Bridge Gaps
Controversial Concrete
Posted on: 12-22-2017 by Floor Covering Media


Homeowners on a quest for unique flooring are selecting amongst other surfaces for their dwelling something unexpected: concrete. Some might find concrete an unimaginative choice, until they see the not-so-obvious potential of this otherwise, pedestrian surface; especially in elegant residential settings, when displayed in a beautifically simplistic manner. It will likely leave admirers awestruck. Trend setters in competitive social circles are starting to notice.



With all the choices today, why concrete for a home? The reasons may be easily overlooked. Not a lot of maintenance for starters! Consider the time saved otherwise spent maintaining the less durable surfaces. Unless you are a fan of stress cleaning, concrete flooring has its appeal when it comes to its ease of maintenance, a compelling point indeed; few of us are likely to refute.



What is it about concrete that makes surface care a snap for homeowners? Durability! What's involved in maintenance? Not much really. Break out a broom. Maybe a damp mop. Then, after a few sweeping motions, you're all done. Relieved at the simplicity, move along to the next, household project.



What's the catch? Yeah, there is one: Sealing. Only properly sealed concrete floors are the ones that require the occasional sweep and damp mop to ensure cleanliness and durability. What is involved with sealing a concrete floor and how often is sealing required?



Well, depending on the foot traffic -within your home- experts suggest resealing or waxing your concrete flooring in periodic cycles, as frequently as every three months but no less frequently than every nine 9 months.


Concrete Makeover


Casual observers have reported having a level of difficultly recognizing a concrete floor even when it is in plain sight at least initially. 



Find the above compelling? But you just can't get past the appearance of concrete? Add dye during the mixing process. Doing so allows for an enormous range of natural shades. Acid stains, concrete stains and paint, could turn the surface floor into a work of art. Smooth the surface -or texture- with a decorative pattern, suited to your sense of style and décor.


Radiant look and feel


A concrete makeover gives the surface a metephorical radiance. Speaking of radiance, why stop there? Radiant heating systems provide a literal radiance by warming the concrete. Pouring new concrete? Or pouring additional concrete over an existing slab? Either of the above residential projects offers homeowners a radiant opportunity of adding these heating systems. What's involved? Laying electrical cables, or hot water tubing embedded within the concrete slab, for an added comfort (especially in colder climates)!



Caveat Emptor


For those of us who are less familiar with Latin (the classical language of the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages) it means: 'Let the buyer beware.' So, what should buyers of concrete surfaces take into consideration?



Buyers beware of a few downsides.  While durable and low maintenance, concrete surfaces are course, chilly and discomforting for occupants hyper-sensitive to surfaces with less flexibility and warmth.



There is more: Anything dropped on concreted can be damaged or broken. Extreme caution is recommended here if it isn't obvious.



For the above reasons, concrete is usually not a surface ideally recommended for areas frequented by children or the elderly due to the obvious risk of injuries.


Special Considerations


It would be unrealistic to expect a surface such as concrete to compete with softer surfaces in the categories of warmth and comfort. 



Those who acknowledge the limitations of concrete, though remain adament about including this durable surface covering at home, find creative workarounds for a surfaces not known for retaining heat and uncomfortable when standing for extended periods of time. They improvise with creative solutions. For example, rugs complement a radiant heating system by retaining their welcoming warmth.



Remember, a concrete floor -not sealed properly- is likely to capture moisture, which invariably leads to unwelcome mould or mildew.



If the moisture freezes in frigid climates, the concrete surface is vulnerable, when the moisture expands and contracts. It might crack.


Lighten your footprint  

Environmentally conscious people who are concerned about reducing, minimizing or not harming ecosystems or the environment, are likely to consider the following facts about concrete surfaces:



While concrete is an immobile, biodegradable product, also remember that the production of this material is a high-energy process, which produces carbon dioxide. So, it's a mixed bag.



Existing concrete slabs used for concrete surfaces does not require manufacturing new materials and it's better for the environment.



Pouring NEW CONCRETE -which is a high energy process that produces carbon dioxide- will have a negative environmental impact.


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