Concrete flooring gets a bum rap. It is often considered to be the ugly step-sister, the second choice, the also-ran. Before you discount it, consider some of the benefits that you can get from using concrete flooring.

Benefits of Concrete:

  • Concrete can be cheaper than other flooring choices.
  • When properly installed and finished, it can resemble the more expensive choices.
  • Is safer for the environment than certain other flooring options, including hardwoods, dangerous vinyl and laminates and marble.
  • Is surprisingly well insulated.
  • Is far more durable than other materials, especially in high traffic areas.

Of course, no material is perfect. Here are some of the drawbacks of concrete:

  • If poorly installed will look like concrete.
  • Although well insulated may take a long time to build up warmth.
  • Concrete is very hard and unforgiving, especially to those who must stand on it for long periods at a time.
  • Must be installed by a professional for the right appearance.
  • May absorb stains and odors readily if not properly sealed.

Having a professional paving contractor can minimize some of the drawbacks of using concrete over other materials and will allow you to have the finish that you would like stamped onto the concrete as well. You could have the look of marble with only a fraction of the cost and none of the worry and extra care.

To get the look that you would like, discuss with the paving contractor:

  • The design concepts already selected or in place for the room the floor will be installed in.
  • Ask to see samples of previous work so that you can get an idea of what you would like.
  • What you can realistically expect from the performance of concrete over other materials.

And finally, to reassure yourself that you are making the right choice:

  • Take the estimate of the concrete floor and compare it with the estimate for the other materials that you considered.
  • Include the time that it would take for both types of jobs in your comparison.
  • Estimate how long it would be before you need to replace or repair each type of flooring and the future cost of each (it?s a complex formula which takes the present price times the estimated life expectancy times the current rate of inflation).

It?s not hard to see that concrete might be the best choice in terms of durability, versatility and affordability.