Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Flooring: Concrete

Pardon the pun, but flooring is often the foundation of any kitchen design. Open concept kitchens in particular need to pay particular attention to the choice of flooring materials as the visual weight of the floor will be such that it influences other colour/material choices in the room.

In the same spirit as our look at countertop materials, we’ll also spend some time looking at some of the choices you’ll face when choosing your floor. Today: concrete.

Concrete flooring typically refers to “polished concrete,” and most likely will include the addition of some form of colour treatment. The concrete is applied as a thin layer over top of an existing subfloor. Most often this is a concrete slab, but successful installations have taken place over 2” thick concrete sub-floors. However, the thinner the sub-floor is the greater the risk of cracking.

Installing a concrete floor is a labour intensive and time consuming process. The 300 square foot floor we had installed at the Paradigm Kitchen Design showroom took about a week to complete, with a couple follow up visits for waxing. Gary Jones from Colormaker Floors did the work and helped shed a lot of light onto the process.

Priming the subfloor after it has be cleaned and sanded.

Spreading out the concrete top coat.

Adding colour to the concrete (the floor on the right is untreated for comparison). The more complex the colour scheme, the longer the process. This is the step where using a professional like Gary really pays off.

As you can see, concrete has a very contemporary look and feel. The colour choices are virtually endless so it can work into any design scheme. It is also extrememely durable and easy to look after; a damp mop as required, and a coat of wax once or twice a year depending on the wear and tear the floor receives.

Concrete does have its downsides: most notably its hardness. If you’re concerned at all about sore feet, buy yourself some comfy shoes or select another floor. Another issue I hadn’t considered when selecting it for the Paradigm showroom: because there’s no insulation layer between the top-coat and the slab, it’s cold! This shouldn’t be an issue as we move towards a nice warm Spring-time, but during this unusually cold winter, I’ve really noticed the cold.

For more information, check out the Colormaker website.


GlennM said...

But it would be really sweet in winter with radiant in-floor heat... Arne, can you use Nuheat under concrete??

Arne Salvesen said...

Glenn, I've posted the answer OVER HERE!

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