Concrete flooring is one of the simpler varieties of flooring. Once you've chosen
low–maintenance concrete, you only need to decide how you want it to look. Types of concrete differ in surfaces,
colors, and aggregates. There are a wide variety of concrete
flooring options for you to pick from, so don't delay! Start learning about the different concrete types with help from this
Covering polishes, seals, and stains, this section will help
you choose the surface look and feel of your concrete floors. These different types of concrete flooring all have varying
characteristics that you should consider before shopping.
- Polished: Concrete floors can be polished to a gleaming shine, creating the look of waxed floors
without the effort of waxing. Heavy–duty polishing machines will gradually grind down the surface of your concrete
floors until they're as smooth and shiny as you want. Most concrete floors can be polished, although older, flawed, or very
porous floors may not be suitable for polishing.
- Sealed: If you want to protect your concrete floors from water, weather, abrasives, and stains, apply a
concrete sealer over them. You can choose from clear concrete sealers or colored seals to make colored concrete floors
appear more vibrant. In addition to adding benefits like slip resistance, a good concrete sealer will also make it easier to
clean your concrete floor.
- Scored: Circular saws make shallow cuts in existing concrete, imitating tile grouts or creating
geometric designs and patterns.
- Stamped: Fresh concrete is stamped with a pattern, giving the concrete floor the textured appearance of
materials like brick, stone, wood planks, slate, tile, or other types of flooring.
Debating on how to achieve the perfect color for your concrete floors? Check out your options.
- Stain: Stained concrete floors are all about variation. The staining process for concrete can result
in floors that resemble materials like stone, marble, and even stained wood. Since every concrete floor is different,
stained concrete floors are always unique, with a flecked look and deep, translucent coloring. There are two types of
- Reactive: These stains are water–based and acidic. They contain metallic salts which react with
the lime in the concrete, permanently bonding the stain with the concrete and ensuring it will never peel or chip off.
- Nonreactive: Water–based acrylic stains penetrate the surface of the concrete and leave
particles of pigment in the concrete's open pores. While they're easier to apply and available in more colors than reactive
stains, they lack the same translucent, variegated color. Nonreactive stains will leave a more opaque and uniform color on
your concrete floors.
- Dye: Concrete dyes are often used together with stains to create rich, vibrant shades that can't be
achieved by staining alone. Dyes can be mixed at the installation site, creating bright colors as varied as earthy neutrals,
jewel tones, and pastels.
- Integral Color: Liquid or powder colorant is added to the concrete mixture while it's being processed,
producing consistent tinting throughout.
- Paint: Concrete floors can easily be painted, creating looks as simple as an opaque colored surface or
as complex as patterned marble.
- Colored hardeners: Powdered hardening aggregates are sprinkled onto fresh concrete, where they react
with the concrete's moisture and bond to create a hard, dense surface. The color is concentrated only on the top layer,
creating more intense hues than those found in integrally colored concrete.
- Colored release agents: Pigmented liquids or powders are used with pattern stamps over colored
hardeners to give concrete floors a mottled or antiqued look. Since these pigments rest on the surface rather than
penetrating the concrete, the color must be sealed or waxed over.
- Colored surface overlay material: A thin layer of colored surface overlay material can be applied over
existing concrete floors. This layer can be colored or stamped to give your old concrete floors a new look, provided they
are still structurally sound.
The aggregates in different types of concrete mixtures will determine the texture of your concrete floors.
- Fine: Concrete flooring most often comes from a fine aggregate mix, with sand mixed in to create a
smoother textured concrete.
- Coarse: Crushed stone or gravel is mixed with concrete for a rough, bumpy surface, often used for
driveways or walkways.