Like all flooring materials, cement has its group of devoted followers that swear this option can do no wrong. And while it’s true that cement floors are quite adept at flaunting a beautiful look while staying sustainable and economically viable (as professional floorers will undoubtedly tell you), it does also present its fair share of drawbacks.
Yes, cement floors are durable, but should that be the only reason you use it to decorate your hallway? Or your backyard porch? Or your industrial-styled kitchen or modern bathroom… see how many options we have?
So, if you’ve ever wondered about the pros and cons of cement floors in your home, or are just considering this option along with other flooring materials, read ahead!
First of all, keep in mind that decorative cement flooring (like all screed products) need to be hand-applied by trained professionals. Adding to this unique aspect is the fact that each hand has its own style and character, meaning the chances of finding two floors with identical finishes are quite rare!
Another reason for cement flooring’s popularity is the fact that that cement finish will mature over time and take on a life of its own. Once applied to a surface, it will mottle and grow into a natural-looking work of art.
The nature of this product lies in its application and physical properties: as the finish is applied, its moisture is absorbed at different rates into the substrate. The result is a finish with natural mottling and subtle movement. This adds to the earthy aesthetic of cement, which makes it ideal for a range of spaces, plus design styles such as industrial, modern and rustic.
• Cement floors are very hard and durable, meaning they are not likely to get damaged. Unlike wooden floors that are prone to scrapes and dents, cement surfaces will stand up to the heaviest of traffic and circumstances.
• Cement is incredibly low maintenance, which is great news for those who despise cleaning: no extra effort needed to keep your cement flooring looking good! Once installed and finished off with the correct sealer, your cement floors will only require damp mopping. Keep in mind that a good-quality sealer is necessary to help resist water, stains, dirt and abrasives.
• Cement floors are versatile in appearance. There are many different ways of dressing them up, including stamping in which you can add unique designs and patterns to give your floor exceptional style. Thus, if you can’t stand that cold, hard look of grey cement, by all means paint or stain it.
• Cement is a more sustainable and eco-friendly choice than others, if you’re reusing existing subfloors. A lot of floors have a cement subfloor; therefore, you’d simply be exposing an existing floor instead of cutting down trees for new hardwood floors, for instance.
• Best of all: cement flooring is a very affordable option, fitting into most budgets.
• Cement flooring is hard underfoot and can be quite uncomfortable for long periods of standing or sitting.
• Cement is quite a cold surface, which is not a great choice if your home doesn’t have excellent heating and you live in a cold environment.
• Cement has a tendency to absorb moisture, which can result in mould and mildew. Ensure that your cement floors are well sealed to avoid this problem.
• Cement floors don’t usually complement many traditional design aesthetics, thereby narrowing your options for interior styles.
As said before, grey is not your only choice for cement flooring, as colouring is an attractive alternative. A cement-based floor covering (floor overlay) is simply applied over existing cement floors or wood-floated screed. Although it can also be applied over tiles, this process is a bit more complex.
Coloured cement floors:
• are available in a huge variety to choose from,
• can be applied to both internal- and external surfaces,
• can be adjusted in terms of texture, hue and appearance to achieve a unique and desired result;
• are easy to clean.
The final price for coloured cement floors will vary according to region, the size of your floor, its condition, and which professionals you make use of. However, R285/m² is a safe bet.
But like everything else related to interior design (such as painting your walls, buying new sofas, or choosing from a range of rugs to add some soft underfoot sensation to your home), proper planning beforehand is key when it comes to cement floors. At the end of the day, it is your space and your budget – just make sure the final results will be stylish and practical for your lifestyle.
But of course cement isn’t your only option. See these 12 outdoor floors that will increase the value of your home.