Concrete flooring is one of the most affordable and practical yet elegant types of flooring any property can have. Imagine the same incredible durability as those on commercial buildings, massive bridges, and highways right in your home.
That’s why concrete floors can be applied on:
- living space flooring
- pool deck flooring
- and other utility areas.
Benefits of Installing Concrete Floors
Concrete is not a good insulator, but it’s a great material for retaining heat during the day that it slowly emits at night. It has a high heat capacity because of the thickness of the slabs.
Floors are hard to soundproof, but people who use concrete on the second level of their homes enjoy the sound barrier it gives. Unlike other flooring options, concrete deadens footfall and flanking noise considerably between floors. They also won’t creak as wooden floorboards would.
Nothing happens to concrete at temperatures lower than 200 deg F. Micro-cracks don’t start to form until around 300 deg F, and concrete doesn’t become unstable until 750 deg F. Only at 1000 deg F does concrete disintegrate.
Compare that to other flooring materials and it’s an unfair contest.
If you’re already building your home on a slab, you don’t have to add other materials to go on your floors. You won’t need tiles, hardwood planks, carpeting, or other extra expenses. All you get is 3 to 4 inches of thick poured concrete flooring that’s stylized and sealed.
There is a concrete floor for every budget. A polished and sealed slab can go as low as $2 per square foot. Now that cost goes higher if you want a more elaborate design. It can be as high as $18 to 20 per square foot.
That’s still cheaper than other materials. Given the length of time you’ll be enjoying your concrete floors, this cost is nothing as it will need less maintenance and replacements in the long run.
Unlike vinyl or linoleum, concrete flooring will never split, warp, or bend. It won’t stain as carpets would. You only need to mop them with some soapy water once a week at least depending on usage. Businesses like restaurants that suffer a lot of foot traffic and spills are cleaned and scrubbed with soapy water daily.
For heavily soiled concrete floors, a degreaser is the most effective method of cleaning. A mild degreaser can be used indoors, while high-strength degreasers can work effectively even on old industrial oil stains.
Healthy and Safe
Are you tired of pet dander, dust mites, or dust sticking on your carpets? Choose concrete flooring instead and get rid of those allergy-inducing germs and particles forever. It’s healthier for everyone in the family.
Worried about cold floors during winter? A 4-inch concrete floor is ideal for hydronic in-floor heating. This system uses heated liquid in tubes to radiate even warmth throughout the house. This system costs less than forcibly blowing warm air throughout the home. Heated concrete floors are also quiet and clean as they don’t use ducts that can blow those allergens back into your home.
If you’re concerned about slipping, there are concrete floor non-slip sealers we can use. A non-slip grit powder is added to the sealer and dries like usual. There’s not much difference to the look but you can feel the traction when you walk on it.
These non-slip sealers can also be used outdoors as any slip rating can be achieved.
Textures can also help prevent slippages. Stamped concrete floors create beautiful patterns that can be colored and sealed. Its beauty and safety rolled into one. We will discuss stamped concrete flooring more in our next section.
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As we mentioned, concrete floors don’t have to look cold and plain. They can be finished and textured any which way you want. They can take on the look of wood, brick, stone, and slate.
This is the reason why a lot of commercial establishments prefer installing concrete floors. Not only can it withstand heavy foot traffic, but it can be incorporated with colors, designs, logos, and textures that complement the space well.
We have listed down some techniques that give concrete floors a sense of warmth and luxury. The many colors and styles of concrete flooring will make you change the way you look at it forever.
Polished concrete flooring can either be grind and seal or mechanically polished. Both are attractive and commonly used but with lots of possible variations.
The grind and seal technique strategically adds colorful stones as aggregate into the concrete mix. Aside from the usual pea gravel, decorative aggregates such as crushed recycled glass, iron filings, crushed marble, quartz, crushed recycled concrete, and colored plastic make for very interesting and eye-catching combinations on the floor.
The top of the poured concrete floor is then dried and ground back to reveal as much stone as you’d like to see. It can be nil (or hardly seen), minimal random, or full exposure. It is then sealed with your choice of sealer.
Mechanically polished concrete floors are the same as any poured concrete floor except that the top is extra hardened to endure multiple polishing processes. This type of polished concrete floor does not rely on sealers to make the surface shine. As with the grind and seal, aggregate can be exposed to the level you desire but it might take longer to achieve this look with mechanical polishing. This type of polished concrete flooring is great for indoors and will not require reapplying sealants in the coming years.
- Acid staining
Concrete floor stain is nothing like paint. Whereas paint is applied on top of the concrete, acid staining is a permanent color that results from the chemical reaction of the materials in concrete— such as limestone, cement, and minerals— with the stain. That’s why there’s a little unpredictability when it comes to acid staining concrete floors, but that’s also where the uniqueness of each surface comes in.
- Water staining
Water stains are less vivid than acid stains, but look no less luxurious because of the evenness of the hues. The best thing about concrete flooring water stains is that they’re low on VOC’s so they’re safer to use. There are dozens of colors to choose from.
The advantage of stamped concrete floors is achieving a realistic wood, stone, slate, tile, or paver look but without the same time and expense required. Stamped concrete floors look elegant and can be applied indoors or outdoors.
- Granite finishing
The granite epoxy finish entails scattering color chips on a still wet epoxy finish. Of course, you can choose the color of the epoxy as well as the chips. They make for some really interesting combinations that look realistically like granite.
Sealing is the secret to long-lasting concrete floors that resist water, chemicals, UV rays, scratches, dirt, and dents. Finished, stained, etched, colored, painted, and stamped concrete floors can all be sealed whether they’re located indoors or outside of the home.
Some of the best sealers for concrete floors include water-based, solvent-based, epoxy, metallic epoxy, acrylic, or polyaspartic coating.
Polyaspartic is a hybrid sealer that resembles polyurethane and is known for its anti-corrosive properties. It’s used when installing concrete floors in industrial settings. Many contractors prefer this over epoxy-based sealers.
Depending on the amount of foot traffic and the type of sealer we used on your floors, they will have to be resealed every 3 to 10 years to maintain their pristine condition. But don’t worry, re-application is fast and guarantees a new-looking concrete floor each time.
One of the questions we’re usually asked about concrete flooring is molds. Yes, concrete floors can get molds if they’re subject to constant moisture and rain exposure. But removing molds from concrete floors is easier than removing them from carpets or insulation. All you need is to use a fungicide. In industrial buildings, a mold infestation can be removed by dry ice blasting.
To get the most sustainability out of installing concrete floors, get a contractor near you that uses a good amount of recycled content such as aggregate and fly ash. This reduces costs and carbon footprint from production.
Rochester Hills Concrete is the name to remember. We’ve been installing concrete floors all around Oakland County and beyond for many years. The work we’ve done is a testament to our expert craftsmanship as these floors are still beautiful and being enjoyed today!
We are an environmentally conscious company that’s concerned about quality and customer feedback.
Rochester Hills Concrete serves residential, commercial, and industrial clients all with the same high level of standards. If you have any questions regarding concrete, concrete flooring, repairs, and new builds in general, give us a call and we’ll gladly help you.
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