Finished Concrete Floors: The Pros and Cons

finished concrete floor

Concrete, as with all flooring materials, has various benefits that has made it a popular choice for high traffic areas and commercial industries, but there can be some downfalls to using it in particular areas. However, most of them can be overcome easily, and the positives vastly outweigh the negatives for concrete flooring. The demands of the environment and the location are very important to understand before making a decision to install concrete flooring. Let’s explore some of the pro’s and con’s.

The Pros

Durability - Concrete floors are very resilient and tough. They are able to handle weight from equipment and heavy foot traffic. They are extremely strong, so it is close to impossible to damage them.

Longevity - If properly installed, sealed, and maintained, concrete floors can last for up to a hundred plus years. They can withstand even some of the harshest commercial environments. Comparing the lifespan of other materials, such as wood floors or carpeting, concrete floors are the better choice and you will ultimately save money from not having to replace components and the low maintenance.

Low Maintenance - One of the best perks of concrete flooring is that it is low maintenance. Most concrete floors just need to be swept and mopped regularly to remove and marks and to restore shine. There are some variations of concrete floors that can require additional maintenance.

Cost - Concrete flooring can cost as low as $2.00 per square foot. However, they can also cost upwards of $30 per square foot depending of the complexity of the job. That being said, most concrete floors are very affordable, particularly if there are existing slabs of concrete that only need to be stained, polished, or sealed. While it might seem pricey when it is installed, part of what makes it an affordable option is that it will last more than a lifetime and is low maintenance, unlike other flooring options.

Design - There are tons of design options for concrete. You can have it stamped to look like other expensive materials, as well as stained in various colors or metallics. The patterns, colors, and stains are endless, so you can really customize it any way you want.  

Clean - Concrete floors are very sanitary compared to other materials. Most concrete floor finishes are basically waterproof, especially if they have been sealed. Some sealants even contain an antimicrobial protectant.Well done concrete floors should be free of cracks and crevices that could trap food and other debris.

Chemicals - Unlike other flooring materials, such as carpet, concrete floors do not contain Volatile Organic Compounds

Sealants - There are a lot of options for different sealants and coatings for different factors that may need to be considered in certain environments. There is a non-slip epoxy coating to add texture to prevent falls and other injuries. There is a chemical resistant epoxy coating that protects the floor from chemicals, such as acids and alkalis, and corrosion. If they concrete floors are going be in an area exposed to very hot water or steam then you can use a thermal shock resistant coating. Antistatic coatings can also be applied to protect static sensitive equipment from static discharge.

The Cons

Hard Surface - Concrete is very strong and hard making it uncomfortable for long periods of standing. Purchasing rugs or special anti-fatigue mats to place in areas used for standing can help relieve any pain from prolonged standing.

Cold - Concrete floors are cold, this is probably one of the biggest complaints of concrete floors. However, the temperature is going to be similar to natural stone or ceramic tile flooring. One way to avoid cold floors is to add radiant heating cables into the concrete upon installation. The plus side to this is that radiant heated flooring consumes less energy and costs less than forced air heat to reach the same desired temperature of the floor to keep your feet comfortable.

Moisture - If concrete floors are not properly installed, finished, and sealed then there is a possibility that moisture will penetrate the concrete causing mold and mildew. This should not be a concern however, if you hire a trusted professional to finish and seal your floors.

Sound - Like ceramic tile and natural stone flooring, if you drop something on a finished concrete floor it will be loud. Sound absorbing or blocking elements can be added to the room such as heavy drapes, rugs, and acoustic walls panels to help reduce loud sounds.

There are so many creative and custom options for finishing concrete, but first and foremost important is the concrete itself. At Custom Concrete Creations we have state of the art equipment and a properly trained team with years of experience. Custom Concrete Creations is a premier contractor serving the Omaha area as well at the Midwest. Give us a call or send us an email for your custom concrete finishing needs today!