Lately, we have had more and more clients asking about stained concrete flooring. Stained concrete is a very “in style” option, and can really change up the look and feel of your office. Before you say yes to the concrete, there are a few things to consider. Here is a list of pros and cons regarding stained concrete, so that you could determine if this is the right kind of concrete floor in offices for your space.
Pros of the concrete floor:
- If the existing concrete is properly prepped before staining, this type of flooring can require very little daily maintenance such as sweeping and light wet mopping to keep clean.
- Different color stains can be mixed together, or multiple layers of a color can be added to create many unique textures and patterns, making every stained floor a little different from one to the next.
- For newly poured concrete, rubber stamps can be pressed into the concrete for more designs and to mimic intricate ceramic tiles, natural stone, dirt, and brick.
- Concrete flooring is very durable, resilient, eco-friendly, free of VOCs.
- Stains made for concrete permeate the entirety of the concrete itself, so if chipping occurs it makes it harder to notice.
- If you do not like your flooring in the future, you can always install other flooring over it.
- If design is simple it can be very cost effective.
Cons of the concrete floor:
- Concrete floors should be waxed every 3-6 months and sealed every 3-5 years to keep the surface in top condition. If not sealed correctly, moisture could penetrate the surface and create issues with mildew, mold, and cracks.
- It is very messy to install and should be done by a professional.
- Concrete is porous; therefore, if something is spilled on it, it can still absorb the color and leave stains, even after being waxed and sealed.
- If not prepped correctly, stained concrete will not last. The age of the concrete can also affect how the stain takes to the surface.
- It is nearly impossible to change the color of the concrete again once it is stained, so make sure that the color and texture that you choose are something you can be happy with for a long time.
- Concrete is a hard surface, therefore, does not help with acoustics in a space.
- If things get dropped they can become damaged, and if someone falls in the space they could get hurt.
- Because it is a hard surface, having a concrete floor for an active doctor’s office could make standing become uncomfortable. Your office may require cushioned mats.
- Concrete does not hold heat well, meaning your heat expenses could increase.
- If a concrete subfloor does not exist, you may need approval from a structural engineer to install a new concrete floor.
- Depending on the complexity of the design, it could become costly (see “Costs” below)
Costs for a concrete floor can vary on a wide spectrum ranging from $2.00 a square foot to $45.oo a square foot depending on variables such as:
- The quality of the stain used can increase costs, but also increase the life of your floor.
- The color of the floor you choose could increase the cost. If a richer color is desired, or if the color desired has to be created, more coats of stain will have to be applied, which will increase costs for both materials and labor.
- If a texture is desired, it can also increase cost. Most stained floors will have some texture already from the stain being applied, but if a more intricate texture or polished finish is desired it will increase the labor fees.
- If the floor is existing and in good condition, it could reduce the cost opposed to pouring a new concrete slab to work from.
- Rubber stamping (ex: making concrete look like tile flooring) can add detail and dimension, but again depending on the design, it could increase costs as well.