There are several types of flooring you can choose for your new home – wood, carpet, porcelain tiles, stone (slate, granite, marble), linoleum, vinyl or matting. If you’ve built on a concrete slab, you also have the choice of polished concrete.
The reality is that most homes will have 2-3 types of flooring – tiles in wet areas, carpet in bedrooms, wood or polished concrete in the living areas and hallways, or similar.
What you ultimately choose depends on what you most value about your flooring surface. As I see it, the factors that most people would consider include colour, pattern, wear/durability, look and feel (aesthetics), cleaning, compatibility with planned furnishings (interior design), and (in our more environmentally aware age) sustainability or impact on the environment. Simple personal preference from your life experience would also be a big factor.
There are pros and cons for every surface type, but I want to make the case for polished concrete as the ideal primary surface (yes, I’m biased, but there really is a good case to make for it).
Consider the factors in your choice and what you most value about your floors.
All flooring surfaces come in a range of colours, including concrete. Concrete can be coloured to any shade you imagine, including white.
Most flooring comes in a finite variety of patterns. With polished concrete, you can create a unique pattern through the type of aggregate used in the concrete and the amount of stone exposure via grinding. You can also choose a matt, satin or high gloss finish. Your completed floor will be truly one-of-a-kind and a work of art in its own right – not something you can say about any other flooring surface (see examples in our photo gallery).
Carpet can quickly show wear in high-traffic areas and generally gets ratty over time. Wooden floors generally wear well, but can be prone to damage, creaking, loss of lustre and eventually showing their wear. Linoleum and vinyl show wear and damage. Porcelain, slate and marble are durable, but may be prone to chipping. Of all surfaces, polished concrete is the toughest – the most durable and resistant to scratches, stains and chipping. It will NEVER have to be replaced.
- Look and feel (aesthetics).
This is a subjective characteristic for each person. What I can say is that polished concrete is beautiful, can be warm or cool, is an ongoing delight to the eyes, and is something you will never stop gaining pleasure from.
No other surface is as easy to clean as polished concrete. All it needs is vacuuming and an occasional mop with a gentle floor cleaner. All the food stains, dirt, oil, grease and water that can so damage other surfaces just wipe off polished concrete with no harm done and no lustre off its gloss. There is also no place for dust mites and other allergens to hide.Another factor is that most homes on concrete slabs have hydronic heating, not ducted heating. This greatly reduces the volume and circulation of dust, which in turn reduces cleaning and the reactions of allergy sufferers.
- Compatibility with planned furnishings (interior design).
Polished concrete can be tailored to suit planned furnishings. It is also an outstanding feature in its own right – perhaps you should plan your furnishings around your beautiful polished concrete floor! (It also looks great with stylish rugs.)
- Sustainability/impact on the environment.
A polished concrete floor is for life – it will never have to be replaced. You’ll never send any old flooring to the tip. Concrete is a natural product, made from limestone, gypsum, clays, sand, aggregate and water. The process of polishing the concrete does not create any toxic waste byproducts.
Polished concrete is ideal as the primary flooring in a new home. It’s perfect for the kitchen, bathroom and laundry as wet areas, and for that outdoor entertaining area you’ve planned. It’s seamless, laid in one piece with no cracks or edges to accumulate dirt or allergens or allow water to seep through.
It’s beautiful and hard-wearing for living areas that get a lot of foot traffic and often have furniture scrapped over them. It even works in bedrooms with a rug or two, although many people choose to carpet bedroom areas.
So there’s the case for considering polished concrete in your new home. What do you value most in your flooring? Ask me any questions you like about selecting polished concrete and I’ll show you why it’s a great choice.