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Why You Should Enhance—Not Cover Up—Concrete Basement Floors

Concrete has become an emergent flooring trend and for a good reason. Concrete is so much more than the gray, dull, industrial floors that it used to be considered. It’s transitioned from warehouse environments to residential, business, and commercial settings as well.

Concrete is a common subfloor because of its foundational durability and strength. It’s likely that your home or office already has a concrete base, whether exposed or hidden under other flooring.

If you’re updating your floors, enhancing your concrete is one of the most economical and attractive options. It’s time to stop covering the natural, versatile beauty of your concrete.

Why is concrete the best option for your basement and other residential flooring?

1. Durability

Concrete is the most durable flooring on the market, which is why it’s often used as a subfloor or foundation. When polished and sealed, concrete can withstand all kinds of wear-and-tear. Concrete is stain-proof, weather-proof, waterproof, and scratch-proof. This makes it ideal for spaces with heavy furniture or storage.

Concrete is a great option if your space needs durable, strong floors that can withhold extensive wear.

2. Low maintenance

Concrete is easy to clean and maintain. Polished and sealed concrete floors minimize dust, debris, stains, spills, and gunk. It’s also not susceptible to mold, mildew, or odors like other types of flooring. This significantly reduces maintenance energy and costs.  

Because of its cleanliness, concrete is also a healthy option. It’s allergy -and pet-friendly, which keeps the space clean and clear for inhabitants.

How to maintain: Concrete requires weekly sweeping and mopping. You should also seal or wax concrete floors every 9 months for ongoing protection. Click here to learn how to effectively maintain polished concrete floors.

3. Easy repairs

If something does happen to your concrete, which is rare, it’s easy and inexpensive to repair. Small cracks in concrete can be filled and leveled to appear as though there were never a fissure in the first place.

Learn how to repair cracked concrete here.

4. Longevity

Ongoing maintenance and cleaning also helps extend the lifespan of these durable floors. In fact, polished and maintained concrete can last for a century. Better yet, aged and cracked concrete actually looks better with age. This can drastically save your budget by not requiring multiple flooring installations.

5. Trend longevity

Concrete improves the value of your home over time because it ages beautifully. Concrete also never goes out of style. You’ll never be stuck with outdated floors, like shag carpets or neon tiles.  

If you (or a future homeowner) decide you no longer want concrete, you can easily use that concrete as the subfloor for another type of flooring. Then, in the future, you can rip up that other flooring and return to concrete if you wish.

Concrete withstands time and trends.

6. Versatility

Concrete can be used in just about any environment or situation. It works well indoors or outdoors and for home or commercial use. You can also use a variety of colors and textures to match just about any décor.

You can use concrete dyes, stains, or paints to color your concrete with just about any pigment you can imagine. Dyes create a more uniform look, while stains create a natural, variegated appearance.

You can also use texturing techniques like concrete stamps or decorative overlays. This allows your concrete to mimic other flooring designs, like hardwood, tile, or stone. In this way, you can have a natural look without the hefty expense and difficult maintenance of natural materials.

Reading resources:

Why You Should Enhance—Not Cover Up—Concrete Basement Floors

7. Environmental

Concrete uses less energy to install than other flooring types. Its application generally has less chemical runoff into local water reserves. This is especially true if you use polishing and sealing as opposed to acid washes or stains.

Concrete also doesn’t deplete natural resources like marble, hardwood, or stone. You can make your concrete appear like these natural materials without actually pulling these resources from the environment. This makes it a more sustainable option for home renovations, because you’re not using a new floor on top of the concrete subfloor.

It’s important to note, though, that pouring new concrete is not 100% eco-friendly. Concrete production releases a number of chemicals and greenhouse gasses into the air. Still, it’s generally a more environmental choice than other flooring production, like tile or vinyl. Check out the most effective green flooring options by The Spruce.

8. Economical

The cost of concrete is much lower than other flooring options. Polished concrete costs about $2 to $6 and more elaborate applications are $5 to $8 per square foot. The most expensive concrete is usually only up to $15 per square foot. Compare this to the average cost of hardwood at $17 per square foot or tile at $16 per square foot.

Plus, if your subfloor is already concrete, you save a significant amount on resources and installation. You then only have to pay for the concrete’s cleaning, staining/dying, and polishing/sealing. Some of these processes can even be done at home by even the most amateur flooring DIYers.

Check out the Onfloor blog for resources about at-home concrete applications.

What are the drawbacks of concrete?

Despite concrete’s advantages and benefits, there are some concerns with concrete for certain spaces.

The greatest disadvantage is its hardness. Concrete is highly durable and scratch-proof, which helps the maintenance and longevity of your floors. However, if you drop something on concrete, that item is likely to break against the concrete’s sturdiness.

You also don’t want to stand on hard concrete floors for too long, as this can hurt your back and legs. Thus, a lot of people will avoid using concrete in kitchen or play areas. Concrete is more common in living rooms, basements, and outdoor spaces.

Concrete can also get cold, and it doesn’t circulate heat well. Some companies have started creating heated concrete mechanisms to offset this, so you can actually control the temperature of your floor underfoot. You can also use carpets or throw rugs to warm up the room and add a homey feel.

Concrete is susceptible to moisture unless waterproofed and sealed. If unsealed, water can seep into the pores of concrete to damage or stain the area. This moisture can also freeze, which can cause the floor to expand and crack.

Thus, you want to polish and seal floors on a consistent basis to protect against moisture changes. In some cases, you’ll want “grind and seal” concrete floors for ultimate durability and longevity.

Bottom Line

Concrete’s beautiful design options, durability, eco-friendliness, and maintenance makes it ideal for nearly any space in your home. It’s especially useful for basements, which generally require a more durable and resistant flooring.

If you’re in the process of renovating your floors, consider saving time, money, and resources by rejuvenating your concrete subfloors. Best yet, you can update and re-update your concrete with new dyes and seals—so you can have refreshed concrete floors every few years!

Are you looking for a cost-effective floor renovation?

Let Onfloor help you update and enhance your concrete flooring.

Contact us now to start prep your concrete to match the design of your home or business!
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