blocks, it can make for some of the most spectacular performing floorings on the market.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com