There’s a lot to love about concrete floors. Minimalist, masculine and sleek, they aren’t just for the construction site anymore.
Who would have thought that a slab of concrete would look so good in a domestic setting? Turns out, loads of people are discovering the benefits of concrete. It’s clean and sharp, and easily softened with the right furnishing.
In fact, concrete is the most versatile flooring option on the market right now. From a grungy man cave to a sophisticated pad, this type of flooring will suit almost any home.
Advantages Of Concrete
To be frank, it just looks awesome. The stark nature of concrete is genius at making small spaces look bigger. This is thanks to a lack of grout lines (tiles) and joining seams (floorboards). With a dose of sunshine, the floor also lightens up the room.
Given that there are no cracks and crevices, concrete is super easy to keep clean which makes maintenance an absolute treat for the man with little time (and spades of laziness). Concrete is also allergy-friendly meaning asthma sufferers and allergy-prone bros can breath a deep sigh of relief because dust and dirt have trouble sticking to concrete.
And if concrete were a dude, he’d be a tough son-of-a-bitch. Concrete floors will stand up to the harshest treatments from spills to smashed iPhones. Unlike wood or carpet, high traffic areas will not fade or become discoloured. Again, win-win.
On the aesthetic front concrete can also be personalised to your choosing from a wide range of colours, finishes and aggregates to achieve your desired result.
Disadvantages Of Concrete
There aren’t many but they do exist. What most will notice first is the comfort. Concrete is not as comfortable underfoot as carpet, wood and even tiles.
On top of that they’re also chilly during winter so socks or slippers are usually a must. Most significantly though, cracks can occur if the concrete isn’t laid properly. They also appear over time as your house ‘settles’.
Other than that the price of concrete might seem like a cheap option, but due to the prep work involved (you’ll need a professional) it can end up being one of the most expensive flooring options, especially if you want stencilling or other decorative add-ons.
Cool Concrete Flooring Methods
There’s more than one way to get concrete flooring which doesn’t involve a cement truck backing into your lounge room with great prejudice. Here are the three methods you need to know.
Steel Trowelled: Perfect for your basic, run-of-the-mill concrete floor. Depending on how good your trowel man is, there may be some marks left in the finished floor.
Burnished: Burnishing takes the steel trowel method and kicks it up a notch. After the concrete has set, a topcoat is added to give the floor a shiny appearance. Wax, resin coatings or liquid polishes are generally used.
Honed: Honed floors are smooth as a baby’s bottom. To achieve the durable results, floors are sanded with industrial-strength abrasives. This grinds the concrete down to a smooth, matte finish.
If you’ve decided to go ahead the harder route then make sure you know your options before laying down some serious coin. These are the types of concrete finishes that are available on the market today.
Paste polish: This will ensure the aggregate is invisible and the colour is consistent.
Deep polish: Perfect for modern industrial spaces, deep polish exposes aggregate.
Salt and pepper finish: Get this look by erasing a top layer of concrete to expose large pieces of sand aggregate.
Stained Concrete: Much like stained wood, this option is available in all the colours of the rainbow.
Coloured concrete: Coloured and polished floors are the newest design trend to emerge in 2017. Concrete dyes are still pretty expensive, so seriously consider this option before you lay down a red floor that seemed like a good idea at the pub on Friday night.
Unlike a simple surface stain, the colour penetration in a dyed concrete floor makes for more VIVID and striking floors.
Distressed concrete floors: A popular alternative to floorboards. An artificial ageing process makes distressed concrete ideal for industrial and contemporary homes. Raw and rugged, this is one of our favourite finishes.
Want to feel like a king? Why not have your initials stencilled into the concrete? Logos and stencils of all shapes, sizes and intricacies can be achieved. The only downside is that you can’t alter decorative work.
Whereas with a wooden floor can be sanded back and re-stained, decorative concrete work is permanent, and expensive, so sleep on it before making any big decisions.
Decorative options come in the form of plastic moulds, polyurethane lace stencils, and stamps (to achieve the look of stone, brick or wood).