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How Long Does Concrete Flooring Last?

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Even the most cursory of glances at the internet will confirm what you already know – concrete is one very tough and very durable material.

Articles and experts alike will tell you that investing in a concrete floor will be one of the best things that you do. In terms of home improvements, a concrete floor will sit well in any property.

From zero to hero

Concrete is often seen as a dull, grey, rough industrial material. Even though it is strong, it functional and practical nature has meant that for a long time, it was seen as a poor relation to other materials, such as natural stone flooring or marble.

Frankly, the basic nature of the ingredients doesn’t make it stand out either – aggregate (small stones), sand, cement and a decent glug of water create a chemical reaction that turns the dry mix to a liquid which then cures or sets.

But, concrete has been hiding its light under a bushel, as the saying goes. Using the same ingredients, but by adding a chemical mix on top, a sealant or wax and buffing to a high shine, the concrete floor can look anything like concrete.

Want the stylish look of natural stone but not the price tag? Opt for concrete flooring in this style. Or maybe you want the decadence of marble flooring, but realise this is well out of your price range? Opt for concrete flooring with a marble finish instead. In all honesty, no one will know – unless you tell them of course.

But, is it really long-lasting?

If we said yes, you would probably respond by asking ‘what’s the catch?’.

You are right to be cautious as sometimes, wild promises are made with little gain for you. There are, however, many pros to concrete flooring that makes it a popular choice;

  • Ease of maintenance – a sweep, a mop and you have a hygienically clean floor
  • Robust – it takes a lot to damage a concrete floor, especially in the domestic setting
  • Visually pleasing – who doesn’t love a high sheen flooring surface?
  • Works well with underfloor heating – for extra warm feet and a comfortably heated home, concrete flooring is one of the best materials to use with underfloor heating
  • Durable – the very factor we are discussing, concrete is incredibly robust and durable

What affects durability?

How long concrete floor lasts is, like many other things in life – the car, the oven, the expensive bathroom furniture etc. – down to how well it is looked after.

A car that is regularly serviced will give far more reliability and longevity to an owner than one that is run nonstop from one MOT date to another.

Concrete floors are very much the same, especially the top layer of the floor. Whether you opt for marble effect, natural stone, laminate effect or wood, the better you look after the top layer of concrete flooring the better.

This does not mean, however, getting down on your hand and knees on a daily basis, scrubbing and scouring and giving yourself a nasty dose of housemaid’s knee.

Concrete floors can be look after easily, without compromising on how long it will last in your property.

Most people when they ask how long does concrete flooring last, really want to know how long the shiny floor surface will last. It depends on how the floor is used, as well as how well it is looked after;

  • Harsh chemicals soon dull the shine of a polished concrete floor, which is the first mistake that many homeowners make. In most cases, intentions are good because you want a floor that is squeaky clean, so why wouldn’t you use your normal brand of detergent on the floor?
  • To maintain the high sheen finish, however, it is best to use a pH neutral detergent (check the label) and to use warm water, rather than boiling or very hot.
  • A soft mop or cloth is sufficient to lift dirt off the surface of the floor, so put that scrubbing brush and wire wool pad away.

Ease of maintenance has been mentioned as a key reason why concrete flooring is incredibly popular but this does not mean that no cleaning or infrequent cleaning is an option. To keep that high shine for as long as possible, the concrete floor does need cleaning regularly, with dirt, soil, sand and other abrasive detritus lifting or sweeping away as soon as possible.

The daily grind will wear down the shine on your concrete floor but the structure of the floor will remain strong for years.