How Long Does Concrete Flooring Last?
Concrete flooring is an option that more and more people are choosing. You too may be considering adding concrete flooring to your home or new build. You will no doubt have many questions and we attempt to answer them here.
If you are a sceptic about concrete flooring, this should help change your mind…
How long does a concrete floor last?
Concrete is an incredibly long-lasting, robust and durable material. Even under extreme stress, it remains solid and strong.
Thus, a concrete floor can last for years and years, well beyond our lifetime. This is why it is a material used in the construction of all kinds of buildings, as well as being a favoured material for flooring.
With additional treatment and a good quality sealant, it can take on the look of a different material entirely.
However, before you roll your sleeves up ad hire a concrete mixer for the day, be aware that concrete flooring is only as good as the concrete mix that is laid. Too much water makes it weak and causes it to shrink on drying, leaving unsightly cracks peppered across the surface.
For something as important as a concrete floor, always consider hiring in the professionals rather than having a go yourself.
So, concrete floors are prone to cracking then?
No, not necessarily. Knowing how to create the mix of concrete, how to use it and how to let it cure all help in creating a flawless finish that will last for decades.
Cracks occur when the natural expansion and shrinkage of concrete has not been taken into account, or when the laying of the concrete has done been done with due care and attention.
Having said that, one reason why many people opt for this kind of flooring is the textured look and feel of a concrete floor. You may not mind the odd crack but clearly an obvious crack running up the centre of your floor is not desirable at all.
Will the concrete floor feel cold and damp?
The industrial, cold, grey look of industrial concrete that we are used to can mean that we assume it will be cold and damp to touch.
Clearly, it will feel colder underfoot, but so does ceramic tiles and natural stone flooring. Concrete has great thermal conductivity properties which means it is great at not only grabbing heat but keeping hold of it.
This serves two purposes:
- Heat from the sun – as sunlight pours in through the window, the floor will feel quite pleasant under foot as it will be heated by the sun, staying warm for some time after the sunlight fades
- Underfloor heating – many people are also opting for wet underfloor heating, a system in which warm water is pumped through a network of pipes beneath the top layer of floor. Screed is applied over these pipes and can then be buffed, treated and polished to give a high shine to the top layer which will be delightfully warm floor surface beneath your feet.
Are concrete floors loud and hard?
Clearly, concrete is a hard material and won’t ‘give’ under your feet as you walk or run across it. But it is this very hardness that gives the concrete floor its durability and abrasion resistance.
In a commercial or industrial setting, hard floors are good. They are safer and easier to clear, as well as being more than able to withstand heavy objects, movement and heavy foot traffic.
In a residential setting, it can appear too hard which is why ‘softening’ the floor with rugs is a great way of adding texture and ‘warmth’ to a room. Concrete floors are much easier to polish and keep clean too.
There is an echo effect with concrete floors, as there are will all other kinds of hard floors but many people find that using sound-absorbing materials in a room help to diminish this echo. Anything from fabric sofas to cushions, rugs and so on all help to absorb sound, making ‘clunking’ footsteps less noticeable.
Are concrete floors slippery?
As soon as people see the high gloss, polished finish they immediately assume that walking from one area of a room to the other will be akin to negotiating an ice skating rink.
This is not the case. Applying a high-gloss sealer protects and enhances the floor and although traction underfoot may be lessened somewhat, it doesn’t make it dangerous. Some stains contain a non-slip additive that reduces the possibility of slipperiness too, if you feel more comfortable doing this.
Concrete flooring is an amazing addition to any home, why not yours?