Concrete flooring aesthetics are more important than you might think. While plain, unadorned concrete may not be a thing of the past quite yet, it’s certainly heading that way. And at this point, you’d be hard-pressed to find a customer who isn’t worried about looks.
Luckily, your options for a striking floor are limitless. From dazzling polished concrete to handsome terrazzo, decorative flooring marries form and function. Let’s talk through everything that an attractive floor has to offer.
Will Your Concrete Flooring Be Beautiful—or Boring?
Intricate, decorative concrete flooring is no longer confined to tiny, expensive projects. With methods like concrete trowel polishing increasing efficiency and bringing costs down, attractive flooring is now an option for even large spaces like warehouses and corporate offices. And it’s a good thing, too, because concrete flooring was already a low-cost option and a low cost life maintenance. With the help of stains, dyes, and more, it’s now an ideal choice for venues ranging from high-end residential garages to universities and restaurants.
On its own, polished or coated concrete flooring is durable, low-maintenance, and easy to sanitize. Add to that the variety of finishes and designs that can now be achieved with today’s products and concrete finishing techniques, and you have the recipe for a dazzling, high-quality installation in just about any space.
Customization is key here—the more flooring and design options you can offer a potential customer, the more likely you are to win the contract. So what, exactly, should you be including in your decorative concrete flooring offerings?
Types of Decorative Concrete Flooring
This is by no means an exhaustive list of every decorative flooring option out there—we just wanted to showcase some popular and attractive options. From epoxy coatings to highly-reflective polished concrete, the sky is truly the limit here.
Polished Concrete Flooring
We don’t like to play favorites, but we have to admit that polished concrete has our heart. This flooring choice combines beauty and function in one durable, attractive package. Chemical densifiers and a concrete polishing machine like a power trowel or floor grinder will make your floor shine. And from there, you have a huge variety of finishes to choose from. Different levels of aggregate exposure can also create wildly different looks.
Stained Concrete Flooring
Concrete dyes, acid-based chemical stains, iron oxide pigments, and other products can be used to create colored concrete floors. Stains can even be used to refresh old concrete, breathing life into dull, unattractive areas. This isn’t a new approach—colored concrete has been in use since the early 1950s—but creating an aesthetically pleasing design or pattern is something of an art. It requires an understanding of both chemistry and color theory. When deployed correctly, the result is magical. You’ll typically see stained or dyed concrete in exterior settings, such as driveways and walkways, but you’re also likely to see it indoors in basements or building entrances.
Metallic epoxy floors are created by laying a pearlescent pigment over a primer that’s been tinted black. The result is a dramatic, shimmering surface. This decorative flooring may not be the best choice for locations like garages, which see heavy machinery traffic. But not because it’s weaker than other flooring options—we simply recommend reserving this kind of floor for areas that see mostly foot traffic because dirt and tire marks are more visible. Metallics are also more expensive than some of your other options, as they require you to set the coat with pigment, and you’ll need more material as a result.
Epoxy Flake Flooring
Decorative flake flooring is typically made up of three to four different colors of flakes, which are suspended in a clear resin. This creates a multicolored effect that can easily hide dirt and be customized to team or brand colors. You’ll often see these floors in locker rooms, but new techniques are bringing them into corporate offices and other high-end locales. Full flake flooring made with just one color of flake-they also have a multi colored chip to add a chic, classic surface perfect for both commercial and residential applications.
Installing a Decorative Concrete Floor?
Whether you’re a business owner refurbishing a corporate office or a contractor advising a customer, Runyon Surface Prep is dedicated to providing you with the industry knowledge you need to make the right choice. We’re a sales and rental facility serving the concrete polishing, resinous flooring, and surface prep industries. But we’re also a team of passionate individuals dedicated to seeing your project succeed. From floor grinders to consumables, you can count on us to get you what you need—when and where you need it.
We’d love to hear about your next project. Reach out today to learn more about our offerings and how we can help.