There may have been a time when the thought of having concrete or cement floors in your home might have seemed awful to some people – like they were living in the basement. That’s all changing and fast, now. Concrete is becoming a floor option of choice for many designers and pioneering homeowners. The key is in getting the finish that works for your design ideas. There are many options, leading to many questions: what about staining concrete floors, polished concrete flooring or concrete paint colors. We may not be able to answer all your questions in this quick primer, but hopefully we can give you some good concrete floor finishing advice to get you started.
6 Concrete floor finishing tips
Coloring and Staining
1. Color Your Concrete: There’s a great range of colors to draw from for painting a concrete floor to give it just the feel you need for the room. Consider the effects of the natural light, color you’ll want for the walls and furnishing to be in the room. Once you hit upon the right color you can pretty surely get it.
2. A World of Design Options: Chemical stains are applied to new or old and plain or colored concrete surfaces. They are particularly popular for kitchens and family rooms. Stains accent the natural characteristics of concrete so create an organic look with a rich patina, producing warm, variegated coloring effects that blend particularly well with Old World or Tuscan-style design schemes. You may also want to use concrete dyes along with chemical stains. These provide a broader range of colors, such as yellows, reds, and blues. The versatility of stains and dyes that are available pretty much assures that you can create just about any kind of look that you can imagine. You can create the high-end look of flooring materials such as marble or granite, with no limitations in color or finish effects.
3. Remember Though: Keep in mind, there are a few drawbacks to using concrete stains and dyes. Acid stains come in a limited color palette, generally earth tones. Also, they can be unpredictable in terms of their coloring effects. So, be forewarned, you should be prepared for wide color variations. Stains and dyes also have some transparency and aren’t entirely opaque. They will not hide or mask flaws in existing concrete.
Durability and Sustainability
4. Stands the Test of Time: If it is properly installed there’s no floor choice that is going to give you superior durability than concrete. It is simply among the most durable materials on the planet. With proper maintenance a concrete floor will last a lifetime. Whether you’re thinking in terms of long range costs or environmental impacts, concrete floors also give the best sustainability outcomes, too. Carpet, tile and even wood floors eventually need replacement, which uses up resources and creates disposal problems. There are many other reasons, though, why concrete is the green way to go.
5. Waste Not and Want Not: Concrete can be made with waste by-products, reducing the consumption of raw materials. The main material used to produce the cement in concrete is limestone and it’s the world’s most abundant mineral. Concrete can also be made with fly ash, slag cement, and silica fume, all of which are waste by-products from power plants, steel mills, and other manufacturing facilities. They also can be produced from recycled products, such as crushed glass, bits of recycled plastic, marble chips and metal shavings. Indeed, concrete itself can be recycled at the of its service life.
6. Warm and Clean: Concrete floors can optimize radiant heat transfer. This makes them ideal for working with radiant floor hearing systems. When combined with these systems they contribute to cleaner home air quality. Forced air systems cause dust and dirt to be re-circulated into the air. The coils, heated by electricity or hot water, that are embedded in concrete floors, with radiant heating, warms the air without stirring up dust particles into the air. Such floors also are often a central component of passive solar home heating designs. The concrete absorbs the heat of the sun during the day and releases the stored heat as needed at night. Finally, concrete floors won’t support the growth of toxic mold.
If you’re considering concrete floors, there is a lot to think about, staining concrete floors, polished concrete flooring or concrete paint colors. In future posts, we’ll have more to tell you about how to use concrete floors; there’s too much to squeeze into this one post. Hopefully, though we’ve given you some food for thought, not only on some how-to tips for concrete floor finishing, but about the benefits this exciting development in the home improvement field might offer you and your home.