Concrete is extremely strong and hard, that’s why it’s usually used for streets and driveways. As a flooring material, concrete has all the strength and durability of a highway. It can’t be scratch or dent easily. Low cost, as well as unique finishes, make concrete floors attractive or impressive, however, they have special requirements. Concrete is heavy and tough. If you’re putting in new concrete floors on grade, the weight won’t be a concern. If you’re looking to install concrete over a subfloor supported by joists, you will need a structural creator to determine if your floor can stand the weight. Hence, lightweight concrete may be a solution.
Pros of Concrete Floors
• Low-maintenance: Properly sealed concrete floors shrug off grit, dirt, stains, and spills, a little sweeping and moist mopping are all that’s required to keep them looking new always, the same properties that make concrete floors so durable and reliable also make them easy to care for.
• Beautiful design options: The contemporary methods used for concrete finishing have moved concrete floors from been boring to luxurious. The addition of dyes as wet concrete is being mixed produces concrete in a large extent of earthy colours. Surface treatments such as acid stains, concrete stains and paint made for concrete floors turn plain concrete into beautiful, one-of-a-kind finishes. Also, concrete can be stamped with rubber stencils to give it texture. When combined with the right dyes or colouring agents, finished concrete can be made to imitate natural stone, brick as well as ceramic tile.
• Heated floors: Concrete spilt over an existing slab, especially in new construction or you have the option to add radiant heat — electrical cables or hot water tubes embedded in the concrete to create very warm and comfortable floors.
Cons of Concrete Floors
• Hardness: It’s a fact that concrete is very hard underfoot, a quality that some find uncomfortable. A dropped glass won’t survive when it falls on it as it will break immediately, it may be a concern if there are small children or elderly people in the home. Area using of rugs can aid alleviate concerns.
• Moisture: Below-grade Basements, moisture migrating up from underneath the slab may make concrete unacceptably damp and can damage any surface treatments, like paint. Proper sealing of the concrete aids, as does mitigation of any outside problem areas like leaky gutters and poor soil drainage.
• Cracking: It’s a fact that even skillfully installed concrete may develop cracks over time. That’s because the large expanse of a slab has to endure changes in temperature, moisture and settling. Coloured cement paste and patching materials help disguise cracks.
• Environmentally suspect: Concrete itself is a biodegradable material, the process of producing cement requires a lot of energy and produces carbon dioxide. Compared to other building materials such as steel, wood and glass, concrete has by far the most embodied energy.