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Concrete Floors

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Concrete flooring is an amazing flooring option for residential floors. Many homeowners are unaware of all of the benefits to concrete flooring, and they don't realize that it is an easily accessible and affordable option. Concrete floors have been used for decades for commercial applications in stores and office buildings; most of those beautiful and shiny floors in department stores are finished concrete floors. Recently, the use of concreteas a residential flooring option has become more popular as more beautiful and economical techniques have become available, and word of mouth has spread about the amazing benefits ofconcrete floors. Concrete flooring is so durable that it has become a great option,economically.

While you may pay a bit more upfront for the decorative concrete part of installation, you will see that in the long run you will have virtually no maintenance or need to replace concrete floors. It lasts longer, performs better and saves you money in the long run.

No other flooring options provide as much choice in style and design. You can literally make any design you want with concrete flooring. Once the concrete floor is installed, a concrete finisher or artist applies the artistic finish to the floor, which is what creates a beautiful look (as pictured above). You can choose to have the floor stenciled with borders or other designs or to replicate the look of ceramic tile or marble, among the many stylistic options. Concrete staining or polishing is another way to finish off the concrete floor. Your concrete contractor can provide you with the best staining options available.

Concrete floors can be finished off in the sheen of your choice: high gloss or low gloss. A concrete floor installer and designer will work with you to make the best decisions for your floor so that the final product is stunning. No two concrete floors are alike. Create a unique style and design that is unmatched and special for your home.

The three most popular ways to finish interior concrete floors are: staining and dyeing; polishing; and overlays and toppings.

Concrete Flooring Facts

Temperature:
Some worry that a concrete floor will be cold and hard on their feet. The truth is that finished concrete floors are no colder or hard-feeling as other common flooring types like ceramic tiles, stone and marble. There is really no difference. In fact, having a concrete floor can be a benefit in the summer, as it might bring down your air conditioning costs since you will feel a bit cooler. Concrete floors also absorb the heat from the sun, so this is an added benefit in wintertime. Many homeowners who install concrete flooring also choose to install radiant heating cables underneath the concrete. This provides a little extra warmth tothe floor and the room. This can also decrease your energy bills as it is more efficient than running a forced-air heating system. As with ceramic floors, the use of area rugs, curtains, wall fabrics and more can bring added warmth to the room.

Sound:
Concrete floors are no louder or echo-enhancing than other hard flooring surfaces. Using rugs, wall fabrics and more, as mentioned above, will not only help keep in the warmth, but it will also help decrease the sound.

Non-Slip Surface:
Especially with an added glossy finish, concrete floors can seem as if they are slippery.But the truth is that as long as your floor is installed by a professional, it should not be slippery. Standard practice dictates that a non-slip additive be added to the final finish of the floor.

Durable and Low Maintenance:
As mentioned above, there is virtually no maintenance with concrete floors. The amount of traffic your floors receive will determine the amount of maintenance it will need. A concrete floor with normal traffic will probably need a reapplication of the finish every 2 years. Keep in mind that concrete is the most abrasive-resistant and durable floor. Proper installation also means that you won't have to worry about moisture vapors. Vapor barriers should be installed under the concrete slab to block moisture and dampness. Keep in mind that hiring a professional concrete floor installer is the best way to ensure that you won't have problems later.

Cost:
The cost of concrete flooring will depend on how much detail and time your concrete finisherneeds to complete the floor to your desire. In newly constructed homes, concrete floors are about half the price of hardwood floors. Other factors that affect the final cost of your concrete floor project include:

  • Size - Larger jobs (1000 sq. ft) will lower the price per square foot
  • Detail - Is it a basic application of stain or dye or more detailed design?
  • Preparation requirements
  • Time frame - The longer your project takes, the more it will cost
  • Products used - Is the hardware store brand or professional grade?
  • Experience level of the installer - A more experienced professional concrete artistwill charge more

Other Benefits

Healthier:
Concrete floors are an excellent option for those who suffer from allergies. Simple sweeping, dusting and mopping of concrete floors provides a much healthier option than carpet. There is much less dust and fewer dust mites around concrete than in carpet.

Green Flooring Choice:
The production of concrete flooring uses less energy when compared to other flooring types, especially carpet. Concrete does not involve the use of trees as hardwood floors do, and itis generally environmentally friendly.


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