Growing Trend for Modern Homes
The subject of polished concrete flooring in homes is a subject of debate. Some believe it gives interiors an austere, industrial appearance; others find it aesthetically pleasing and avant-garde, giving interiors an eye-catching lustre and chic modern vibe. It is a trendy alternative to delicate wood and high-maintenance tile. This and other qualities make polished concrete a fashionable flooring choice. In addition to its aesthetic advantages, polished concrete offers other, well, concrete benefits to a residence.
Here are some of the many reasons why polished concrete floors are a growing trend in home improvement:
They’re Versatile And Flexible
Concrete is a versatile material that can be modified to suit a myriad of preferences and transform concrete surfaces into a work of art. Grey may be the default colour, but concrete paste can be infused with coloured pigments to give it life and a smooth, supple texture. It can also be textured and shaped with objects (such as a trowel, paint roller, and stencil) much like stucco.
You can also embed objects in concrete. Existing projects use a variety of materials, including shells, coins, broken glass, leaves, stones, petrified wood, and bicycle gears. You can be as minimalist or as creative as you want when designing concrete surfaces.
Concrete has high thermal mass. This means that it has exceptional heat retention and the ability to radiate heat slowly—perfect for a chilly winter morning. This allows residences to save on energy costs for heating. This property makes concrete an energy-efficient option for modern homes.
Although the default finish is a matte grey, concrete floors can be buffed to a high sheen. A highly reflective surface can amplify lighting by up to 30%. You use fewer lighting fixtures, allowing you to save on your electricity bills.
They’re Easy to Maintain
Unlike tiles or hardwood flooring, polished concrete requires minimal maintenance. While concrete is porous, polishing it adds a protective layer that’s tightly compacted. It has ample density to repel water, oil, and other substances, effectively preventing stains and eliminating the need for waxing. Cleaning polished concrete surfaces is quick and easy and can be done by just running a mop over it with soapy water.
They’re Safe For Sensitive Lungs
Whether you live alone or with your family or pets, one crucial factor for choosing a flooring product is the safety of your household. Polished concrete is an excellent choice for families with allergies, asthma or other breathing issues, or are just prone to slips and falls:
- It’s allergen-proof – Polished concrete is resistant to dust, mites, moulds, and other allergens. Choosing this flooring option allows you to preserve the indoor air quality of your home and protects residents from health issues like allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and eye, nose, and skin irritation.
- It’s VOC-free – Unlike other flooring materials, polished concrete does not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The indoor air is kept free of toxic fumes and causes no direct or indirect harm to people or pets.
- It’s anti-slip – Polished concrete may be smooth as glass and possess a mirror-like sheen, but when kept clean and dry, it is not as slippery as polished marble or waxed linoleum. The process of grinding and flattening the floor enhances the coefficient of friction, thus reducing the likelihood of slip-and-fall accidents in the home.
It’s Very Cost-Effective
Concrete is an inexpensive flooring solution. Durable and highly affordable, it is the material of choice for developers in general construction. Simple concrete flooring with a basic design may cost $2 to $5 (CAD) per square foot. More elaborate designs that include surface polishing, scoring, advanced colouring, and other artistic embellishments may cost as little as $15 CAD per square foot up to $40 CAD. Although the more intricate designs can be pricey, polished concrete is still cheaper compared to hardwood or stone tiles.
Along with the low cost of maintenance and savings in energy bills, polished concrete is a cost-effective choice.
It’s Durable And Damage-Resistant
Polished concrete is durable. Dense and compact, it is resistant to moisture, which prevents it from developing cracks and attracting moulds. It does not degrade as quickly as traditional wood flooring, so it does not need to be replaced as often. Also, polished concrete surfaces are inherently hardy. While impact can crack tiles or dent hardwood, concrete can take a beating. It can endure scrapes, spills, and falling objects.
With proper care, concrete flooring can last a lifetime. It is ideal for high-traffic areas or areas prone to impact or moisture damage, such as a garage or basement.
It’s Environmentally Friendly
With the world geared towards sustainability, concrete is fast becoming the flooring of choice. Long-lasting, energy-efficient, free of toxins, and with the option to produce from recyclable materials, concrete is listed as an environmentally-friendly solution for businesses and homes alike.
Concrete can be used for more than just flooring options, as well. Modern techniques make it possible for developers to use polished concrete in other parts of the home, including:
- Walls – Concrete is an excellent sound insulator. It maintains the peace and quiet in the home, unmolested by outdoor sounds, like that of a lawnmower, while protecting the privacy of individuals. It can also act as a safeguard against the elements, like fire, earthquakes, and pests.
- Staircases – The non-slip property of polished concrete make them a safe choice for stairs. Fire-resistant, durable, and able to carry heavy loads, it can be used in various builds, including floating and helical staircases.
- Bathrooms – Moisture-resistant and non-slip, polished concrete is a safe solution for bathrooms. It also minimizes the threat of mould, which is typically drawn to areas like bathrooms that have high humidity levels.
Countertops – Whether you’re thinking of a kitchen countertop or a sturdy work table in the garage, polished concrete is the way to go. Because it is easy to clean, you don’t have to worry about spills—remove it easily no matter if it’s ketchup or paint. You can even have matching flooring and countertops for a more streamlined design.
The benefits of polished concrete as a building material for residences are manifold and multifaceted. If you’re thinking of renovating your home or are building one, consider this as a sound alternative to other flooring options. There is no limit to the number of ways you can beautify a space with polished concrete expertly installed.
For polished concrete services in Toronto (and other areas in Ontario), turn to Concrete Epoxy 101. We use cutting-edge dust-free technology that enables us to efficiently and effectively make perfectly measured floors. Fill in our online form or call us at (416) 838 5188 for a complimentary quote for your next home improvement project.
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