Concrete is a composite substance made up of fine and coarse mortar that has been combined with a fluid cement (cement paste) that hardens (cures) over time. Concrete is the planet's most widely used construction resource. For more than ten years, concrete has been a reliable component in the building sector. The majority of concrete floors are flat slabs of material that are either pre-cast or poured on-site. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of installing concrete flooring.
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Since concrete itself is weaker in tension but stronger in compression, rebars are added to the concrete. It can support tensile loads with the additional rebars, increasing its overall strength. Linoleum, wood, carpet, stone, tiles, and marble flooring are sometimes viewed as poor substitutes for concrete floors. It can either be polished separately or in conjunction with a chosen finishing material.
Concrete is among the most affordable and long-lasting flooring solutions. It is a good option if strong flooring is needed on a tight budget. Concrete floorings can also be shaped and built to meet the needs of architects and interior designers, from their polishing to textures to their colors, to satisfy both the aesthetic and practical requirements of their clients.
Since concrete is naturally waterproof, there is no extra carbon footprint or resource depletion because no other material has been layered over the concrete.
However, concrete surfaces may encourage the development of germs that cause mold to grow in the air. Also, concrete feels hard under the feet, causing a loss of comfort after spending a lot of time standing.
Where are Concrete Floor Mostly Used?
Concrete flooring remains resistant to problems like cracking, bending, or the effects of time. Due to the same ways that steel and concrete respond to heat changes, any internal stress is reduced.
Flooring made of reinforced concrete is more durable and has a higher compression strength than conventional concrete. It also has a stronger tensile strength. A reinforced concrete floor can support far greater weight than unreinforced concrete because any stress imposed on it is transferred to the steel rods.
The most typical places to find reinforced concrete floors are factories, business and residential buildings, and parking lots. Concrete that has been reinforced is more durable, making it a common choice across many industries. Due to the high pressure that many public and industrial spaces are under, the installation of reinforced concrete is especially helpful.
Advantages of Using Concrete Floors
Concrete floors are simple to maintain since they possess the same qualities that make them so durable. Concrete floors that have been properly treated resist grit, stains, spills, and significant impacts. To keep them looking brand-new, a little sweeping and moist mopping are the only prerequisites.
Modern concrete finishing procedures have transformed ordinary concrete floors into magnificent works of art. Concrete can be dyed in a wide range of earthy colors by mixing dyes into wet concrete. It can also be transformed into stunning, one-of-a-kind finishes using surface treatments, including acid stains, concrete stains, and paint designed for concrete floors.
The use of rubber stencils for adding texture via concrete stamping is advantageous. Concrete that has been completed can be colored or dyed to resemble ceramic tile, natural stone, brick, or even dirt.
Concrete uses less energy than other floor options and does not degrade natural resources. Because concrete resists mold, mildew, and odors, contains no potentially hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and can be sealed with zero-VOC products, it is beneficial for indoor air quality. The requirement for heating and cooling is reduced by concrete's ability to absorb warm and cool air. The recycling of concrete ensures minimal waste, especially flooring and underlayment debris, contributing to environmental sustainability.
Disadvantages of Using Concrete Floors
Concrete is undeniably hard underfoot, which some people find uncomfortable. A dropped glass cannot survive on concrete, and it is also harsh, which might be a problem for young children or elderly family members.
In basements below grade, moisture that migrates upward from the concrete slab's base can cause the concrete to become uncomfortably damp and harm any surface finishes, such as paint. The concrete should be properly sealed, and any outside issues like leaking gutters and poor soil drainage should be minimized.
Even concrete that has been put in properly can break with time. This is because a concrete slab's broad surface must withstand variations in temperature, moisture, and settling. Cracks can be covered up with colored patching materials and cement paste.
While decorative concrete floors work best in low-traffic areas and places where you want to improve the aesthetics, stamped and exposed concrete floors are great for exterior use and high-traffic areas.
Substantial research and development are being conducted to decrease emission levels or make concrete a source for carbon absorption, as well as to boost the content of recycled and secondary raw resources in the blend to accomplish a circular economy. Concrete is expected to be a key substance for climate-resilient structures, as well as a remedy for reducing pollution from other industries by capturing waste materials such as coal fly ash and residue.
More from AZoBuild: Why Use Recycled CO2 in Fresh Concrete?
References and Further Reading
Pat Bruere. (2022, July 27). A Comprehensive Guide to Decorative Concrete Flooring. Evolveindia. https://evolveindia.co/material/a-comprehensive-guide-to-concrete-flooring/
The Benefits of Reinforced Concrete Flooring—Concrete Flooring Solutions. (2022). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://concreteflooringsolutions.co.uk/blog/the-benefits-of-reinforced-concrete-flooring/
The Pros and Cons of Concrete Flooring. (2022). HGTV. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.hgtv.com/design/remodel/interior-remodel/the-pros-and-cons-of-concrete-floorin