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Published on May 15, 2021

Advantages and Disadvantages of Residential Concrete Flooring

People are initially "floored" by the elegance of decorative concrete flooring when they see it for the first time. However, when the love-at-first-sight reaction wears off, skepticism about the practicality of concrete flooring, especially in a home setting, is common. Many homeowners wonder if the concrete is a flooring material they can deal with in the long run, aside from its aesthetic qualities.

Concrete is rigid and solid, which is why it is commonly used for streets and driveways. It has the power and toughness of a highway as a flooring material. A concrete floor cannot be scratched or dented. It can also be used as a fashion statement. Gray, uninteresting concrete can be transformed into the focal point of your home using dyes and etching techniques. The price varies from as low as $2 per square foot to as high as $30 per square foot, depending on the finishes.

Concrete is, without a doubt, a rigid material. The weight won't be an issue if you're installing new concrete floors on grade. If you want to pour concrete over a joist-supported subfloor, you'll need to consult a structural engineer to see if your foot can withstand the weight. Concrete that is light in weight may be a viable option.

Advantages of Concrete Flooring

Heated floors: You can add radiant heat — electrical cables or hot water tubes embedded in the concrete to build warm, comfortable floors — to new construction or concrete poured over an existing slab.

Low Maintenance: Concrete floors are easy to maintain due to the same properties that make them so resilient. Dirt, gravel, stains, spills, and rough impacts are all repelled by adequately sealed concrete floors. What they need is a bit of sweeping and damp mopping to keep them looking fresh. Because many residential floors see little foot traffic, a quick sweeping and wet mopping routine will keep concrete floors looking new for years. Concrete floors can be made even more resistant to stains, chemicals, and abrasion by using a decent sealer and a coat of floor finish or wax. Floor mats, both within and outside of entryways, can help minimize repair and wear and tear in high-traffic areas, including entrances and foyers.

Beautiful Design Options:  Concrete floors have gone from drab to opulent thanks to modern concrete finishing techniques. Concrete comes in a wide variety of earthy colors thanks to the addition of dyes when the concrete is still wet. Surface treatments for concrete floors, such as acid stains, concrete stains, and paint, transform simple concrete into stunning, one-of-a-kind finishes. Rubber stencils can also be used to add texture to concrete. Finished concrete may be dyed or colored to look like ceramic tile, natural stone, brick, or even dirt if suitable dyes or coloring agents are used.

Durable: Concrete floors are highly durable due to the intrinsic strength and toughness of concrete. Scratch and stain resistance are also features of a correctly constructed and sealed decorative base, which will last for decades.

Pet-friendly: Concrete is one of the few flooring products that are friendly to both pets and their owners. Since it is scratch-resistant and easy to clean, concrete is one of the most pet-friendly flooring options.

Disadvantages of Concrete Flooring

Environmentally suspect:  Although concrete is a non-toxic, biodegradable material, cement manufacturing consumes much energy and emits carbon dioxide. Concrete has the most embodied energy compared to other building materials like steel, wood, and glass.

Cracking: Whether you like it or not, even professionally built concrete will crack over time. The vast area of a slab would withstand temperature, moisture, and settling changes. Cracks can be hidden with colored cement paste and patching materials. If cracks are an eyesore, micro toppings may conceal them under a smooth, fresh surface that can accept various decorative treatments such as staining, stamping, and stenciling.

Hardness: There's no doubt that concrete is abrasive underfoot, which some people dislike. It's also unforgiving — a dropped glass would almost certainly shatter — which may be a problem if there are young children or older adults in the building. The use of area rugs can alleviate concerns.

Moisture: Moisture migrating up from underneath the slab in below-grade basements will render concrete unacceptably damp and destroy any surface treatments, such as paint. Concrete sealing is beneficial, as is addressing any exterior issues such as leaky gutters and low soil drainage.

Slippery: Concrete floors, like other hard flooring surfaces such as laminate, marble, or ceramic tile floors, can become slick when wet. A high-gloss sealer can reduce traction, but this can be easily remedied by mixing in a non-slip additive before applying the stain or sealer.

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