There’s no doubt that concrete as a building material is both strong and durable. It can’t be scratched or dented—it can be chipped, however. It’s simple and elegant, and can be dyed a variety of colors and styles to suit. But, if it’s so great, then why doesn’t everyone just tear up the old carpet or the hardwoods and pour a slab on the living room floor? The answer is that there are benefits and potential drawbacks to using concrete as an interior floor.
Concrete is relatively affordable, although like other building materials such as hardwoods, ceramic, or stone, its price depends on the application. It’s low maintenance, requiring nothing more than sweeping. Because concrete is sealed it should make for a slick enough surface to remove easily dirt and dust, pet hair. And its simplicity is its best attribute: it can be styled to look like absolutely anything; dyed in any color or style; and made to look one-of-a-kind.
There are a few drawbacks, of course, to using concrete as an interior floor. First, concrete is hard and remains that way underfoot. This hardness makes it both semi-unforgiving to walk on or run on (scrapped knees for children who run and fall on it) and for anything dropped: where a dropped wine glass may bounce-away intact, it’s likely to shatter on impact on concrete. Also, Concrete has a stony coolness to it. And, what may be the greatest drawback of all, is that concrete can crack eventually as the house shifts. And these cracks can be repaired, however when the floor turns south far enough that you will want to replace it (years down the road, of course, remember concrete is a long-lasting durable material), it’s not as easy as just removing the planks of a wood floor or tearing out carpet.
If you have never worked with concrete, or have never had to use it for a broad application such as a home’s floor, the job may be too great for inexperienced hands, and may require a call to the professionals.