Concrete floors with personality
Many people consider concrete to be cold and lacking in personality, but both cement finishes and concrete have valuable properties that can be used to regular temperature.
When many people think of concrete floors, the image of cold, hard concrete slabs comes to mind. But concrete floors have evolved and now have the ability to incorporate wood inlays, be polished to a high sheen, and even incorporate colour. In fact, today's concrete may become your new favourite for future projects.
Many flooring options may be considered initially inexpensive in comparison to decorative cement-based flooring products, but cement will last much longer and eventually give you a better return on investment. Cement-based floors rarely need replacement when properly installed and maintained.
Due to its extremely high thermal mass, concrete can easily store temperature, which is why it is good at absorbing and retaining heat during the day, and radiating heat at night when temperatures fall.
During the colder months of the year, in a home with cement-based coatings, heat is stored in these coatings and slowly released over time. Heating a home with cement-based finishes lowers the cost to heat up and keep a home warm. Buildings are now designed to maximize the amount of sunlight entering through windows in the winter, allowing cement floors to absorb and radiate the heat.
In our hot summers, interiors are cooled as heat is absorbed, and it is easy to maintain a cooler temperature indoors without the aid of air conditioning
With concrete floors you have the option to install various types of underfloor heating. For example, you can embed radiant heating cables in cement floors to keep them toasty warm in the winter. Or have water heating tubes installed beneath the screed. The key is to use slow and gradual heating solutions that minimise the risk of cracking caused by expansion and contraction of flooring.
The smooth, sleek surface of cement-based coatings allows you to incorporate insulating items such as throw rugs and larger carpets. These items not only add extra heat insulation, but also add a stylish element to your interior design.
With cement-based finishes you can introduce natural colouring. The sheer amount of varied finishes and colours of cement-based finishes will cater to every individual style. Mix and match and design your space so that the amalgamation of materials and styles complement each other rather than clash. Visit the Cemcrete website to see the full range of Colour Hardener and Stain options available.
Decorative concrete floors are a perfect example of synergy between beauty, sustainability and economy, which will last the life of your home. For more information on Cemcrete floor finishes visit www.cemcrete.co.za.