When thinking of concrete flooring, the words ‘grey’ and ‘dull’ certainly come to mind, however, unbeknown to many homeowners, this common building material is this season’s hottest flooring trend.
Polished concrete flooring looks very different from the concrete used to pave our driveways and patios, and its high sheen, opulence and durability is loved by interior designers around the world. Polished concrete is available in a number of stunning finishes, and here leading supplier ReadyMix Concrete Online shares their favourite finishing options…
Using a technique called acid-etching, stains add a rich tone to plain concrete floors. Stained concrete can be used both inside the home, providing a beautiful finish to polished concrete floors in kitchens, bathrooms and hallways, and outside the home on your driveway or patio. Stained concrete is available in a plethora of colours, from blacks and browns to jade greens and aqua blues. More colours are also available in water-based concrete stains.
The final stage of any polished concrete floor installation is the application of sealant, this sealant protects the concrete further against every day wear and tear, preserving its condition and sheen for years to come. Sealants are also available with a tint, and these provide a subtle hint of colour to the finished product. The sealant is applied as any other and offers a low cost alternative to stains and dyes.
Compared with the stains used on concrete flooring, which actually react with the concrete to create a permanent colour change, both water and solvent-based dyes change the colour of the concrete by penetrating the surface of the material. This non-reactive formula results in a marbled and monotone effect.
For added perzazz, concrete floors can be stencilled using a number of standard and custom designs. These stencils can be applied using various techniques, for instance stencils can be troweled down, sprayed down or applied as an adhesive. These stencils can be applied to both new and existing concrete to create a truly unique finish within your home or garden.
Metallic coatings are particularly popular and add extra sparkle to your interior polished concrete floors and surfaces. The finish can be used with stains, dyes and other coatings, and adds a guild to your finished concrete product. Metallic finishes are designed to replicate the appearance of nickel, aged bronze, copper and silver, and use real metallic powders to achieve a modern reflective surface.