Concrete Floors That Complement Industrial chic style
Concrete is one of the most durable construction materials because of its structural and physical properties. It is well known for its application for various structural elements in buildings, bridges, historical monuments, etc. Nowadays, concrete is more than limited as a structural material, but with the advances in technology, it is also used as exposed concrete for aesthetics for a building project.
Concrete is a mixture of Portland cement, lime, aggregate, and water. The aggregates are sand and gravel or crushed stone. Chemical admixtures are added to concrete to modify the properties when it is cured. They include :
- Accelerating (speeds up hydration in cold weather)
- Air-entraining (improves resistance to freezing)
- Plasticizers (to increase workability)
- Retarding (slows down hydration in hot weather)
Pros and Cons of concrete floors
- Durable and long-lasting
- Higher strength
- Less maintenance is required
- Distinct design options that can make the floors luxurious.
- Heated floors
- Hard to feel under foot
- Moisture can penetrate under the slab causing dampness and create patches.
- Develop cracks over time.
- Requires high energy during manufacturing process.
Concrete can be used as a flooring material in several ways-
- Polished to create a homogeneous surface
- Used as binding agent and mixed with stone or glass aggregates as in terrazzo floors.
Similarly, for flooring options, concrete is no longer considered as a material that is hidden behind the floor coverings. Polished concrete came into existence over unfinished concrete that increased durability and aesthetics.
Polished concrete is used for many projects including residential and commercial, retail outlets, office spaces, restaurants, airports, high-end projects, etc.
- Industrial chic – Polished concrete flooring complements with the Industrial chic style that can be combined with brickwork walls, exposed columns and ductwork, etc.
- Flat – Flat appearance.
- Reflection of light on the floor is not clearly seen.
- Honed – Matte or blurred appearance
- Slightly reflection is seen on the floor than flat finish.
- Polished – Smooth appearance.
- Good reflections of objects can be seen on the floor but they are not sharp.
- Highly Polished – Mirror like appearance
- Reflections of the objects will be seen on the floor with sharp edges.
Methods of Polishing
- Dry Polishing
- Produces dust
- Wet Polishing
- Produces slurry that must be contained
Installation Methods for concrete floors
Concrete is either poured in place at the site or is cast off-site and assembled on-site. Concrete flooring can be finished using a broad range of techniques, which include trowel finish and broom finish techniques.
Precast floor slabs are made in a factory under controlled settings and then delivered to the project site where they are assembled in place.
Concrete polishing is done in three stages
Concrete Paving Blocks
They are widely used for town pedestrian ways and individual driveways. Concrete paving blocks enhance hard landscaping with their distinct forms and colors. Environmental walls are created with concrete interlocking blocks with plantings between them.
Significantly high amount of energy is required during manufacturing concrete and the amount of carbon dioxide emitted during manufacture accounts for approximately 5 percent of the global emission of man-made carbon dioxide. Only a small percentage of concrete can be recycled.
The process of making cement that is used in concrete also has health-related concerns such as skin reactions, respiratory allergies, irritation in the eyes, etc.
Concrete tiles that are dried naturally in the Sun do not contribute to Greenhouse gas emissions as no fossil fuels are used for the production.