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history of concrete

Concrete has the longest history of any type of flooring. This is because it's the oldest building material on Earth! Concrete has been used to construct everything from today's skyscrapers to huts dating back thousands of years. If you're looking for a long–lasting floor, you've found it with concrete. Ruins of a hut originating in 5600 B.C. have been found in Serbia, featuring a floor made from sand, red lime, and gravel – that's right, an ancient concrete floor.

Concrete is loosely classified as any mixture containing cement (a binder which will harden and set and bind other materials with it), aggregate, and additives. In centuries past, all sorts of materials were used as cement. The Shaanxi pyramids in China are made up of volcanic ash, clay, and lime. Assyrians and Babylonians used clay as cement, while Egyptians used lime and gypsum.

Concrete Flooring Today

As these civilizations died out and were replaced, the secret of creating concrete was lost. It wasn't until 1756 that concrete came back into use. A British engineer named John Smeaton combined hydraulic lime, powdered brick, and pebbles, and used this mixture with granite to build a lighthouse that still stands today. Portland cement, a key ingredient in modern concrete, was first blended for use in concrete in the 1840s. This mixture of limestone, clay, and gypsum has remained a principal ingredient in concrete ever since.

The green movement has seen recycled materials like fly ash incorporated into concrete. Restrictions on cement production have resulted in efforts to decrease the amount of quarrying for cement materials and reduce the amount of cement needed to create strong concrete. In addition to the long–lasting nature of concrete, this makes concrete flooring an increasingly green friendly floor. Whether you're after a durable diamond–polished concrete floor for your home or business, or you simply want to bring the functionality of concrete to an outdoor space, history shows that concrete flooring is a great choice!