Types of Concrete Floors

Types of Concrete Floors

Add color to make the floors unique

By Sylvia Cochran

Room with concrete floors
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Concrete is little more than a mix of water, sand or crushed rocks and cement. That being said, it is available in a myriad of styles, colors and finishes. As you consider the various types of concrete floors that might provide a stunning walking surface for your home or office, you will notice that they most commonly vary with respect to three components: the surface look, materials contained in the mix and the overall coloring.

Different Surfaces for Concrete Floors

You are most likely familiar with a stamped concrete floor; this is the kind of surface you may encounter in a driveway, when a stamping tool creates symmetrical indents to mimic the use of cobblestones or other fancy tile work. Interior uses of this technique allow you to create the illusion of having a tiled floor consisting of individual components. Another surface option is a simple sealant. This protects the floor from absorbing any liquids that might leave stains behind. The sealant may also enhance safety by adding slip-resistant qualities to the floor. If you prefer the look of a waxed surface, consider a final polish that will leave the floor as shiny as a mirrored surface. You may combine the stamping with the polishing for a marble-like quality of the finished floor, which is a lot cheaper than purchasing that stone and using it for flooring.

Material Variances in Concrete Floors

Concrete is most commonly mixed with builder's sand to create an even consistency that makes the material easier to work with. Stamping, sealing and polishing a floor made with sand is quick and easy. There is another option that alters the consistency of the mix: Exchange sand for gravel. The resulting floors are not as smooth and instead seem to have occasional protrusions. This provides extra traction, which makes this kind of concrete floor an excellent choice for stairs, halls, sidewalks and driveways. Due to the unevenness of the ingredients in the mix, stamping is usually not a good choice for this type of surface.

Coloring as a Type of Concrete Floor

Although you might think of coloring as an afterthought when it comes to concrete flooring, there are a number of variances that make colored concrete its own type. Stained concrete is an excellent choice when you would like the illusion of having used marble or granite slabs for your flooring option. Or you may choose to dye the concrete mix to any color of the rainbow, which is a great option when you rely on concrete for flooring in each room of the home. It is also an excellent selection when you are seeking to accomplish a terrazzo look for an entertainment room or indoor/outdoor use area.

Choosing the Right Types of Concrete Floors

Discuss your desired concrete flooring with a concrete professional, who has ample experience with the installation of concrete floors. They will assist you in choosing the right material and finish. For example, concrete flooring on an upper story may require a thinner layer, thus making the deep grooves used with stamping not necessarily a good choice.

About the Author

Sylvia Cochran is a regular contributor to DexKnows, specializing in home and garden.

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