As with all flooring materials concrete has a range of benefits that salesmen and installers will push when trying to promote their products. There are also many disadvantages to using concrete in certain places, however. Before opting to strip out other floors and go with treated or bare concrete in a particular spot, it is essential that you recognize the pros and the cons.
1. Environmentally Friendly: Concrete is perfect for warm climates because it stays cool even in the hottest weather. Conversely, concrete pulls the heat from the sun in the winter months, so your flooring remains warm. Apart from this energy efficiency, concrete flooring is also environmentally friendly. No trees are cut down when concrete is made, less energy is produced to manufacture it as opposed to other flooring types, and concrete does not contain volatile organic compounds.
2. Durable: Regardless of what may leak on it or be dragged across it, concrete is almost indestructible. If you want to drive a tank over it, once poured, concrete can take it. Big box stores, warehouses and garages all use this type of flooring for this very reason. The only thing that will scrape a concrete floor is a jackhammer. Heavy furnishings, pet claws, and other substances that would destroy a hardwood floor won’t even put a scratch on your concrete.
3. Readymade Subfloor: You’ll have a convenient subfloor for epoxy, tile, carpeting, or whatever surface you desire if you ever get tired of the bare concrete look.
4. Easy to maintain and clean: Concrete floors are greatly recommended by the American Lung Association for people with asthma and allergies. Dust, dander and dust mites can all be prevented by using this type of flooring. Taking away these allergens from the home is not easy even with a vacuum cleaner, since they reside deep in a carpet’s matting.
1. Safety Concerns: The functionality and visual appeal of concrete may be hampered by its practical safety aspects, particularly for young children. The material does not provide any cushion for falling babies and toddlers or for dropped smart phones and tablets.
2. Amplifies Sounds: Hard flooring has the potential to intensify sounds, though this weakness can be rectified without difficulty by the addition of some judiciously-placed rugs, mats or runners.
3. Expensive: The labor involved in fitting a concrete floor can be quite high, although the cost of the materials is lower than for many other types of flooring. You can install the flooring by yourself in order to save some money, but do a careful job – the result can be visibly uneven when is floor is not leveled correctly.
4. Messy Installation Process: The method of installing this type of flooring is very untidy. Extra care will need to be taken to make sure your furniture and walls are protected.
After considering the pros and cons, it should be easy to decide whether a concrete floor is for you. Keep in mind concrete can be covered with several materials including epoxy, a beautiful durable finish that can be used anywhere in the home; ceramic tile and bamboo. Once you decide to go with concrete, you can get professional quotations and hire a competent contractor to transform your flooring.