When thinking about flooring for our homes, most of us are considering a choice between floorboards, laminates and good old-fashioned carpet of one kind or another. In recent years the stripped and treated floorboards have held sway. They may be noisy and sometimes draughty but they are versatile, hard-wearing and give our homes a stripped-back feel of modernism.
More of us are now turning to polished concrete as the material looks good, provides clean lines and works perfectly with the unobtrusive underfloor heating that many homeowners desire. After all, underfloor heating cuts out the need for bulky radiators and provides heat across a room rather than concentrating it in one corner. Your concrete will then be warm underfoot in winter and cool underfoot in the summer, offering you the best of both worlds. And what is more, it will last you forever.
There is no getting away from the fact that concrete has an industrial look but it need not always be plain old grey. Colour can be added to the mix when the floor is poured, as can textures and coloured chips or sparkles. Your flooring specialist will be able to offer a variety of finishes, although you should be aware that the price will rise as you steer away from the city centre greys.
Polished concrete cost -you can expect to pay upwards of £60 per-square metre for a basic job in an easy-to-install environment but you can go up to £400 per-square metre with add-ons.
As you can imagine, concrete is somewhat messy to put in but contractors will tidy and clean up after themselves once the floor is poured, dried and polished to a shine. A degree of disruption to home life should be expected but not much more than you would expect when laying any other floor surface. Although, of course, you will have to keep children and pets at bay, unless you want their footprints to be immortalised in your shiny new flooring.
How to polish concrete – once your floor is poured, levelled and set then the real magic that you are paying for begins. The floor’s surface will be ground with industrial machinery with diamond abrasion units installed. A densifying material is added to the concrete’s surface and then a final polish can be completed. All you have to then do is give it a mop now and again. If the sheen goes over time then you can have it re-polished.
Some contractors will do the abrasive part of the job while the concrete is still wet. But each contractor will be able to advise you on his/her methods and talk over any design or style needs you may have when they come to measure up for the job.
The downside of concrete flooring is that it is hard to remove if you decide for some reason that you have tired of the look. It is also hard full stop. So it may not be suitable in spaces where children are running around or where elderly relatives are in danger of falling.
Polished concrete flooring is definitely not one to make a snap decision about but I’m inclined to think that the upfront cost will be worth it, both in terms of longevity and good looks.