Polished concrete floors are a beautiful detail to any room, especially when properly maintained. After a concrete floor is polished and sealed, it is more damage-resistant, and the pros are more plentiful than the cons.
There are, in fact, very few cons to polished concrete floors, but they do exist. Here is a rundown of the pros and cons of polished concrete floors and what to be aware of if you consider adding this type of flooring to your space.
Surprising to some, polished concrete flooring is very inexpensive. It is considered by flooring experts more economical than hardwood, tile, marble, and stone. For example, the cost of polishing a concrete floor is equal to or less than purchasing the materials to fully install a hardwood floor.
This affordability makes polished concrete a must-have for many homes and businesses alike.
Con: It Can Crack
Like even the best type of concrete, polished concrete can crack slowly over time. This is due to a slab enduring natural changes in temperature, moisture, and settling over the four seasons every year. You can use coloured cement paste and patching materials to disguise and fix cracks aesthetically.
Pro: Ease of Maintenance
Flooring maintenance comes with a cost. Polished concrete, however, does not require anywhere near as much maintenance. Especially when it’s a larger floor, this can save a building a ton of money.
While other types of flooring may require stripping, waxing, and refinishing, polished concrete has already covered it. There is little to no maintenance involved. The aesthetic, once first installed, should remain intact indefinitely.
Pro: Immune to Moisture Damage
Polished concrete is sealed and immune to moisture damage. No moisture. No mould. For homes or businesses prioritizing a clean, invulnerable floor, polished concrete won’t disappoint.
As long as the flooring has been properly sealed and installed, you are likely to mitigate the long-term risk of moisture, which is key for an area such as a basement.
Con: They Can Discolor
Like other types of concrete, polished concrete flooring can experience discoloration over time. This occurs from calcium chloride mixtures, cement alkalis, inadequate or insufficient curing, or issues with the concrete mixture.
Discoloration typically appears very quickly after laying down the concrete, so you want high-quality concrete and an installer who knows what they need to know to complete the installation.
Polished concrete flooring comes with longevity and is built to last. There is no risk of lifting, breaking, delimitation, or failure with a polished concrete floor.
There is nothing like it when it comes to comparing polished concrete against other types of flooring. A polished concrete floor requires no touching up or repair work. It will stay that way for decades.
Con: It’s Hard
Though polished concrete flooring serves an amazing utility, some find it uncomfortable how hard it is to stand on. The floor’s hardness makes it difficult to stand on for an extended period, and dropping something fragile over the top will likely break something fragile.
If there will be children or elderly individuals on the concrete floor regularly, you may want to use area rugs to soften the surface a bit.
There is very little involved in keeping a polished concrete floor clean. Tidy up messes and spills immediately. Sweep up debris as it accumulates.
Lastly, it’s recommended to swab the polished concrete floor once a week with a neutral-based cleaner and water. This will do everything you need to keep the polished concrete resembling something fabulous and ready for the next day’s work.
Con: They Can Stain
Polished concrete floors are stain-resistant. If spills are not cleaned promptly, however, stains can happen, and when they do, they can embed deeply and be very difficult to remove.
The most common polished concrete stains are fruit juice, wine, vinegar, laundry soaps, and pet stains. These have extremely high pH and are more likely to stain than other substances.
Cement is an environmentally-sustainable type of flooring as it’s a recyclable material. You also won’t find any toxic, dangerous, or harmful chemicals in installing polished concrete flooring.
They’re a very safe flooring option, regardless of whether it’s for employees and workers, customers, children, and/or pets. These flooring systems are also designed to resist mustiness, allergens, and fungus.
Pro: Fits Aesthetically
The nature of polished concrete means it can alter its look to suit any aesthetic or style. Due to this versatility, it’s a part of both industrial and upper-class rooms. There is an unlimited set of colour and design options.
In addition, polished concrete floors suit indoor and outdoor applications and can be stained and dyed any way a property owner desires.