The Truth About Concrete Flooring
Myth 1: Bare concrete floors are cold and moist
Newer homes rarely don’t contain insulation these days, therefore keeping houses warm and cosy. Installing a vapour barrier under a new slab of concrete is now required to make the concrete moist-resistant making concrete problem free. Because of these features, more and more people want bare concrete in their homes.
Furthermore, people can install an in-floor radiant heat before pouring concrete that’s temperature controlled. It circulates heated water through polyethylene tubing to create a warm environment. Some heating systems allow retrofitting into existing concrete using a self-levelling overlay to cover the tubing.
Installing carpet over a concrete floor isn’t a good idea if the concrete isn’t insulated or unheated. The carpet may grow mildew and mold if this is the case. The floor is cooler than the air in the room, thus installing carpet will lower the floor’s temperature even more and if the humidity gets high, mold will grow underneath the carpet.
If you already have a moisture problem on your concrete, putting down carpet is only worthwhile if the problem is treated first. To test whether you’re concrete has been affected by moisture you can tape plastic sheeting to the concrete and seal the edges with duct tape then leave for 24 hours. If there is accumulation under the plastic, treatment must be made. Diamond Polished Concrete is naturally breathable, therefore if existing moisture problems arise, they will not affect the polished concrete finish.
Myth 2: Cracks in concrete should be covered up
Only if a crack is major and it affects the structure of the concrete should it need to be fixed. In actual fact, many keep the minor cracks in their concrete for the rustic look by exposing the cracks when staining the concrete. If the crack is more so a blemish, an overlay is recommended.
Myth 3: Carpet is homier and inviting than concrete
Due to concretes varies choices of attractive features, concrete can look warm and is easy to achieve. Colours such as rich earthy tones and mutual tones can achieve a similar look and feel that carpet brings. Also, by putting down rugs in areas of high traffic, it can help with that wholehearted look for your home.
Decorating your concrete with stains, polish or dyes does not create any harm from chemical emissions like carpet does. Rooms that aren’t ventilated much makes carpet more prone to be hazardous along with the allergies it can bring.
Also, hardwood flooring isn’t practical to have as a basement flooring over concrete as it also may create moisture problems. An alternative to getting this look is applying an overlay then stamping it with a wood-grain pattern.
Myth 4: Sealing concrete helps reduce radon infiltration
If radon is present in the soil around a basement, it can still infiltrate into a room through cracks in the concrete. Sealing alone will not lower the radon levels enough to be affective. Some building codes actually require a radon test when construction is taking place. New homes may require a vapour barrier which helps block any radon infiltration. Before renovating in existing homes, a radon test should be taken. It’s least expensive to install a radon-reduction system during your renovations rather than afterwards if this is the solution you are choosing.
Myth 5: Customised concrete flooring is slippery
Customising decorative concrete may look slippery, but in fact it is just a slippery as any ceramic tiles or vinyl. Polished concrete or high-gloss sealers can reduce traction, but you may ask to have a non-slip coat mixed with the stain or sealer being used to add more traction.
Myth 6: Floor coverings are cheaper than customised concrete flooring
Compared to floor coverings, customising your concrete is can be more expensive intially, however you do pay for what you get. Concrete has a higher life expectancy than any carpet, vinyl or wood laminates. Also, it consists of very minimal maintenance and doesn’t react to stains or damage to general spills as carpet does and is therefore easy to clean up any mess. Protecting your concrete with a good sealer will make flooring resistant to harsh stains or chemicals.
If a certain look is to be achieved, mimicking ceramic tiles, marble or granite or wood can be done and therefore it’s still getting the benefits of concrete. It is a more economical way of styling your home or business and saves time on cleaning up harsh stains.
If a basement were to be flooded by heavy rain, concrete would be able to sustain the impact unlike coverings as they stain, create odor, warp, peel or gain mildew.
Myth 7: Floor coverings offer more design/colour options than concrete
Concrete is the ultimate material that can create any decorative pattern, boarder, colour or texture desired. Stains, dyes, epoxy, overlays, stamping, paints and stencilling are some ways to decorate your concrete. These methods can also be combined to make a different look. Some choices of how to customise concrete are:
- Stencilling a faux area rug in the entries of homes and boarding them with colourful patterns. Applying colour into stains or dyes makes it all the more special.
- A stamped overlay is good to touch up existing basement flooring as a look of stone, slate or hardwood flooring. Using a stampable overlay, colouring agents and stamping tools, this look can be completed with success.
- Paint can be used to mimic marble or tile if anticipated. Finishing techniques such as sponging and splattering is usually used with multiple colours to get this look.
- Staining floors is a common choice as it gives a rich and translucent of colour to a room. By using three to four different shades or colours, a dramatic affect or a dimensional affect will come through.
- Epoxy coatings are also very common being a simple look. Epoxy flooring is great for utility rooms or workshops. The surface of the concrete can be decorated with colour flakes or chips to make it more complex and eye-catching.