Traditionally concrete flooring has been used where utility, durability, and low maintenance are more important than aesthetics but, because of the staggering design options now available, concrete floors are also increasingly adding beauty to residences, says Hanlie Turner, Business Development Manager of Cement & Concrete SA.
Turner says concrete offers both aesthetic and practical options for flooring of key areas such as foyers, patios, kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, and garages.
“Concrete flooring is popular in kitchens because it is durable and easy to clean. It can be sealed against moisture damage and made impervious to staining agents or food and drink spillage. In bathrooms, textured techniques can be used to ensure slip resistance. The various surface finish and colour options available allow for concrete floors in foyers and hallways to be stylish yet functional for such high traffic areas.
“Designers and home-owners are increasingly using decorative concrete floors in residential foyers, for maximum ‘first impressions’. Enhancements for foyer concrete floors include stencilled motifs, multi-colour tile-like patterns, and saw-cut designs,” Turner adds. “Concrete floors are also being used to create ‘fun garages’ that double up as playrooms or youngster’s dens.
Another benefit of concrete floors is affordability compared to vinyl or ceramic tiles or carpet. Even concrete floors with more complex designs can hold their own, price-wise, with marble, granite or top-end wood.
The lifetime cost of concrete floors is low because little maintenance is required. For upkeep, sweeping and damp mopping is usually all that is required. Applying a sealer or a coat of floor finish or wax designed for concrete floors will make the floors more resistant to stains, chemical spillage and abrasion.
For warmth, radiant heating cables can be embedded in concrete floors or the residence designed for maximum sunlight window access so the floors can radiate the absorbed heat long after sunset.
“Concrete floors do not trap pet dander that can trigger asthma attacks and allergies. Finally, concrete floors offer benefits when a house is for sale: if the new owner wants to change the floors, it is simple to place carpet or wood on top of the concrete slabs,” Turner concludes.