In a recent survey about concrete floors that we presented to recipients of our Concrete Quest newsletter, we gathered some revealing insights into what consumers like and don’t like about concrete floors. While most people love the look of decorative concrete floors and their ability to be customized, they had a few grievances as well, particularly the four concerns listed below (based on the percent of responses). Some of these criticisms are valid, but they can also apply to other types of hard flooring surfaces. In defense of concrete, we’d like to point out why a few common objections about concrete as a flooring material are more misperception than fact.
The Concrete Network
They can crack (48%).
The most common objection to concrete floors (48% of respondents) is the potential for cracking. However, some people actually love the rustic, organic look that can be achieved by staining the floor and leaving minor random cracks exposed (see Polishing and Dye Enhance Cracks in Existing Floor). If cracks are perceived as an eyesore, the perfect solution is a decorative concrete overlay. Thin overlays and microtoppings give you the ability to hide cracks under a smooth, new surface that can accept a wide array of decorative treatments, including staining, stamping, and stenciling.
They can be slippery (25%).
Any smooth flooring surface, including vinyl, linoleum, marble and ceramic tile, can be slippery, especially when wet. With concrete, you can easily remedy the problem by mixing an invisible nonslip additive into the stain or sealer before applying it to the floor to give the surface more traction (see Making Concrete Slip Resistant).
They look too cold and hard (20%).
Concrete can be cold, but no more so than ceramic tile or natural stone flooring. The advantage of concrete is its inherent ability to store and radiate heat. Homeowners can keep their floors warm in the winter and control the temperature level.by embedding radiant heating cables in the concrete slab or overlay. To help cushion concrete, area rugs can be used, which are easier to clean than wall-to-wall carpet. Watch this video: Are Concrete Floors Hard?
They look too industrial (7%).
Certainly plain, unadulterated gray concrete can be perceived as sterile and “industrial.” However, anyone who has seen a concrete floor enriched by a brown or earth-toned stain knows that concrete can be made to look warm and inviting. In fact, brown is the most popular color choice for concrete floors, based on our survey. See Brown Concrete Floors – A Look at Why This Concrete Floor Color Is So Popular.