Pros and Cons of Concrete Flooring
Let’s get this straight right off the bat. You probably don’t want to ever think about installing a concrete floor on any level of your house except the basement or the first floor. If you want this material anywhere else, you’re going to end up paying less for the floor as you will to shore up the structural support on the given level you’d like to cover.
Concrete is an extremely affordable material, though. Other than the weight issue, there are many benefits to using this substance on a floor.
Concrete is infinitely versatile. There is nearly an endless variety of textures and colors you can incorporate.
To say that concrete flooring is durable is an understatement. Once poured, if you wanted to drive a tank over it, concrete can take it. That’s why you see this type of flooring in places like warehouses, big box stores and garages.
The only thing that will scratch a concrete floor is a jackhammer. Pet claws, heavy furniture, the typical stuff that would ruin a hardwood floor won’t hurt something as hard as concrete.
This choice of flooring lets you pocket some money because the only reason you’ll have to replace it is if you get sick of the look.
Since it will, most likely, never need to be replaced, your savings will come in the form of the long-term investment. This is the pro-part of the pricing. The downside is that you’ll pay more for installation. You’re looking at about $17 per square foot, decorative finishing included.
To get an idea of the costs associated with pouring concrete for a particular project, see our article on The Cost to Pour Concrete.
3.Pros: Energy And The Environment
Concrete floors can be an investment that has the potential to save you money on your energy bills. In the winter months, they suck up the heat from the sun. Summer-wise, you will feel a few degrees cooler with a concrete floor.
Most times there’s already a concrete subfloor under the flooring you currently have. Think about it. All you should need to do is remove the stuff that’s covering it. Voilà! You have just installed your new concrete floor. No new materials will have to be created, so it has a zero carbon footprint.
More plusses for a concrete floor are:
• Concrete floors do not contain harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). Most synthetic carpets do
• Carpets are notorious for dust mites. Concrete floors are virtually incapable of harboring any kind of pest
• Making concrete does not involve cutting down any trees
• Concrete can be recycled
Make sure that both the bottom and top surfaces are sealed. If this doesn’t happen, moisture will seep into the concrete. Even a little bit of wetness can be an incubator for mildew and mold. And if the temperature dips below freezing, the moisture will expand causing a serious crack in the slab.
In this case, durability also means that a concrete floor is really hard. You fall on a rug; you may suffer a carpet burn. You fall on a concrete floor; you may end up in the emergency room. Because of the hardness factor, it’s not recommended if you have elderly folks or kids living in the house.
6.Cons: Other Considerations
Beyond the obvious, here are some other things to take into account before you make your final decision:
• High traffic areas will need to be resealed about 5-times a year
• Be prepared to hear echoes and a lot of noise
• This is not a DIY project
• Even with a professional at the helm, expect a major mess
Thinking about concrete floors and how it has a gray industrial look occasionally steers folks away from the idea. That shouldn’t worry you. Concrete is infinitely versatile. There is nearly an endless variety of textures and colors you can incorporate. Just make sure that the one you pick you truly like.
It’s going to be there for a long, long time.
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