Modern Concrete Slab Foundations

Posted August 6, 2020

In the age of social media and magazines like Architectural Digest, people have found ways to make their concrete slab foundations stylish. You can now choose from a number of textures and finishes on your concrete flooring which we’ll be covering in this article.

Personalising your concrete slab flooring

The first way you can personalise your concrete flooring is through texture. There are many options such as:

  • Exposed aggregate finish
  • Salt finish
  • Stamped
  • Polished.

Exposed aggregate finishes are most commonly found in old cities. They’re created by washing the top layer of concrete away, exposing the edges of the natural stone aggregates that are mixed into the concrete. This finish is aesthetically pleasing and provides a slip resistant finish. To further personalise this finish you can add materials such as coloured granite, glass, seashells, rose quartz, or limestone. With this finish you want to avoid anything containing iron as it will stain the concrete. As per any finish, it’s important to include a high-quality protective seal after the concrete cures.

Salt finishes are typically used for swimming pool decks. Salt finishes are created by applying rock salt to the top of the wet concrete and then washing it away. This leaves small pits in the finished surface which provides much needed slip resistance.

Concrete stamps consist of panels with inlaid designs. These are placed on the concrete during the curing stage. Designs consist of brick, stone, or other decorative patterns to achieve the desired look. With this finish you can mimic other building materials while retaining the strength and durability of concrete. Once the stamps are removed, the concrete surface may be colour stained.

Polished concrete flooring can be accomplished whether the concrete is newly-placed or well-aged. A polished concrete floor provides a clean, glossy look with ease of maintenance. Polished concrete floors typically require floor grinders outfitted with diamond abrasives. The grade of abrasives will determine the smoothness of your completed concrete floor. For a truly finished product, a seal can be applied to avoid damage from oil, chemicals, staining and/or moisture.

Colouring concrete flooring

If desired, concrete can be coloured to provide a finished look that complements the architecture. There are two ways this can be done.

  1. The first way is through pigments. In this case, pigments would be applied directly into the concrete mix prior to pouring. These pigments can be bought as a liquid or in dissolvable bags. Colours available are typically in the earthy wheelhouse of browns and tans, however greens, blues, and greys can also be found. To protect the pigment over time, a seal must be used to avoid water infiltration.
  2. The second way this can be done is through a stain. One common method is through the use of acid. Similar to pigments, the range colors are typically confined to muted tones. Waterbased (acrylic) staining provides a wider range of colours. Stains can be applied to concrete of any age, though you will get a more vibrant colour the sooner you apply it after the concrete has been placed. To protect the surface and longevity of the stain, follow up with a seal.

Benefits of concrete flooring

There are many benefits to concrete flooring. The most notable being its strength, durability, and price. It can also be personalised for your space. While other flooring styles are alluring, concrete flooring can be substantially cheaper than other flooring options and last far longer.

To get in touch about personalised concrete flooring call us today at 0800 629 7238

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