WHICH CONCRETE FINISH IS RIGHT FOR YOUR FLOORING NEEDS?
When it comes to choosing concrete flooring for your home or office, it may be difficult knowing where to start. Here are some key guidelines to make things easier:
1. BEFORE YOU START MAKING PLANS
Consider the style and size of your home, and gain inspiration from magazines, online resources or display homes. Once you’ve narrowed down your design preferences with your home in mind, we recommend you create a visual reference. You can do this by hand drafting a layout, create a digital or traditional style mood board, or use a design app. If you’re looking for an app, there are loads in the marketplace to choose from, including Room Scan Pro which allows you to create a 3D Floorplan in seconds by simply walking around the room, and Planner 5D an advanced and easy-to-use 2D/3D home design tool. Or, The Hover App lets users create accurate, interactive 3D models of any property. If these apps aren't a good fit for you, there are loads of apps available in the marketplace to help you achieve your goals.
With so many options out there, colour selections can seem daunting, so to help you, we’ve put together some considerations for you to factor:
Size of your area and the impact your colour choice will have. Visually, light colours open space up, while dark colours do the opposite, so consider the size space you’re working with and impact your colour choice will have.
High or low traffic area. If your concrete floor is a high traffic area likely to be impacted by stains, dark colours will help reduce the appearance of stains.
Contrast or flow. Every home design is unique and personal. In your home, consider the ethos of your space and the overall impact each design elements adds, or detracts from your space. For example, if you’ve selected an exposed aggregate for your indoor floor, consider whether continuing this style to your outdoor living space provides the visual flow you desire, or if your space needs an uplift by introducing a new colour or texture.
Far gone are the days of limited design choices when using concrete, not only is it highly versatile, extremely durable and requires minimal maintenance, with a large number of surface finishes and colours to choose from, it’s no wonder concrete is a popular choice in building and construction.
Let’s explore some of the options available:
Trowel finishes create a seamless design finish suitable for both indoor and outdoor projects, including walls and floors. Trowel-finished surfaces offer a rough textured finish, providing a more slip-resistant finish compared to a polished floor finish.
For this finish, concrete is poured, flattened with a screed and worked with a trowel, then left to cure. In small surface areas, a hand trowel can be used. If working with larger areas, for efficiency, machine trowels are used.
Broom finish, also known as “brush finish” is achieved when concrete is leveled, troweled, then a special broom is dragged across the surface to achieve “broom finish”. The straight lines created using this technique offer a classical style and design to your concrete, offering great traction if wishing to avoid slippery surfaces when wet.
As the name describes, this option displays aggregates in the concrete mixture by washing away the top layer of concrete. There are three finishing styles to Exposed Aggregate;
1. Rough finish
3. Polished finish
Rough exposed aggregate offers a stunning look and is one of the most popular slip-resistant finish to use in pool areas, driveways and pathways. When speaking with your contractor, be sure to confirm the types of pebbles used and amount of aggregate exposed is suitable for comfortable walking, particularly when being used around pool areas.
Honed Exposed Aggregate is the process of grinding an exposed aggregate area down to the desired finish. This finish appears matte and when grinded to a smooth finish, resembles pavers.
Polished exposed aggregate resembles granite or marble, and is most suitable for indoor flooring, excluding wet areas such as bathrooms and laundry given it has a high slip factor.
Polished concrete, much like polished exposed aggregate, resembles granite or marble, and is most suitable for indoor flooring, excluding wet areas such as bathrooms and laundry given it has a high slip factor.
Salt finish is the process where rock salt is added to the wet concrete surface, when washed away leaves tiny pockets in the concrete. Salt Finish is another great slip-resistant finish option for pool areas and a stylish choice when considering backyard flooring beyond your pool area, providing an elegant streamline design.
This finish is achieved by placing precast panels on uncured cement to give the concrete surface its decorative design. Typically, coloured concrete is used when opting for a stamped finish. Concrete stamps are available in a range of designs, allowing you a host of options when working towards achieving the perfect look for your personal needs.
Cove finish has become especially popular for driveways and outdoor areas for home owners wishing to add a design element with extra traction, which doesn’t tend to hold too much dirt.
There are two main ways to create coloured concrete. Stained concrete is achieved by literally adding colour to the concrete after it has been levelled and cured. The other process uses liquid or dry pigment that is mixed into the concrete before it is poured. To protect the colour from wear and tear, finishing with a quality sealer after the staining process is a good option.
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