Pros and Cons of Concrete Floor

Concrete Floor Ottawa

For decades concrete has been the preferred flooring material for basements, garages, patios and utility areas.  Now it has become a viable material for the living areas of modern homes.  Since it can be polished, etched and stained, it is viable for any room in the house.

With any material, there are advantages and disadvantages.  Before you begin an overhaul, here are a few things to keep in mind as you discuss your options with your Ottawa flooring expert.


The traditional concept for concrete is its use in driveways, walks, and garages.  In reality, there are a number of reasons that concrete will work well as a flooring material inside the home.


Since it can withstand significant pressure from cars, trucks, stacked boxes and crates, it is popular for commercial buildings.  That same strength is reflected in its ability to repel scratches from pet claws and high heels, as well as furniture legs moving around.  It is possible to chip and scratch concrete, but it takes some effort.


Depending on the amount of foot traffic, the surface should be sealed or waxed each 3 to 9 months.  That will maintain a protective layer on the surface.  Otherwise, a simple mopping with a neutral cleaning substance is all that is needed.  Stubborn stains can be removed with a utility pad.


Most homes are built with a concrete subfloor.  Then the flooring choice of hardwood, vinyl, or tile is laid on top.  When you decide to change to a concrete floor, that means your Ottawa flooring specialist will only need to remove that top layer.  No new materials are manufactured, so there are less carbon footprint and resource use.


When it comes time to remodel or redecorate, the process is very simple.  If the concrete is smooth and free of holes, a new flooring surface can be installed right over the existing surface.  Depending on the type of flooring, an interim underlayment may be required.


A concrete floor can last for decades.  Just observe a commercial operation and the high-traffic conditions of forklifts, trucks, and storage containers.  A properly sealed and maintained concrete floor can have the same long-lasting quality in a home environment.

Design Options

A concrete floor doesn’t have to be ugly, gray, or plain.  Modern techniques have allowed manufacturers to incorporate a variety of colors, textures, and effects.  The color can be mixed into the material before the concrete is set in place.  If the flooring is already established, the surface can be acid stained, colored with an appropriate dye or staining agent, or painted with a waterproof latex.

There are also a variety of textures available.  Of course, the traditional smooth surface is always popular.  Patterns can be molded into the surface while it is solidifying.  It can also be polished or etched for a faux tile effect.


Concrete flooring may not be preferred or appropriate for every home, or for every room in the house.  The homeowner should be aware of these drawbacks.


The advantage of strong flooring can also be a drawback.  Items dropped will probably break or shatter.  A person falling on this floor is likely to be seriously injured.  For these reasons, concrete floors are not recommended in kitchens where dropped plates or glassware is probable.  It is also suggested that it be avoided in places frequented by the elderly or very young since falls for these individuals could be severe.


Since concrete does not offer any flexibility underfoot, standing on it for extended periods of time can be very uncomfortable.  It will probably result in very sore feet and legs.


Concrete has little insulation.  That means a midnight raid on the fridge in the winter in bare feet will be quite chilly.  Radiant heating will help the situation as well as carpets and rugs.


It is critical that concrete is properly sealed on both the top and bottom surfaces.  If it is installed over bare soil, moisture can easily penetrate.  In humid conditions, the moisture can condense.  If a liquid substance is absorbed into concrete pores, it will likely generate the growth of mold or mildew.  Also, depending on the temperature fluctuation in the area, the moisture can freeze and expand causing cracks.


Polishing, buffing, and gloss sealing concrete will make it more slippery.  This is especially prevalent when wet.  For these reasons, it is not recommended for use in bathrooms, kitchens, and foyers, all of which can be subject to liquid spills and deposits.

Environmental Issues

As mentioned previously, simply removing an existing floor covering and utilizing the remaining concrete requires no new manufacturing.  However, if the homeowner is intending to pour new concrete, this will use a great deal of energy and the manufacture of carbon dioxide.  There are other options that are more environmentally friendly than new concrete.

This should provide some basic information for you to consider when you are planning a concrete floor. If you have other questions, contact Concrete Fusion in Ottawa. Their customer service folks are happy to help you.