Decorative Concrete Floors – Some Options

For years no one would have been caught dead with an uncovered concrete floor in their home other than in an unfinished basement or the garage. People just thought concrete was cheap looking and definitely needed to be covered up. The idea of decorative concrete was really not even thought of. This reminds me of a conversation I had with my Grandfather back in the 70’s when natural wood cabinetry was becoming popular. He couldn’t understand why someone would spend good money to refurnish their kitchen and then leave the wood exposed. He grew up in the time that only poor people didn’t paint the inside and outside of their homes.
I suppose this is also where the idea that concrete was not a designer item came from also. But actually, polished concrete floors look great even if they aren’t stained. I have a friend who built a house and his entire bottom floor is exposed concrete that is polished and it looks absolutely amazing. He also has an in floor heating system so that works well too. The concrete is always nice and warm for walking with bare feet.
Another great decorative option is us to use concrete stamps to create a design that can look like tile, natural stones, or really any design you want. This is very popular in driveways where you want to break up the surface of the concrete slab but you don’t want to actually pay the cost of installing pavers or tile. This process must either be done when the concrete is originally poured or you must use a thick layer over the existing slab than you can embed the stamps into in order to make the designs. The results of stamping concrete designs can really make a driveway look great.
Another place that can often times be stamped with good effects is an entry way. Usually, a concrete floor is very handy on an enclosed porch because the flooring is protected from water being brought in as rain drips or snow melt. Again, the stamps can take the place of expensive tiles and can seem real. Most people don’t use stamps inside the house because it makes a floor that is hard to clean and very uneven. If you going to use concrete inside then apply some sort of concrete treatment.

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Another treatment besides polishing that is gaining favor is stains. Stained concrete can be made any color you want and if you then wax and polish the surface you can create very dramatic looks. Be sure to use a good quality stain like acid staining because it actually goes into the surface. But, a note of caution, use only fairly neutral colors because even though that lime green floor seems neat now, if you stain it you may have to live with this headache for years to come.

Whatever type of treatment you intend to do to your concrete floor, be sure to get all the information you need before buying any products.  Most of the possibilities you can choose will give results that last for several years, and some of them are very hard to change.  You definitely want to have a good plan before you get started.  Find out all you can about the many options available so that you can make a decision you will be happy with for years to come.

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2 Comments for “Decorative Concrete Floors – Some Options”

  1. Great information, we usually use a poly urethane sealer on top of our epoxy floors for added protection. I have been reading alot of great information about some PAPs and currently awaiting some sample kits to arrive to try them out! decorative concrete floors are becoming very popular in the Dallas area!

  2. Thank you for sharing that information with our readers Austin. The poly urethane sealer will give it an extra hard coat for longer life.

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