Concrete Flooring

Concrete is composed primarily of cement, water and aggregate (crushed limestone or granite with sand.) This flooring option is common in warehouses and other large spaces. For numerous reasons concrete floors have become increasingly popular in the commercial sector. For companies in search of ways to become more economical, concrete flooring has made it an increasingly attractive due to its relatively inexpensive  and durable nature, but like every flooring option it has drawbacks as well as advantages and it’s important to consider all aspects prior to installation.

Advantages

Concrete flooring has several advantages for commercial businesses that make it a popular choice. A major incentive is that concrete that has been installed correctly needs only minimal maintenance , especially suitable for warehouse spaces and big box stores that require a large amount of space.

Durability

Proper installation is key when it comes to durability. Concrete requires a high Psi/MPa (Pounds per square inch or megapascals) when poured and needs to be cured at the right moisture percentage for a lengthy amount of time, usually 28 days to prevent the soft surface from cracking or “spalling” in the future.”Densified” concrete flooring has a very hard surface that is resistant to UV light, impact damage, and liquid.

Low Maintenance

Polished, densified concrete flooring offers maintenance costs according to www.buildinggreen.com. A comparison of the maintenance costs of several popular flooring options ranked it at less than a quarter of the maintenance cost of carpeting or tile. Another asset is its impermeability to fire and water damage. Fire can be an especially important factor depending on what you plan to store in the space, carpeting or wood flooring can feed a fire, causing more damage to the structure and the inventory. In a residential setting it requires almost no maintenance, but in a commercial space with high traffic maintenance is a factor.

Insulation

Just as stone will soak up heat and distribute it evenly throughout the evening and then distribute coolness it soaks up at night throughout the day, a concrete slab flooring will react similarly, allowing for less artificial temperature control.

Disadvantages

While the list of advantages is numerous, there are also many disadvantages to concrete flooring. Characteristics such as noise reverberation and safety concerns have some business owners steering clear of this option. For example concrete that has not been installed properly can be prone to spider cracking, which is unsightly and hard to clean.

Scored Concrete

Noise

Carpeting and even hardwood floors add sound absorption qualities to an area. Areas with concrete flooring tend to promote noise reverberation that causes echoing as sound waves bounce off the floor and walls. Although not as noticeable in small spaces, this problem is particularly evident in larger spaces, such as warehouses.

Working on Concrete

Working or standing all day on a concrete floor tends to cause problems for employees. If a concrete floor is utilized, rubber mats or carpets may be used to minimize this risk. The slippery nature of polished concrete also may increase the likeliness of slipping at work.

Slippery Floor

Costs

Depending on the quality of the concrete slab, which will essentially be the flooring itself, certain refinishing processes may have to be accomplished to ready the slab to be used as the floor. This process can be expensive. Additionally, if an intricate design is desired, this can also add significantly to the final cost.

The final cost of concrete flooring is dependent on several factors including:

1. Size of the area and difficulty.
2. Preparation needed to the concrete slab.
3. Artistic details, dyes, stains.
4. The quality of materials used.
5. The quality of the installer.

Based on these factors, installation can run anywhere from $2.50 per square foot to $30 per square foot.

Green Shield Floors Concrete Finish

Green Shield Floors provides eco-friendly alternative ways to polishing concrete and with many advantages including protecting concrete floors from dirt, dust, damage and adding anti skid properties without all the disadvantages of polished concrete.

REFERENCES:

http://www.sublimeconcrete.com/Polished_Concrete
http://www.ehow.com/info_8312565_pros-cons-polished-concrete-floors.html
http://www.aerothane.com/polishing.html