Decorative concrete is catching the eyes of people across the globe. What’s more, users are waking up to the broader benefits of these dazzling surfaces. Beyond looking great, decorative concrete lasts a long time and is easy to install. That makes it a top choice for all types of floors, whether they’re in commercial, residential, or institutional spaces.
Want to see what’s creating the buzz around decorative concrete? In this article, we’ll examine the ins and outs of decorative concrete and outline what you need to know to lay down an impressive, longer-lasting floor.
What Are the Benefits of Decorative Concrete?
People are flocking to upgrade their flooring with decorative concrete. In fact, the industry is expected to jump to $15 billion by 2026. Wondering what’s driving this growing demand? Here are a few factors that make decorative concrete stand out:
Decorative concrete can be an extremely cost-effective way to revitalize flooring and transform an entire space. In many cases, it’s possible to repair existing concrete and turn it into a stunning surface. This is a less expensive route than fully replacing the flooring.
With the wide range of decorative concrete options out there, you can lay out the flooring to fit your space. For instance, you might want to lay down a Skraffino concrete microtopping and color it with Colorfast. This lets you choose the color and style that will fit your establishment.
At the same time, if you want to add a dramatic shine to a concrete substrate, a Lumiere metallic epoxy coating is an eye-catching option. This coating adds both glimmer and depth to a floor.
Color and Style Selection
When it comes to decorative concrete, the styling options are nearly endless. Polishes and top coats come in a variety of colors. Plus, once you understand the basics of laying out a design, you can create effects that set the ambience for any space.
As visually striking as decorative concrete can be, looks aren’t everything. Decorative flooring doesn't just revamp the aesthetics of a floor; it can also add an extra layer of durability. By pairing decorative concrete with sealants or top coats, you can reinforce floors. In some cases, decorative concrete systems can give a floor chemical resistance, UV protection, resistance to hot-tire pickup, and stain-fighting reinforcement.
If you need to completely replace flooring, it could mean your floor is off-limits for weeks or months. Especially for commercial spaces, that can feel like ages. Instead, you can use decorative concrete to beautify the flooring and resume use in days or less.
Ease of Maintenance
When compared to alternatives such as paints, decorative concrete systems stand supreme in both performance and maintenance. Paints will scratch, chip, and wear easily. Worse yet, they do little to strengthen flooring surfaces. That means they require constant reapplication just to cover a vulnerable floor.
Conversely, decorative concrete can be reinforced with sealants and coatings that add durability to flooring. In many cases, they’re scratch resistant, keep their luster in the sun, and require little maintenance.
Decorative Flooring in Action
One of the beauties of decorative flooring is its versatility. It can be used to restore and upgrade floors in spaces of all kinds. Still, there are applications for which decorative flooring is most popular. Here are some areas where decorative flooring is common:
When most people think of decorative concrete floors, their minds go to restoring basements. Certainly, decorative flooring can revitalize basements, but it’s being used in many more home applications. For instance, the right flooring can completely change the look of bathrooms, kitchens, sunrooms, and other frequently visited areas. Because they add durability and drastically improve a room’s look, these floors can increase the value of an entire property.
Restaurants and Breweries
Restaurants and breweries need flooring that shrugs off spills, holds up to heavy foot traffic, impresses visitors, and maintains its appearance through it all. Additionally, regulators often mandate that establishments use seamless flooring in food and beverage areas in order to improve sanitation. All of these factors make decorative concrete a popular option for food and drink businesses.
For companies that need to add a professional, hygienic, and attractive feel to a space, decorative concrete is a popular option. Another reason this flooring is sought after for office upgrades is that these spaces generally can’t afford to shut down for weeks at a time, waiting for a floor to be completely redone.
Retail spaces need to create an atmosphere that both attracts and pleases customers. At the same time, their floors need to hold up under heavy foot traffic. That’s why decorative concrete flooring is an ideal option for retailers.
Although the installation process will vary depending on your specific project, there are some common processes that run across most decorative concrete jobs. Here are some steps to take when installing decorative concrete:
1. Thoroughly Prep Your Surface
Prior to restoring concrete, it’s important to make sure the existing substrate is intact. Review the surface for cracks and chips. If there is damage to the concrete, use a repair or patching kit to smooth out the surface.
2. Clean Your Surface
Before adding primers or coatings, clean the surface and make sure it’s free from debris. From there, you can add a primer.
3. Apply Your Concrete Topping
A concrete topping, such as Skraffino, adds a layer of strength and a natural polished appearance to your floor. At this stage, you can create various decorative effects using a trowel, sprayer, or roller. You can also add colors that fit the vision you have for your new flooring.
4. Re-Examine the Surface
After 1-2 hours, check the skim coat for divots or trowel lines. If they’re visible, take the time to sand the surface. If you do sand the surface, be sure to clean the flooring once you’re finished, and re-prime it before adding your second coat. It typically will take 2-3 hours for the primer to dry.
5. Apply a Second Coat of Concrete Topping
To add depth and improve surface protection, you’ll want to add a second layer of concrete topping. When applying your second coat, you can integrally color it with Colorfast. This step allows you to choose the look and style of your floor.
6. Sand, Clean, and Seal
Once you have the look you want, it’s time to preserve it. Be sure to sand and clean the new concrete surface. Finally, add a sealant or top coat. This final layer will strengthen the floor, add resistance to harmful elements, and keep the designs free from scratches or blemishes.
Talk to Our Flooring Experts
Duraamen has long been an expert in decorative and polishable concrete surfaces. We’re here to help you with your next flooring project. Have a question about decorative concrete? Contact one of our experts today.