When building out a new commercial space or remodeling, one of the biggest decisions our clients face is which type of flooring to choose. It’s important that flooring looks good, is durable, easy to maintain, and doesn’t break the bank. So, do concrete floors fit the bill? In many cases it is possible to remove old, worn flooring and then stain or polish an existing concrete subfloor (after removing adhesives and patching holes or cracks), and in other cases it makes more sense to cover the existing floor covering with a concrete overlay. Either way, putting concrete in your commercial space can have its pros and cons, and we’ve analyzed both sides so that you can make an informed decision.
Covering tile with epoxy mortar instead of removing it. Photo via Concrete Network.
Sometimes removing a floor covering reveals subfloors that are badly damaged/ severely cracked. Before finishing the concrete floor it must be repaired, resurfaced, and made perfectly level. Photo via Concrete Network.
Concrete Floor Benefits:
- Customizable color, texture, patterns, and finish
- Durable & abrasion resistant
- Resists moisture and stains when sealed
- Easy and minimal maintenance
- Can be very affordable
- Environmentally Friendly
- Reduces allergens
- Can be heated with a radiant system
- Polished finishes reflect light and brighten indoor spaces
Concrete Floor Drawbacks:
- Must be resealed occasionally
- May be difficult to patch
- Can be cold, similar to tile or natural stone floors
- Can be slippery when wet, but anti-slip additives can help
- Can produce an echo effect, but absorptive materials can help to muffle unwanted sound
Since concrete floors can withstand heavy foot traffic, moisture, and staining, they make sense for kitchens, entryways, bathrooms, garages, and more. Commercial concrete floors often use special finishes or coatings to make them slip resistant, easy to clean, and extra durable. We’ve seen concrete used successfully in restaurants, offices, retail, medical facilities, industrial warehouses, and more.
Let’s Talk Cost
Basic concrete can be as little as $2 per square foot while high end designs can go all the way up to $30 per square foot or more. Upscale, detailed design options are great for attracting attention and impressing visitors. Finishes add additional cost, ranging from as low as $2 per square foot up to $12 or more a square foot, depending if you want polished, stained, or overlaid. But, the great thing about concrete is that it can be tailored to any budget. Ultimately, concrete’s durability and low maintenance needs mean it will probably be cheaper in the long run compared to other flooring options that may be initially cheaper but will require more regular maintenance down the road.
- Color can be mixed into concrete or applied to the surface
- Stain can achieve the look of wood, brick, marble, etc.
- Metallic epoxy
- Polished: from satin to high-gloss
- Stamped textures
- Logos & Graphics
- Radiant Heat
Metallic two-tone finish. Photo via Concrete Network.
Protection, Maintenance, & Repair
- Sealers protect and prolong the life of concrete while enhancing color and shine
- Wax can be applied to help preserve sealer (polished concrete doesn’t require wax or sealers)
- Mats and rugs help to protect
- For stained concrete, sweeping and damp mopping help a lot. Deep cleanings occasionally with water and a pH-neutral cleaner
- For polished concrete, daily mopping will remove particles that cause abrasion. Buffing restores shine.
In the end, concrete’s flexibility when it comes to design and budget means that it beats many other flooring options. Selecting concrete floors especially makes sense if you have a subfloor that is in great shape, or if you are moving into a new space and want to conserve resources by utilizing the concrete slab in your final look, rather than opting for tile, carpet, or vinyl. Emerald Inc. can help you achieve the final look and feel you are striving for within your timeline and under your budget– give us a call today at 480-832-9808 or email us at email@example.com.