What Makes Concrete the Floor of the Future
Concrete is a construction material that keeps reinventing itself to keep up with the trends and modern requirements. It received some criticism in the past for its lack of style and its impacts on the environment. But over the years, concrete has dramatically improved in many ways, including its performance and eco-friendliness. It’s also lauded in the looks department.
Thanks to the unrivalled structural performance, concrete is the prime choice for many construction sites. Residential and commercial properties choose to have a concrete floor for many reasons. Being in the flooring industry, it’s reasonable for us here at DCWA to have an inside look at the happenings in this arena. And we can say that concrete floors, especially polished concrete floors, are among the fastest-growing segments. Here’s why:
1. A Trusted Flooring Material
Concrete has been around for a long time, possibly as long as the time of the ancient Romans. This is a testament to the reliability of concrete. Today, it has become a traditional material used in buildings, as well as for unfinished floors. It’s even relied upon as a substrate for other flooring systems.
2. A Continuous Evolution
Concrete is not perfect – and it doesn’t claim to be. It is widely known for its inherent flaws, including dust, spalled surfaces, seams, and cracks. Unfinished concrete has several issues you may have already dealt with, such as loose sand granules, dust, and even some missing aggregate on the surface. These flaws make concrete unattractive. However, concrete has many variations, allowing it to become a finished floor itself.
Polished concrete floors, for example, are gorgeous. They create sheen for that polished look, which is a common issue with raw concrete. This mirror-like surface gives this material flexibility in the appearance it offers. Imagine having the same floor as shopping malls. That’s what residential polished concrete floors are. They require minimal care and maintenance. Yes, we say “minimal” because they still need cleaning. Nevertheless, polished concrete floors are not demanding, which is part of their appeal.
Concrete is creating a new identity for itself mainly because the material can be used in many ways. We all know that it is not just used in flooring but also walls and even roofs. You probably heard about concrete speakers, and then there’s translucent, glow in the dark concrete. These products are proof that there are numerous concrete applications on the horizon.
But perhaps the biggest evolution is about how concrete was destructive to the environment. Today, it offers sustainability and can even be recycled. Some companies take old or used concrete to produce recycled products that come in different styles and colours. These inventions entice construction companies and architects to become more creative and apply new construction techniques.
3. A Premier Residential and Commercial Flooring Choice
Ever wonder why more and more high-end hospitality and retail establishments are choosing concrete, just like homeowners? This is not a mere coincidence. Residential polished concrete floors are growing in numbers. For a while, polished concrete was viewed simply as a commercial flooring option. However, demand has shifted from commercial to residential properties over the years. It’s everywhere. Just look around, and you will see concrete as you go about your daily activities. Polished concrete floors are in:
- Offices and Healthcare Facilities, which demand sanitary flooring that does not need heavy maintenance
- Factories and Warehouses, which require durable surfaces for their machinery and worker foot traffic
- Boutique Retail Shops, Restaurants, Hotels, and Airports, which all need safe, slip-resistant, and durable floors
- Arenas and Stadiums, which have to withstand heavy foot traffic and a barrage of equipment
Apartments and homes also use more concrete flooring now. It’s easy to see why there’s this sudden shift. Concrete, especially polished concrete, is attractive. Additionally, with many concrete floor finishes, the aesthetics of the flooring can enhance any space. It lends a modern yet simple and clean appeal to the interior design as a whole.
4. For Acoustic Reasons
You do not need to build a recording studio to benefit from concrete’s acoustic performance. For a while now, many construction projects have focused on sound insulation and acoustics. We see that this will be an ongoing trend for many years to come. After all, who wants to hear the sound of heavy footsteps when trying to get some good sleep? When you’re surrounded by children or a busy household, it’s certainly not an option for you.
And this is why concrete is the top choice for inner-city dwellings and multi-unit housing complexes. Concrete has high density, giving it an edge over lightweight materials in terms of acoustics. This attribute alone helps in reducing airborne-transmitted noise whilst also decreasing noise heard indoors coming from exterior sources. It’s the perfect solution for separating sounds between adjacent rooms.
A bit of a warning, though: exposed concrete does increase impact sound. To reduce noise, the design should be integrated to specifically address the problem. But today’s concrete has all the solutions you will ever need. There are various designs developed to enhance the acoustic absorbency of exposed concrete. These options do not affect the thermal functionality of the surface.
5. More Benefits Than Other Flooring Options
If the benefits above are still not enough, here’s more:
- It’s low-maintenance. You don’t need to replace concrete every so often, unlike with other flooring materials. Concrete floor finishes as polished concrete can easily last for several years with minimal maintenance. Sweeping and mopping are all you need with regular sealing every year or so. For honed concrete, grinding may be required but only every 10 years.
- Concrete offers improved safety because of its non-slip surfaces. It’s also hypoallergenic, which is useful for both residential and commercial spaces.
- You can opt for a concrete finish that is non-absorbent. The material is already easy to clean. But with this feature, you can rest knowing that you have a stain-resistant floor. It’s great for families with kids who constantly knock things down.
Concrete has significantly improved, and we know it will continue to do so. It has evolved from a mere substrate to standalone flooring material. With all the finishes available and benefits that come with concrete, it’s no wonder that this is the trusted floor option today and beyond.