For a long time, concrete was considered a cold, ugly and strictly utilitarian building material that had no real place in projects where aesthetics would be an important factor. In recent years, however, this has all changed. Concrete flooring has surged in popularity, and there are now a number of different ways it can be altered and styled.
This month, the EasyMix team is going to be taking a look at some of the more popular concrete flooring finishes so you can get a better idea of what might look best in your home or office.
Acid-stained concrete floors
Acid-stained concrete flooring is one of the most popular styles, probably because it’s one of the most visually interesting. To create acid-stained concrete, you need to mix cured concrete slabs with hydrochloric or phosphoric acid and salts. The acid will cause the pores in the concrete to open which, combined with the chemical reaction from the salts, creates a beautiful and unique discolouration on the surface.
Usually, the results of this method will depend on how porous the concrete is, the exact materials used and the age of the concrete slab. What this means for you is that no two acid-stained floors will look the same, so you can be happy in the knowledge that you have a one-of-a-kind floor!
Polished concrete floors
Polished concrete flooring is one of the more striking styles of concrete floor. This is primarily because we tend to associate concrete with a more rugged look, so the smooth, polished finish can really take you by surprise.
Polished concrete flooring is created by grinding down a concrete surface with increasingly finer abrasive pads. The level of smoothness and reflectiveness you want to achieve will ultimately determine just how fine you go during this grinding process. Once you are happy with the smoothness of your concrete floor, it is sealed to give it a glossy, protective coating that really ties it all together.
Dyed concrete floors
While some people prefer to keep their concrete flooring in its natural colour, others like to experiment with dyes to make their concrete look like something else entirely. For example, brown dyes are quite popular because they create this natural, earthy looking floor that mimics wood, but with concrete’s signature hardwearing properties.
Water-based dyes are usually used for concrete flooring, and rather than causing a chemical reaction like with acid-staining, the dye simply seeps into the pores of the concrete to create a rich, uniform colouring.
Epoxy concrete floors
If you’re looking for the most durable finish possible for your concrete floor, then epoxy is definitely something to consider. Often used to seal gaps and repair damage, epoxy is also available in a wide variety of colours, meaning you can dream up some seriously creative designs for your concrete floor whilst ensuring its longevity.
Epoxy is basically a type of paint with a couple of extra materials to add strength: a liquid catalyst and a hardener. Instead of drying over time like paint normally does, epoxy hardens as a result of a chemical reaction, which is what gives it its durability. Epoxy is often used for very high-traffic commercial projects, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t look great in a home!
EasyMix is London’s favourite concrete supplier. If you need some concrete for your upcoming flooring project, we can create the exact mix you require in the timeframe you need it. Sound good? Great – time to give us a call!