Concrete is all the rage.
Especially in commercial establishments such as restaurants, bars, lobbies and anywhere there’s a lot of foot traffic.
But businesses and commercial spaces aren’t the only places you’ll see concrete these days.
It has even become popular in homes. The colors, textures and patterns lend a more contemporary look on both the floor and also kitchen countertops.
There’s a lot to learn about this building material.
That’s why a guide to concrete floors like this one will come in handy.
Like everything else, there are pros and cons to using it in your home or business.
But before we dive into the good stuff and the not-so-good, let’s explore the different types of concrete available for your space.
And, of course, we have to talk about cleaning concrete floors, too.
Let’s get down and dirty with this guide to concrete floors.
Types of concrete
4 types of concrete to use in your home or business
- Acid staining.
- Painted overlays.
When it comes to concrete, you’ve got options. Take a look.
This is a thin concrete overlay that’s applied on top of existing concrete to add color, textures and new life to floors, walls and outdoor spaces.
2. Acid staining
3. Painted overlays
These can be applied over old, ugly concrete – either on interior or exterior surfaces. You can stain, paint or etch these overlays, turning an eyesore into something beautiful.
Stamped concrete is created by adding a pattern to a concrete interior/exterior floor or wall.
The concrete can replicate stones or be made to look like hardwood. The options are endless.
Regardless of the type of concrete look you’re attempting to achieve, concrete floors have a lot of pros and a few cons.
Let’s dig in.
Pros and cons of concrete
When you’re looking into building materials for your home or business, you want to get a full picture so you can make an informed decision.
Here are the benefits and the drawbacks of concrete floors.
Pros of concrete flooring
- Durable and lasts a long time.
- Withstands heavy foot traffic and heavy loads.
- Attractive, stylish and fun.
- Low-maintenance and easy to clean.
- Protects against moisture.
- Can be heated.
Concrete flooring pros
- Concrete is durable and wears for a really, really long time.
- Concrete withstands heavy foot traffic, as well as heavy loads, such as equipment moving across the floor.
- It’s attractive, stylish and fun. Colors, patterns and textures can be added to concrete, making it a one-of-a-kind beautiful finish for any room.
- When sealed properly, it’s a low-maintenance floor that’s easy to clean.
- It can act as a protectant against moisture penetrating the floor when it’s sealed correctly.
- Concrete floors can be heated when newly constructed or poured over an existing slab
Cons of concrete floors
- They can be chilly. Concrete floors (that aren’t heated) are cold for bare feet.
- They’re hard. They can be uncomfortable underfoot, especially for employees who are on their feet for eight hours a day. Plus, a dropped glass won’t survive when it hits the hard concrete floor or counter.
- Concrete is not a comfortable place to fall. it can cause serious injury, especially for elderly people.
- They can crack. Even though it’s durable, even the most professional installation cracks due to temperature change, moisture or settling of the ground
- When not properly sealed, it can absorb moisture which could alter the look of the concrete and, as we mentioned above, cause the floor to crack.
- Another issue that comes up when the floor hasn’t been properly sealed is that the floor can get dirty quickly. Dirt, grime and grease get stuck in the grooves or patterns of the concrete. This situation requires the services of a professional cleaning company for cleaning concrete floors. (Hint: HammondKnoll!) Also, when not properly sealed any coloring that is added can be stripped, causing an unsightly mess.
- Some say it’s bad for the environment. Even though it is a biodegradable material, the process takes a lot of energy and produces carbon dioxide.
Cons of concrete floors
- Can be chilly.
- Falling can be dangerous.
- Can crack.
- May absorb moisture (when not properly sealed).
- Gets dirty quickly when not sealed.
- Not great for the environment.
How to clean concrete floors
How to clean concrete floors
- Remove surface dust and dirt.
- Mop with dishwashing liquid cleaning solution.
- Rinse and let dry.
No guide to concrete floors would be complete without cleaning instructions, right?
Here are some steps you can follow for cleaning concrete floors between professional cleanings.
Gather your supplies. These should include:
- Dishwashing liquid
- Broom, dust mop or vacuum
- Wet mop
- Mop bucket or a deep sink
1. Remove surface dust and dirt
You should be regularly sweeping your floors no matter what kind you have, but the fine particles of dust and dirt can cause scratches on your concrete floors.
2. Mop with a cleaning solution
In your mop bucket (or deep sink), mix two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid into two gallons of warm water.
Mop the floor with your cleaning solution.
Note: Do NOT use harsh chemicals for cleaning concrete floors. You can damage the sealant.
3. Rinse and let dry
You’ll need to go back over the floor with clean water to get rid of any residue left over from the soap.
Let it dry completely.
The ultimate concrete flooring guide
There are a lot of pros for concrete floors.
They’re durable, beautiful and low-maintenance. They’ll also save on replacement and restorative cleaning costs over time.
Remember, when the floor is not properly sealed or neglected, over time, it can be costly to restore it to its original condition.
Use this guide to concrete floors to stay ahead of the game.
To maintain and keep your floors looking great ALL the time, we recommend professional maintenance cleaning, which can be set-up through a reputable company.
The amount of foot abuse the floor receives will determine the length of time you can go between cleaning concrete floors.
Do you have a picture of a really cool concrete floor? We would love to see it.