And with so many materials on offer, the saturated marketing of competing and vying floor companies can make the process of choosing the right flooring for your home or business a difficult task.
The ‘new kid on the block’?
There is a ‘new’ material that is, however, beginning to make waves in the world of interior design and flooring… but it isn’t a ‘new’ material as such. Concrete, and its ingredients such as cement, have been around for many years; in fact cement, or a version thereof, was first thought to have been used by ancient Egyptians.
Concrete in the modern world, had been long used to create industrial buildings and, in more recent years, modern family homes too – and no surprise, when you consider the versatility, robustness and durability of this exceptionally strong material. It is only now that we are truly realising the beauty of concrete within the home, creating worktops and, more recently, a range of stunning polished concrete floors.
Comparing stained concrete with other flooring materials
Staining concrete is the process in which the material is given colour, as opposed to settling for grey! It has opened up a whole range of possibilities for consumers, but how does it fare against other flooring materials?
- Colours – many homeowners are looking for something different, that gives them dramatic, rich colour that does not means busting the renovation budget. There are a range of ways that colour is added to concrete floors and, even better is the fact this colour palette seems unlimited. Other materials do offer a range of colours, but are they unique from property to property? Are the colours and finishes available as wide and varied as stained concrete? In the main, the answer is no.
- Performance and longevity – like any major investment in the home or business, you want and need it to last for as long as possible, but also at its best. Concrete is one of the most robust materials known to man, and has been like this for some time. Whole skyscrapers, industrial buildings and homes are built from this strong durable material. With minimal care, it will retain its highly polished finish but will also function to the best of its ability for years too. Can you say this about other materials? Wood can rot, over time, and will not last as long as concrete. Other materials need to be taken care of and are considered high maintenance, not suited to all busy homes and businesses.
- Customised and unique – savvy homeowners are looking for flooring that is stylish, elegant and undeniably individual. Although you may get a beautiful finish with wood or tiles, isn’t the floor more or less the same as the tiled floor next door? Or in the office complex down the road? Stained concrete floors give the consumer a truly brilliant opportunity to create something beautiful and bespoke. Add to this visual appeal, the beauty that it will last the test of time and everyday life, and you have something amazing.
- Radiate heat and soak up solar energy – as sunlight pours through the window, it heats the room as well as basking it in golden, yellow sunshine. Some materials can zone in on this solar energy and lock in this heat. Known as passive solar energy, every home could do with harnessing this heat and with a stained concrete floor, this is exactly what happens. The sunlight warms the concrete and it retains the heat, meaning the room stays warm too. The only other material that can does this is natural stone; wood is not able to do it, nor laminate, vinyl, linoleum, ceramic tile or carpet.
- Hygiene – we are all growing increasingly conscious of what lives in our homes and businesses alongside us; many of these tiny critters – the fleas, the dust mites etc. – are all unwelcome. For many people, a high concentration of dust mites, for example, can cause an allergic reaction; from sneezing fits to asthma attacks, it is no wonder that hygiene in the home is a priority for many people. Stained concrete floors are easily kept clean; they are simply swept and mopped. Carpet can harbour dust mites, and wood can be susceptible to mites and other pests.
- Cost – in terms of average cost, concrete floors are far more cost-effective than any other kind of flooring, but as with all materials, the cost depends on the size, the complexity of the finish as much as the skill and raw materials involved.
But, knowing that you will only spend this money once in your life and still have the same, high quality finish and functioning floor for years to come, surely makes concrete floors the most cost-effective material out of them all?