Updated 04 October 2022
There are many beautiful choices for those considering new floors as a part of a new build or renovation. One is hardwood flooring, which is the standard option for interior and exterior floor replacement projects. It’s durable and requires less maintenance because of its resistance to dirt and liquid spills. However, in many instances, hardwood floors are not always the best.
Decorative concrete is a much better, smarter choice if you expect good quality flooring for every dollar spent. Here are the reasons why:
When it comes to decorative concrete floors, people often underestimate the importance of the word “decorative.” With today’s technical advances, anything is possible – even that timeless look of hardwood flooring you dream of.
Choose the stone, colour, and finish of the decorative concrete flooring. The only limit is your imagination. Sure, you have varieties of hardwood floors, such as maple and bamboo, but you have more with decorative concrete. You can have the look of raw, straightforward hardwood or mimic stone without the high cost. It’s easily achieved with the added dyes and integral pigments before revealing the aggregate and decorative elements.
At Decorative Concrete WA, we can coordinate colours to give you the perfect base for your decor. Customers love this because they have access to the look of rare, unusual floors without the hassle of finding a specific type of wood.
Hardwood floors are not recommended in areas with high moisture and humidity, such as kitchens, laundry rooms, and mudroom entryways. You don’t have such a restriction with decorative concrete, which can be installed anywhere. It works equally well inside every room of your home, such as:
- Pool decks and surrounds
- Backyard cabanas
- Alfresco areas
The list goes on and on.
You can get the high-end appearance of hardwood floors when you install decorative concrete in outdoor or indoor areas.
The hardness of concrete makes people think that it’s an uncomfortable flooring material. But so is hardwood. There’s an easy remedy, though. You can simply place down-padded mats in the kitchen area, particularly where you stand the most, like in front of the sink or stove. Doing so will help reduce discomfort and fatigue that could lead to joint pains.
Additionally, cushion or area rugs are easy to clean and maintain compared to wall-to-wall carpeting. Concrete is naturally hard, but it is not abrasive. Therefore, you can walk barefoot as often as you please.
Concrete can be a little cold, just like natural stone and ceramic tile. You can warm the floors up with radiant heating elements or design your home smartly. Your home design can help you maximise the sunlight that enters the windows, especially in the winter. That way, your concrete floors effectively absorb and radiate heat indoors.
Many Perth homeowners complain about the sweltering heat. That’s why one of the significant parts of home improvement plans is to include ways of keeping the home cool. You can put your air conditioner at full blast or use decorative concrete to help you enjoy a comfy home in the summer without the high electricity bills.
Unlike hardwood floors that contribute to a warmer house, concrete stays cool to the touch even when exposed to the sun for hours. It retains heat and releases it slowly, thanks to its thermal mass ability, so you do not burn your feet. For this reason, concrete floors are used in passive solar home designs.
Many customers are surprised to find that installing decorative concrete floors has some health benefits, such as:
- The sealed concrete surface will not collect allergens, dust mites, and bacteria the way porous surfaces or carpeting can.
- These floors are moisture resistant, so mould and mildew will not grow and contaminate your home. This benefit is especially important if allergens could compromise the breathing or overall health of someone in your household.
- Different types of concrete flooring, such as decorative concrete, can improve your indoor air quality. You can put an end to respiratory infections, immune system disorders, and headaches with concrete, particularly if you have a mould problem in the house.
- Decorative concrete is also effective in stopping air-blown dust, mainly if you use radiant in-floor heating in conjunction with concrete. You don’t have to worry about dirt and dust recirculating your space.
Being an inorganic material, concrete does not encourage the growth of toxic mould in your home, which is a significant benefit. Plus, if you have pets, their paws will not be exposed to chemicals that can harm their bodies.
Slips are always a problem in any household, especially those with young kids or older people. When wet, just like hardwood floors, concrete can be slippery. However, this can easily be fixed. The installer can use a non-skid additive in the sealer or apply fewer layers if there are no non-skid additives. Oversealing also causes the issue, so use a sealer sparingly.
As a part of our installation process, Decorative Concrete WA can mix a fine grit into the material before we pour it. While the grit is not visible, it helps ensure traction and prevent slipping even when the surface is wet.
Durability and Longevity
Hardwood floors last a long time, but natural wood is soft and can easily be damaged. That’s why it is not recommended in busy places where foot traffic is high. When properly cared for, flooring can last for up to 100 years. If installed in high-traffic areas, such as driveways and sidewalks, you can expect it to stay functional for up to 50 years.
Concrete is incredibly tough. It will not scratch easily, even when your shoes have dirt or sand. You also don’t have to worry about damaging the floor when moving furniture. If you spill liquids, all you need to do is wipe, as water will not easily penetrate or even stain the surface.
However, you can only gain this benefit if the decorative concrete is correctly mixed, installed, and cared for. Usually, the key is to apply tough polymer sealers, which not only protect the floors from UV and fading but can also keep it sturdy for years to come.
Hardwood floors are famously high maintenance. For a brilliant-looking hardwood floor, you need special cleaners, routine stripping and refinishing, and wood repairs as required. Additionally, wood flooring is prone to splintering, cracking, and fading over time, especially if the wood is outdoors and exposed to the elements.
In contrast, decorative concrete needs minimal care. Here are some tips:
- You can use a hose to wash away any dirt or debris if the surface is outdoors.
- Indoors, you can use a damp mop to clean the concrete as a part of your home’s regular upkeep. Sweep daily to remove any debris. You may need occasional deep cleaning, which involves a pH-neutral cleaner and water.
- If you would like extra protection for the decorative concrete flooring in high-traffic areas, a thin coat of floor wax will work well.
- Ensure the decorative floor is appropriately sealed to prolong its life and stay protected from stains, moisture, and scuffs. The sealer will also seal the colour and improve the floor’s shine.
- Repairs are sometimes needed in case of cracks or other issues. You can patch the area using the same pattern, or you can choose to create a new design. A micro-topping or overlay can also be applied. For a temporary fix, throw a rug or a piece of furniture to hide the flaw.
With a concrete floor, you are free from concern about the structural integrity of your surfaces, no matter what they endure.
Decorative concrete flooring can save you a considerable amount of money over the cost of hardwood floors. You can save approximately $1.00 per square foot yearly on cleaning supplies with a concrete floor.
Affordability is a massive benefit of using decorative concrete over hardwood floors. If you have a concrete slab ready for application, it’s even cheaper. Typically, the cost is comparable to vinyl, carpet, or linoleum. For mid-range designs, decorative concrete has a similar price range to that of high-end hardwood, expensive tiles, and laminate.
As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to choose decorative concrete for your next flooring project. Aesthetics are an essential consideration for every remodelling project. However, other factors such as durability, maintenance, versatility, cost, and sustainability all play crucial roles in your choice of flooring material.
For more information, click here to view some of our concrete flooring options for the home.