Common Queries and Questions
When people are first introduced to the beauty of decorative concrete flooring, they are initially "floored" by its good looks (sorry, the pun was too tempting to pass up). However, once that love-at-first-sight reaction fades, it's often followed by skepticism about the practicality of concrete flooring, especially in a home environment. Many homeowners will ask: Beyond its aesthetic attributes, is concrete really a flooring material I can live with for the long term?
Like any flooring material, concrete does have some inherent drawbacks. However, many of them are easy to overcome, and in the end, the positives of concrete flooring far outweigh the negatives. Are decorative concrete floors right for your home or business? To help you decide, here are answers to common questions about concrete floor benefits, appearance, performance, and maintenance.
Q: Is Polished Concrete Slippery?
A: This is the most common question we are asked. In fact Polished Concrete is far more safe than most tile and stone surfaces as it has a higher level of traction.
Q: Is polished concrete a cold surface?
A: Polished Concrete Floors and Surfaces are surprisingly much warmer than Stone and Travertine Surfaces and Floors.
Q: Does your company do free estimates?
A: Yes we do.
Q: Can I color my concrete floor?
A: Yes, there are many colors, layouts and even custom faux finishes to choose from.
Q: How long will it take to polish my concrete floor?
A: Depending on the size of your floor this will vary. Call us today for information and advise over the phone.
Q: What is your company's booking lead time.
A: Depending on the time of year we average between 4-8 weeks advance lead time.
Some General Questions about Concrete Flooring
Q: Are concrete floors prone to cracking?
A: The most common objection to concrete floors is the potential for cracking. However, some people actually love the rustic, organic look that can be achieved by staining the floor and leaving minor random cracks exposed (see Polishing and Dye Enhance Cracks in Existing Floor). If cracks are perceived as an eyesore, microtoppings offer the ability to hide them under a smooth, new surface that can accept a wide array of decorative treatments, including staining, stamping, and stenciling.
Are concrete floors cold and damp?
Concrete can be cold, but no more so than ceramic tile or natural stone flooring. Plus, it's possible to warm up concrete floors by taking advantage of concrete's ability to store and radiate heat. For example, you can embed radiant heating cables in concrete floors to keep them toasty warm in the winter. You can also design your home to maximize the amount of sunlight entering through windows in the winter, allowing concrete floors to absorb and radiate the heat
Concrete floors won't become damp unless they aren't insulated properly or the slab is built on a poorly drained subgrade. In properly constructed newer homes, today's building codes typically require installation of a vapor barrier under concrete slabs to block moisture migration and that feeling of dampness (see Choosing a Vapor Barrier).
Are concrete floors loud and hard on the feet?
Concrete is a hard material, so it won't cushion or "give" under bare feet. But concrete's hardness is also what contributes to its durability and abrasion resistance. In a commercial or warehouse setting, hard is good. You need a hard surface that can stand up to forklift traffic and heavy foot traffic. For a residential floor, you can help cushion concrete with area rugs, which are easier to clean than wall-to-wall carpet. While concrete may be hard, it's not abrasive to the feet, especially if it's polished or has a smooth finish.
Concrete floors can be loud and produce an echo effect, but no more so than ceramic tile, natural stone flooring, and some hardwood or bamboo floors. You can muffle the echo effect by using sound-absorptive materials in the room, such as area rugs, curtains, pillows and wall fabrics.
Are decorative concrete floors expensive?
When compared with high-end floor coverings, such as ceramic tile, slate and marble, decorative concrete is often an economical alternative. Plus, skilled concrete artisans can duplicate the look of these pricier materials. The life expectancy of a concrete floor will also far surpass that of low- to mid-priced floor coverings, such as carpeting, vinyl tile and wood laminates. That means in the long run you can save money because you'll never need to rip out and replace worn or damaged flooring
Is decorative concrete flooring maintenance-free?
While concrete floors are relatively easy to maintain, compared with other types of floor surfaces, they aren't completely maintenance free. How much maintenance your floor will need largely depends on the amount of traffic it receives. The maintenance needs of a residential floor will be much different than those for a floor in a high-traffic commercial or retail environment.
In most cases, residential floors experience light foot traffic, and a simple cleaning regimen of occasional sweeping and damp mopping will keep concrete floors looking like new for many years. Protecting concrete floors with a good sealer and a coat of floor finish or wax will make them even more resistant to stains, chemicals and abrasion. In areas of heavy traffic, such as entrances and foyers, you can reduce maintenance and wear and tear by using floor mats, both inside and outside of the entryways.