Installing Concrete Floors: A Hard Decision
Concrete has come a long way from the days of dull and drab monochrome coloring — beautiful finishes and decorative flourishes have made it a go-to flooring material choice for even the most contemporary of Dallas homeowners. With the right installation and maintenance practices, you can enjoy years of solid performance from shiny and new concrete floors.
Benefits of Concrete
Investing in concrete can be a cost-effective alternative to other common types of flooring, as concrete’s durability will last for many years. Decorative overlays, staining, painting, dyeing, stamping, and stenciling offer homeowners the ability to smooth over imperfections or simply transform the concrete to give it a premium look and appeal. Concrete can even set the foundation for the future: If you’d like to change your flooring later, you can build on top of the existing concrete. If you’ve recently bought a home, it’s possible that a concrete layer already exists below its visible flooring, making your “upgrade” to concrete as simple as peeling back the outermost layers of your home’s structural history.
Consider the Foot Traffic
Like a chilly North Texas night, you must prepare for concrete’s coldness, noisiness, and unforgiving yield. While rugs can provide some cushion, individuals with chronic foot ailments may experience discomfort standing on concrete. Kids, the elderly, and the disabled may be especially susceptible to injuries after losing balance and falling on these exceptionally hard floors. Raucous households or homes decorated with fragile and expensive items may find that concrete floors increase the incidence of accidents.
Though seemingly indestructible, concrete flooring finds its nemeses in dust and dirt. Regularly cleaning can extend the lifetime of your floor by reducing the chances that pollutants will eat away sealants. Dust and dirt can also contribute to a “slippery” feeling on a concrete floor, if granules and grit aren’t swept, mopped, or dusted into oblivion. To protect a cement floor from common damaging elements, homeowners can seal or wax its surface every year. This no-fuss annual facelift can keep a floor’s appearance looking up to snuff for up to a century.
Heat, Moisture, and Pets
When homeowners discover that concrete flooring can be artificially warmed to provide year-round comfort, the decision to opt for this material is often quickly cemented. Radiant floor heating systems can be used with concrete flooring to ensure that summer lovers can walk away from icy feet for good. Since cracks in concrete can threaten damage, choosing waterproof protective coatings can maintain a floor and leave it sturdy and clean. Households with multiple pets may benefit from concrete floors, as well, since they resist scratching and provide an easily-cleanable surface. Additionally, unlike carpeting and other permeable materials, concrete deters the accumulation of dander and irritating allergens.
Getting a Concrete Floor Installed
The process of installing a new concrete floor from the ground up can be an involved and complex task. While an experienced builder may be able to complete this sort of project by himself, the precision and potentially dangerous chemicals associated with installing concrete doesn’t typically complement the skill sets of novice do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Allow a professional contractor to pave over any concerns you may have with getting the job done right. Understand, however, that variability is a reality of concrete flooring installation, and achieving a particular color or texture on a new concrete floor can be challenging. If you’re ready to give a professional general guidelines and let him work his flooring magic to the best of his ability, you likely won’t be disappointed with the outcome.