What Are Concrete Floors?
A concrete floor is a type of slab floor that is typically made from poured concrete. Concrete floors are also known as cement floors, although cement is technically an ingredient of concrete. Concrete flooring can be used in practically all rooms of a house, though they are most commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
Concrete can look very plain by default, but its looks can be greatly improved by using various finishing techniques. It’s also relatively inexpensive, at least when you don’t need anything fancy, but don’t let that fool you – concrete can be an exciting addition to your home’s interior.
Concrete Floor Advantages
- Can fit any budget
- Unlimited design options
- Requires little maintenance
- Will last for decades
- Widely available
1. Can be designed for any budget
One of the best advantages of concrete flooring is that it’s very flexible in terms of pricing. You can easily fit it into a small budget, but you can also take advantage of a larger budget and invest in a more attractive-looking floor.
2. Unlimited design options
Many people wrongly associate concrete flooring with plain looks, but the reality is that you can go for a large number of designs that can look great in different environments. You don’t necessarily need a modern-styled home to take advantage of what concrete offers.
3. Requires little maintenance
Once your concrete floor is installed, it requires very little maintenance in the long term to keep up its good looks. As long as you work with professional installers, it will take a long time for the first cracks to develop, and even those are easy to address.
4. Will last for decades
High-quality concrete flooring can easily last for more than 50 years without maintenance. It’s the perfect choice when you’re looking to make a long-term investment in your home and want something that won’t take much effort to maintain.
5. Widely available on the market
You don’t have to search hard to find a construction company that can offer you a good selection of concrete floor designs while guaranteeing the high-quality of the final product.
Concrete Floor Disadvantages
- Require occasional resealing
- Can be difficult to patch
- Not great for cold climates
- Doesn't work with all interior styles
1. Requires occasional resealing
You might have to reseal your concrete floor every now and then to prevent small cracks from developing into larger problems. However, that’s about all the maintenance you’ll have to do in the long run if your original installation was of a high enough quality.
2. Can be difficult to patch
Patching damaged concrete is not complicated by default, but it gets trickier with concrete flooring. Preserving the original looks can be a challenging task that requires the assistance of experienced specialists. Usually, this is something you’d order from the company that originally installed your floor.
3. You may need area rugs for comfort and warmth
The most notorious downside of concrete flooring is that it’s not a good choice for colder climates, at least not without additional work. A rug can help keep your feet warm in the winter, but you should look into more advanced whole-house heating solutions if you want to keep things balanced.
4. Doesn’t work with all interior styles
As flexible as concrete is, its applications are not unlimited, and it doesn’t automatically work with all interior styles. Depending on how your home was designed, it may not be a suitable option, at least not without some additional work.
Best Places to Use Concrete Floors
Kitchens are an excellent place for concrete floors. Most people prefer to find a good balance between utility and aesthetics when designing their kitchens, and concrete is often the perfect middle ground for that. In addition, concrete doesn’t stain easily, making it resistant to spills. It’s also easy to clean, further adding to its beneficial properties in a kitchen environment.
It should be no surprise to see mudrooms on this list. The utilitarian nature of this part of the home means that most homeowners prefer to use something that can last for a good amount of time instead of prioritizing aesthetics. Mudrooms tend to see a lot of foot traffic – more than the rest of the house in most cases – which also makes concrete an ideal choice for them.
Easy cleaning is one of the top priorities when designing a new bathroom, and concrete is an excellent material for that purpose. It’s also not prone to becoming slippery when wet, which can add to the bathroom’s safety. Concrete also tends to match the overall aesthetics of most bathrooms, regardless of the specific furniture and fixtures used.
Concrete is a classic choice for basement flooring. Many people don’t even bother with any special finishes and just use a traditional pour, perhaps with a dyed finish, to make it stand out from the rest of the room a little bit. Concrete can be very resistant to dropping heavy objects and other problems that commonly occur in basements.
Concrete is also popular in garages for similar reasons to basements. Garages are often designed for utility first and foremost, making concrete an ideal choice. It can also withstand heavy use over time, for example, multiple vehicles being driven over it daily.
We can’t forget commercial settings when discussing using concrete floors, either. This is a classic environment for this type of flooring. Most commercial buildings see heavy foot traffic all day and must be easy to clean and maintain. Concrete offers clear advantages in each of those categories.
Concrete Flooring Cost
Concrete floors vary a lot in price, depending on what design you’re looking for, what rooms you want to cover, and how much you’re ordering. It might be possible to get a bulk discount with some suppliers. In general, you should expect a cost of around $2 - $5 per square foot for the most basic designs, going up to $30 - $40 for more advanced versions.
Concrete Floor Design
Overlay Concrete Floors
Overlay concrete flooring is created by pouring a small amount of concrete over a base slab to fully cover it. The concrete floor is usually not very thick but combined with the structural strength of the underlying slab, it can create a very solid floor. It may look a bit basic, but it gets the job done.
Polished Concrete Floors
Concrete can also be polished. Depending on the coarseness applied, it can get a gleaming, high-end look. Combined with some minor texturing, this can be a very stylish choice for many types of rooms and environments.
Acid-stained Concrete Flooring
Acid-stained concrete resembles marble, and some people often confuse the two. As the name implies, this finish is created by pouring weak acids over a concrete floor. The result is a random pattern with interesting shapes that can easily be the centerpiece of a room otherwise lacking in decoration.
Dyed Concrete Floors
Dying concrete is a very basic way of finishing it, which simply applies a certain color to the concrete. The color usually has no shading variation and is completely solid, although it can be modified to have some texture to it.
Texturized Concrete Floors
Texturized concrete can be created in various ways, but the result is always the same – concrete with variations in its texture that break up its monotonous look and create something exciting to look at.
Concrete Floors Bottom Line
Concrete floors are not just about utility, even though some people see them that way. When used right, concrete flooring can be a fantastic design element, complementing certain styles better than most other types of flooring. If you want a good mix of low maintenance, relatively low price, and high durability, concrete is one of the best options you can go with.