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Why Concrete Floors?"Floor Me" Video Series with Bob Harris
There are more benefits to concrete floors than just aesthetics and easy maintenance. Expert, Bob Harris explains the many advantages to having concrete floors because of low cost, longevity, and durability, along with personal benefits such as reduced allergens, etc. Click below on one of the videos to learn about the reasons to consider installing a concrete floor:
Concrete Floors Help Prevent Mold Growth
Harris discusses a benefit of concrete floors that is often overlooked-they won't support the growth of toxic mold, unlike organic materials such as carpet, drywall and wood. People exposed to mold can suffer serious symptoms ranging from headaches and breathing problems to immune system disorders.
Concrete Floors Are Great for Those with Allergies
It's not just the aesthetic appeal of concrete floors that draws people to them. Harris says he is seeing demand grow among his clients because concrete floors don't trap dirt and are easy to clean. He describes how one client with severe allergies to pollen and pet dander reduced her suffering by opting to go with polished concrete floors.
Controlling Allergens with Concrete Floors
Harris explains why concrete is a great alternative to wall-to-wall carpeting for people who suffer from allergy problems. According to the American Lung Association, keeping floors clean is very important for people who are allergic to animal dander and dust mites. Dust mites live deep in carpeted floors and are not removed by vacuuming.
Flooring Material with Low or No VOC's
If you're thinking of staining your concrete floor and are concerned about harsh chemicals, don't be, says Harris. Concrete floors can be stained with nontoxic pigments that do not emit harmful volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. In fact, VOC emissions from concrete building products are much lower than those for most other building materials. Synthetic carpets can also emit VOCs, as can some of the products that accompany carpet installation such as adhesives and padding. Some of the adhesives used under vinyl sheet goods and linoleum can also emit VOCs.
Radiant Floor Heating
Watch an overview of the benefits of installing a radiant floor heating system in concrete floors.
Saving Energy with Radiant Floor Heating
Are you concerned that your concrete floors will be too cold in the winter? Harris explains how embedding a radiant heating system within the floor slab can save energy costs and provide other benefits, such as eliminating the circulation of dust or dirt throughout your home-a drawback of forced-air heat.
Reused & Recycled Materials in Concrete Floors
In today's environment, you need to consider responsible building and sustainable design, says Harris. Concrete floors can incorporate recycled products, such as crushed glass and metal shavings, that can later be exposed to achieve some great decorative effects. Concrete itself can also be recycled at the end of its long service life.
Read more about the durability and resource conservation of concrete floors.
Green Materials Used in Concrete Flooring
Are you concerned about the environmental impact of concrete floors? Harris explains some of the green attributes of concrete and why it's a sustainable flooring choice. Although critics of concrete cite that the manufacturing of cement is an energy-intensive process that creates carbon dioxide, the industry has addressed this issue by significantly reducing its carbon dioxide output. Your contractor can also make concrete using waste byproducts, such as fly ash and slag cement, which helps to reduce the consumption of raw materials.
How Long Does Concrete Flooring Last?
Yes, many flooring options are initially cheaper than decorative concrete. But concrete will last longer and eventually give you a better return on your investment. Bob Harris explains that when you amortize the cost of a concrete floor over a lifetime, the price can be comparable or even lower than other high-end flooring materials. Concrete floors rarely if ever need replacement, especially if properly installed and maintained.
What Do Concrete Floors Cost?
Harris compares the cost of concrete flooring to alternative materials, and says that even the most elaborate designs are less expensive than high-end terrazzo, marble or slate-and often by a wide margin. Some factors affecting the final cost include how advanced the installation is, the size of the job and the condition of the existing floor.
Durability & Lifetime Cost of Concrete Flooring
One of the most desirable attributes of concrete flooring is its durability, which not only reduces its lifetime cost but also makes it more environmentally friendly. As Harris explains, few flooring materials have the same longevity as concrete. Carpet, tile and even wood eventually need replacement, which uses up resources and creates disposal problems. Concrete also can be manufactured locally in the quantities needed for each project, minimizing waste and the energy required for transport.
The Unique, Handcrafted Look of Concrete Floors
Why does nearly everyone love the look of concrete floors? Harris explains some of the key reasons:
- They harmonize well with other building materials, such as exposed metal or wood and natural rock.
- They work well in restaurants and commercial facilities that want to achieve a modern, industrial look.
- Each concrete floor is unique and can be customized with the input of the owner to suit different design tastes.
- There is no predetermined color palette to limit designs.
Read more about interior floor finishing options.
Concrete Floors-Express Your Personality
Concrete has a natural beauty that you can bring to life and customize by using different finishing and coloring techniques. Harris says that it's important to talk to your contractor about the various finish options possible, such as a swirled trowel pattern, a smooth burnished surface, or elegant polished concrete. You can also use penetrating stains to create a distinctive, variegated look.
Clean, Elegant Concrete Floors
Harris describes how concrete floors have made the leap from fringe fashion to an in-vogue flooring alternative, enjoying widespread appeal in homes as well as businesses.