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Concrete Flooring Buying Guide Basics

Concrete is the most used man made material in the world. Concrete is everywhere. Sidewalks and highway overpasses and football stadiums are all made of concrete. Concrete is made up of three basic elements: water, aggregate (rock, sand, gravel) and Portland cement. Concrete solidifies and hardens when it comes into contact with the water, turning it into the versatile material used for many building needs.

Your Home Environment

Concrete is one of the most durable floor surfaces available. Concrete offers limitless possibilities for customization. It can be stained, colored, stamped or made to look like marble at a fraction of marble's cost. These are just a handful of the options you have when installing concrete in your home. It is important to consider your home environment and lifestyle before committing to concrete flooring. This section will help you determine which type of concrete is best for your home.

Foot Traffic

Are your kids and pets racing through your home at impressive speeds? Never fear, concrete is here and it can handle a formidable amount of traffic.

Recommendation: Though concrete can handle traffic like a champ, over time its sealant can wear off in high traffic areas. You will want to occasionally reapply sealer in high traffic areas.

Lighting

Most concrete stains are fade resistant but a few types of stain will fade over time in direct sunlight.

Recommendation: Talk to your concrete retailer and installer about fade resistant dye options. This is especially important for any exterior stained concrete.

Room–by–Room Practicality

Versatile concrete can work throughout your home. Area rugs and mats can be laid to create softer surfaces in rooms such as your bedroom.

Kitchen

Concrete is an ideal flooring choice for your kitchen. Concrete cleans up easily with a broom and mop and resists staining. You won't have to worry about that spilled marinara sauce staining your concrete kitchen floor, just grab a wet mop and clean it up.

Bathroom

Concrete is water resistant, making it a fantastic choice for bathrooms. Colored concrete works especially well in making a small space look larger.

Basement

Gone are the days of the plain gray concrete basement floor. Today you can use one of the unique and beautiful concrete finishings to take your basement from drab storage space to fab family room.

Front Hall/Entryway

Concrete's ability to handle high traffic and resist water and staining makes it an exemplary flooring choice for your home's front hall/entryway.

Outdoors

Concrete's ability to stand up to all kinds of inclement weather makes it well suited for outdoor spaces.

Lifestyle Elements

Before you choose the concrete finish types for your project, it is wise to consider pets, children, noise, and any special needs you have. These lifestyle details can point you towards selecting the right concrete flooring for your home.

Pets

Concrete floors can take a lot of wear and tear and are also water and stain resistant, making them a good choice for homes with pets. The hard surface of concrete, however, can be hard on the joints of your pets.

Recommendation: Lay down area rugs and floor mats in places your pet frequents. This will give them a little extra cushioning for their joints.

Children

The ease of maintaining concrete floors makes them a good choice for crayon carrying kids. However, a spill or fall on concrete could be hard on children.

Recommendation: Consider using rugs or mats for added comfort and protection.

Noise Insulation

Because of the hard nature of concrete, noise like voices and footsteps may be more amplified than with softer flooring types.

Recommendation: Once again, area rugs and floor mats in high traffic corridors can offer some noise insulation for your concrete flooring.

Special Mobility Needs

People with special mobility needs will find concrete easy to move around on due to its smooth, flat surface. However, those who have joint and other such issues may find concrete's hardness difficult.

Basic Care

When planning to install any new type of flooring, it is important to know what goes into maintaining it. Concrete can be sealed for added protection, but it still requires regular care to keep the sealer intact, especially in high traffic areas.

DOs

  • DO sweep or vacuum concrete floors regularly to remove dirt and debris.
  • DO mop when needed with water and a cleaning solution recommended for your concrete flooring.
  • DO wipe up spills as soon as possible with a damp cloth.

DON'Ts

  • DON'T use any cleaning solutions that contain bleach, are acid–based or abrasive.
  • DON'T drag heavy objects across the floor. Protect your floor from scratching by using protective coverings on furniture legs.

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