Concrete as a building material usually brings to mind a dull gray surface. Raw concrete is cold and austere, and few would consider it ideal flooring for their home. Seeing some of the beautiful work being done through concrete floor staining might change their minds.
A simple concrete floor can be treated and stained to look like stone, marble or even hardwood. Concrete Network cites brown concrete as the most-often-viewed concrete flooring design.
By staining concrete (see video below) in deep earth tones, a room can take on a warm inviting look. Deep walnut colors in stained concrete tie in well with dark wood furniture, while also giving it a modern feel.
It’s not just the design possibilities that have drawn homeowners to stained concrete flooring. Houzz and Red Beacon list some of the benefits of this flooring alternative. Concrete floors are easy to maintain and clean, and are great for homes with pets or those who worry about allergens that can be trapped in carpet. Since most homes already have a concrete subfloor, changing from a carpeted or tiled floor to stained concrete can be economical and more environmentally friendly than installing a new floor. Depending on the intricacy of the design, a stained concrete floor can cost as little as $2 per square foot. Once installed, there should be no reason to ever replace a concrete floor, other than changing the stain design.
Should a homeowner opt to pour new concrete for flooring, HGTV notes that the environmental impact of locally poured concrete is less than that of other manufactured synthetic or natural flooring options. It’s natural ability to hold temperatures could also result in lower heating and cooling bills.
For those who are looking for an even more environmentally friendly method of staining concrete, Eco Safety Products has developed a line of soy-based concrete stains suitable for indoor and outdoor concrete staining as an alternative to acid staining cement. In an easy-to-follow guide on how to stain concrete, Eco Safety claims their products allow an area to be stained and sealed in one day.
One homeowner decided to take the plunge into stained concrete for his home but was put off by the $7,000 quoted by the concrete contractor. It took a significant amount of work, but two inexperienced yet ambitious people were able to give their home a stylishly modern upgrade for only $500. Although the floor has the look of acid-stained concrete, YouTuber koolcukumber actually used semitransparent stain over latex paint.
It has been two years since koolcukumber switched to concrete floors, and he is still singing its praises. “It had held up to furniture being moved around, my daughter high heels, and cat that urinated on it and we didn’t discover til after 24 hrs, I didn’t realize a planter that I had was leaking water for months!” he noted in the comments section of his video.
Due to the smell of epoxy or polyurethane sealers, koolcukumber opted for a water-based polycrylic protective finish. The downside to this option is that it must be reapplied every few years. “Even though there are no signs of wear, I just know that high traffic areas must be wearing thin and want to stay on top of it. Also we will not use the clear gloss next time as it almost makes the floors too shiny, especially when sunlight hits through the windows, and also scuff marks show up that I have to rub out. So next time going with matte finish.”
Considering the versatility, cost and environmental benefits of concrete flooring, it’s easy to see why it is becoming an increasingly popular option for homeowners and businesses alike.