Concrete — The Decorative Potential Hidden Underneath the Surface
Concrete flooring is a growing trend in private and domestic use and is increasingly being employed to enhance the visual appeal of our living spaces. This is not just due to notable short and long term financial benefits, but also due to the vast and ever expanding aesthetic options it offers. In contrast to our traditional idea of the cold warehouse or factory floor, where its application used to be more functional than visual, it is now becoming the go-to alternative to the boring old traditional flooring options we have been stuck with for so long.
Benefits of concrete flooring
One of the largest benefits of making use of concrete flooring in your home is its inherent affordability. When initially installed, there will more often than not be a concrete floor underneath the pre-existing wood, tile, carpet, or other surface. This can easily and affordably be polished into a beautiful floor surface in itself for about $2 to $6 per square foot, or $5 to $8 if you are going for a more ornate color and design.
The maintenance cost thereafter is even less, as concrete has long been prized for features like durability, compressive strength and scratch resistance, and an inexpensive sealing or wax coating would only be needed every 6 to 12 months depending on wear.
Because the seal that is applied leaves it with a protective layer, it is very easy to clean, it is stain resistant, and can last indefinitely as long as it receives its very conservative amount of required love and maintenance. The natural compressive strength of concrete means that it is incredibly durable, but it is also very forgiving when it comes to the day-to-day attacks of semi-sharp objects like your favorite stiletto heels.
In addition to the personal benefits to be gained from concrete floors, it is also an extremely environmentally friendly choice, as it requires the bare minimum in terms of extra materials required to achieve a finished floor. For Houston’s fastest growing concrete company Texcon Ready Mix, the demand for concrete flooring has been skyrocketing.
The best part about having a mind of your own is the ability to change it, and this is where the concrete floor becomes your best friend. Because concrete flooring is pre-existing underneath most wood, linoleum, carpet, tile, and basically any other floors, going from the tiles you have grown tired of, to a brand new concrete floor design is easy, but just as easy is laying any kind of traditional flooring back over it. This is an especially prized characteristic when a house gets new owners.
When it comes to your own interior design preferences, the color, pattern and texture options that concrete affords you will essentially turn decorating your home into playing The Sims with the infinite money cheat activated. Imagine how a concrete floor can elevate a bedroom.
From integral colors that can be mixed into the concrete (and combined with other coloring methods), to acid and water staining that make use of chemical reactions with the concrete itself for more natural stone look, to dyeing and painting that afford wider and more intense colors; the color palate and combinations are truly infinite.
To add even more to the possible variations in look and feel, texturing can also be applied in numerous ways. Highly detailed patterns and motifs can be achieved with etching, or more simple linear etchings can be used to make it look like tiled or even wooden floors.
Even if you are going for a more rustic style, cracks can be used, especially in combination with stone walls, to achieve an aged and antiquated appearance. And if texture isn’t your thing, a high gloss finish can always be easily polished in.
The more practical reasons to opt for concrete floors are almost as varied as the looks it can achieve. For example, concrete flooring can increase ambient lighting, which has large scale, long term financial and environmental benefits.
For Houston Foundation Repair, those with homes that double up as commercial or public areas, like running a pre-school from home for instance, it is one of the most hypoallergenic flooring solutions and can be treated with a sacrificial wax coating if it were to be in a high-traffic or high-use area.
From room to room it is also used for specific applications:
- In hallways it is not just perfect because it is so durable, but used right it can serve as a neutral transition to seamlessly blend different visual areas or rooms together.
- In the kitchen, a sealed concrete is virtually stain-proof and easier to clean than that “As seen on TV” frying pan in the cupboard.
- In the bathroom it is easy to clean, it can once again be sealed to be water proof, but most importantly, a textured floor will be naturally slip-resistant
Even when used in the garage it can be mixed with steel fiber for enhanced durability and in cellars concrete perfectly complements stone walls.
When considering all of this, it is not hard to imagine concrete floors becoming a standard in homes and other structures around the world within the next generation or two. The costs are minimal, the benefits plentiful and the potential for individual style is limitless.