How do I clean and maintain my concrete floor?
• Sweep or vacuum the surface frequently.
• Wipe up any spills as soon as possible to avoid staining or damage.
• Mop when needed with water and a solution recommended for concrete flooring. Always thoroughly clean any residue from cleaning solutions off the surface.
• Never use anything that contains bleach, or is acid-based, abrasive, or harsh.
• Some concrete surfaces can be resealed or re-polished from time to time to make them look like new again.
• Protect your floor from scratching by using protective coverings on furniture legs.
• Never drag heavy objects across the floor.
• Use a rug or mat to collect dirt, debris, and liquid, as well as to protect high traffic areas.
Why do some concrete floors develop dust or chalk on the surface?
This is called dusting and is caused by a weak wear layer. Often this is due to bleed water being left on the surface or troweled back on during finishing. The surface layer fails to completely cure, causing a soft surface which can flake or become dusty. It can also be caused by wind, rain, snow, excessive heat, or carbon dioxide produced from heaters or engines coming in contact with the surface.
Where can concrete floors be installed?
Concrete floors are very versatile and can be installed in many areas both inside and outdoors. Common areas are bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, porches, pool decks, and so on. Depending on the concrete mixture, it can be installed above, below, or on grade over solid concrete or wooden subfloors.
Can concrete flooring be installed with a radiant floor heating system?
Yes, concrete is actually one of the best types of flooring to use with a radiant floor heating system. However, the flooring installation should be coordinated with the installation of the radiant heating as often times it is actually laid in the concrete.
How are stencils used to decorate concrete flooring?
Stencils are applied over concrete, leaving some areas covered and some exposed. The exposed areas are then treated a number of different ways to apply a color or texture. A dye, stain or other coloring material can be broadcast over the area or a texture may by imprinted with a skin or a tool similar to a paint roller
What are the different ways to add color to concrete flooring?
Color can be applied integrally or on the surface of concrete flooring. Integral color is mixed into the wet concrete either at the factory or before pouring at the site of installation. Surface color is broadcast over wet concrete that has already been laid. It is usually a powder, stain, or colored chips.
What are the different ways to add texture to concrete flooring?
Texture can be added to wet concrete in many different ways. Small stones or other aggregates can be laid in the surface. Salt water pellets or another dissolving material can be pressed into the surface and then dissolved, leaving holes or craters. A skin, stencil, stamp, spiked roller or other type of tool can also be used to imprint a design, texture, or pattern.
What is the purpose of a slump test and how is it done?
A slump test is done to determine the consistency or workability of fresh concrete. Fresh concrete is put in a cone and leveled off. The cone is placed down on a surface and then removed, leaving the concrete unsupported. The concrete can then flow away from the base. The distance it flows is considered the slump.
What weather conditions should I be aware of when installing concrete floors outside?
Installing concrete flooring outdoors can be very tricky. Extreme temperatures, wind, and humidity can all cause problems with the drying and hardening of concrete. The temperature of the concrete should not fall below 40°F, and it should not be allowed to freeze. Concrete can often be made with hot water or protected with blankets to prevent this.
How are concrete floors installed?
Concrete floors sometimes come in pre-hardened slabs, but more often are installed and allowed to dry on site. Once laid, the fresh or hardened concrete is often grooved, textured, or colored.
Is concrete flooring recommended for a self-installer?
Generally, no. Concrete flooring installation is a very detailed and precise process. Improper subfloor or concrete mixture preparation can lead to a number of issues. Concrete will not harden properly in climates that are too cold, hot, or windy. Also, applying color or texture correctly can be very difficult and a number of special tools are needed, which can make self-installation very costly.
What is concrete?
Concrete is a type of flooring that is made of Portland cement or other cementious material, water, aggregate, and other admixtures. It is mixed to a sludge consistency then laid over a flooring surface and allowed to harden.
What are the benefits of concrete floors?
Concrete floors are available in a variety of colors, textures, patterns, and designs. They can be made to resemble stone, brick, tile, and many other surfaces. Concrete floors are relatively easy to maintain, are inexpensive compared to stone and some other flooring products, and are environmentally friendly. They are also extremely durable. When sealed properly, concrete flooring is resistant to moisture, bacteria and other allergens.
What are the disadvantages of concrete floors?
Concrete flooring can be difficult to self install and can need periodic resealing to maintain integrity. Concrete can feel cold or hot underfoot depending on the area's temperature, it's unforgiving on dropped objects, and transmits sound easily.
What is a concrete overlay?
A concrete overlay is a layer of cement that is applied over a concrete subfloor or another surface which is anywhere from ¼" to 1" thick and is often self-leveling, creating a flat, even surface.
What is the average lifetime of a concrete floor?
Concrete flooring that has been properly installed and maintained can last a lifetime. However, the surface or finish layer will have a much shorter lifetime than the concrete itself and may need to be replaced.
What causes concrete to harden?
The compounds in the cementious material mix with water to slowly form a crystalline structure. This structure binds to the sand or stone in the mix and forms a hard mass. Over time, as long as moisture is present, this structure grows and hardens, often for many years at a decreasing pace.