Updated: May 15, 2019
The first time concrete was presented to me as a flooring option, my initial reaction was run. I was looking at different apartment options, and I came across one of those new modern complexes that look straight out of Blade Runner. Concrete flooring? At that moment, I was thoroughly convinced that they were trying to sell me a storage unit in lieu of a place of dwelling. It wasn’t until I went on a tour and laid eyes on the concrete myself. For a lack of better words, I was floored. The black stain on the concrete gave the floor a gorgeous presence far from what I had imagined. Was I in a showroom for luxury vehicles or a catwalk in Milan? Or was I simply looking at studio lofts in the suburbs? I was immediately taken away by the presence and sheer beauty of stained concrete. I became a fan for life.
With proper application and a vision for something great, concrete flooring can be an amazing addition to your home. It’s amazingly sturdy and built to endure the most extreme conditions. Let’s explore some of the more concrete selling points to keep in mind before selecting it as a flooring option in your home.
The same properties that give concrete their durability are also responsible for making it extremely easy to clean and maintain. Once the concrete has been laid, set and properly sealed, dirt, dust, grit, stains and scratches are almost impervious to the concrete surface. Sweeping and mopping once a week is all that is expected of you. If you haven’t already decided on installing a baseboard along with the concrete floor, you might want to consider it. Just think of what mess a mop is going to leave behind the crevice of the concrete and the wall. Yuck! It will also aid you in pulling the look of your floors together and make your choice appear intentional.
Looking for a flooring option on the economic side? It is approximately $2 to $6 per square foot to polish a plain grey slab. Cost of material and labor for the installation of the concrete can be negotiated with a contractor or a local home renovation authority if you are looking to have fresh concrete poured. If you already have pre-existing concrete floors in your home (subfloor, garage) then a simple polish is all you’re going to need to turn those drab grey floors into something illustrious and eye-popping.
More complex finishes are going to cost you around $6 to $10 per square foot. Staining concrete has become a popular trend over the last couple years, and the final color is only dependent on the imagination of the homeowner. If you’re willing to spend a few more dollars, with $8 to $18 per square foot you can achieve beautiful decorative faux finishes such as a marbled effect.
Endurance & Flexibility
Concrete that has been properly maintained and polished can last over a century. If you’re looking for a flooring option that’s going to withstand the test of time, concrete is the way to go. Over time concrete will crack and develop character, but with a unique finish and proper, care you can celebrate the beauty of this timeless giant.
Don’t like the wet look? Not a problem. Silicone-based finished can provide you with the security of a proper finish and the desired matte look once it has set. Patterns can also be cut and stamped into concrete. Doing this will allow you to achieve a more industrial effect. You can even have the concrete stamped and stained to look like faux wood. The possibilities are truly endless.
Concrete sample from Houzz.com