After decades of being relegated to the basement , sub-floors of buildings and the backyard, concrete flooring have gradually found their way into homes. Many persons become skeptical about the durability and practicality of concrete flooring beyond aesthetics . Choosing your flooring is very critical in the finishing of any home and to make a smart choice, enough information is needed on any flooring option.
THE MAKE-UP OF CONCRETE FLOORING
Concrete is a natural composite material made from an aggregate combined with a cement binder and water mixed in the right proportions depending on the specification of the engineer. Concrete is the most basic flooring material. Outdoors, the concrete is poured directly onto the gravel or dirt bed in order to install the foundation of a building. However indoors, the concrete is installed over a subfloor which is covered with a vapor barrier sheet that prevents moisture from moving up into the concrete.
The concrete slab is then smoothed and allowed to dry for an appropriate amount of time. Further, it can be treated with dyes to transform the slab into a decorative surface of appealing texture and design that appropriate for flooring. Also, the concrete floor may become and subfloor for other flooring options.
ADVANTAGES OF CONCRETE FLOORING
Durability : If you are looking for a durable flooring option that will stand the test of time, concrete flooring is the choice to make. Reinforced by aggregate, it is very hard to crack or give away under tension of your furnitures. The polishing that coats the surface makes it resistant to scratches, stains and burns.
Low maintainance : Concrete flooring obviously presents to you an easier maintainance alternative, that will require only gentle cleaning, mop and vacuum cleaners to clean dirt off it’s surface. It may only need to be sealed or waxed every once in a while depending on the level of traffic in order to maintain the protective layer over its surface
Comfortability: Unlike some flooring options that are incompatible with heaters, radiant heaters can be installed alongside concrete flooring to keep the home at an ambient temperature in colder periods. The tendency to also absorb heat from sunlight and release it slowly over the rest of the day and into the night provides comfort for the home occupants and reduce energy bills.
Design: Concrete flooring provides a window for the homeowner to explore an endless variety of colour and texture effects. Either by addition of dye while wet concrete is mixed or surface treatments to transform a plain concrete into amazing finishes, concrete floors open a doorway to experiment different designs and textures.
CONS INVOLVED IN CONCRETE FLOORING
Hardness: The strength of the aggregate which makes up the concrete flooring imports hardness into it. This may be unfavourable in areas where standing for a long time is expected e.g kitchen ,as it will be unfriendly to the feet.
Moisture : Over time, concrete endures heavy traffic ,wear and tear but hairline cracks will set in later which will act as pores for moisture to penetrate. This pores will encourage growth of mildew and other bacteria. However, this is preventable by periodic sealing of these cracks. More details here: https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/bathroom/how-to-pour-a-concrete-floor
The comfort, durability and exotic array of designs that come with choosing concrete flooring are hard to be waved away. However, to get the best of concrete flooring, it is advised that its installation be left for professionals. Basically, getting a concrete flooring done is cheaper in comparison with other flooring options but the final cost will depend on the finishing you want, making it a flooring for every pocket size.