Strength and Durability
Factory and warehouse buildings around the world share at least one thing in common—concrete floors. There’s a simple reason why: The material stands up easily to hard use, whether under the wheels of a forklift or the soles of your shoes. Drop something on it, and concrete flooring doesn't crack or dent. Drag something across it, and it doesn't get scratched. Resistant to fire and moisture, stains and odors, concrete flooring can last at least a lifetime, requiring nothing in return except regular cleaning and occasional resealing and/or waxing. Plus, if patching ever becomes necessary, a rapid-setting formulation like Rapid Set Cement All makes repairs quick and easy.
Lots of Looks
No one would blame you for thinking of concrete as coarse in texture, gray in color, and drab in overall appearance. But the fact is that with advanced manufacturing from the likes of CTS | Rapid Set, along with improved methods of installation, concrete can take on any number of compelling looks. For example, after it's been poured, concrete can be scored, stamped, or dyed. Later, once the concrete has cured, the finishing options broaden to include painting, staining, and etching. Whether you favor a glossy, one-color surface or an artful, one of a kind, multi-colored floor with a matte feel, you can achieve your vision with humble concrete. The aesthetic possibilities are virtually limitless.
Given the structural modifications necessary to support its substantial weight, concrete flooring can be prohibitively expensive to install in certain locations—the upper level of a home, for example, or the ground floor of any house with a basement. Typically, budget-minded homeowners pursue concrete flooring not with a fresh pour, but by removing the floor that currently exists over the slab foundation. Once that's out of the way, the only costs are elective ones. If you desire, and if you balk at doing the job yourself, you can hire a pro to refinish the exposed concrete surface. Expect to pay anywhere between $4 per square foot for a straightforward job up to around $12 or $15 for highly decorative faux finishes.
In contrast to almost any other type of floor, long-lasting concrete rarely requires replacement. If, however, 5 or 10 years down the line you decide that you no longer like the look or performance of your concrete floor, you are by no means stuck with it. On the contrary, in those instances where concrete makes a practical flooring choice in the first place, it requires little commitment. When you tire of a concrete floor, you can always change its appearance by refinishing it—or finishing it for the first time—to achieve a different effect. Alternatively, you can return the floor to blank-slate condition, using a cutting-edge product like Rapid Set NewCrete that imparts a pristine, like-new appearance. From there, you can either leave the concrete as is or install another material over it.
It’s true: Fluffy or Fido might prefer the cushiony comfort of carpeting or the warmth of hardwood. But if like many homeowners you are first and foremost concerned with protecting against pet damage—scratches and scuffs, odors and stains—then you couldn't hope for a flooring material more impervious to the wear and tear caused by cats and dogs. Unlike carpeting or wood—indeed, unlike many other types of flooring—properly sealed concrete simply can't be ruined by a pet. You'll need to clean up accidents, of course, but you can leave aside the special remedies. Doing a thorough cleaning job on concrete requires nothing more than a mop and a bucket of soapy water.
It almost seems strange to discuss flooring in terms of its effect on home health. Then again, in a flooring market saturated with so many products that off-gas harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds), it’s well worth noting that properly sealed concrete does nothing to detract from indoor air quality. It's also crucially important to know that different manufacturers use different processes to produce slightly different concrete mixes. Nonmetallic, with no chlorides added, Rapid Set Concrete Mix stands out from the rest as one of the most ecologically sensitive concrete products out there. In fact, compared with regular Portland cement, Rapid Set boasts a 65 percent smaller carbon footprint!
Get the help you need for the home you want—sign up for the Bob Vila newsletter today!