Choosing the most suitable floor finish for a new build or renovation can be a tough one considering all the options available as well as the associated pros and cons of each.
Concrete floors used to be synonymous with a “cold” or industrial” feel, however, due to its versatility as well as advances in the industry, concrete and cement based coatings can be used to create warm, inviting and elegant spaces
Concrete and cement based coatings offer durability, practicality, and versatility. With a variety of colours, finishes and applications available, concrete and cement based coatings open a world of possibilities to create unique, aesthetically pleasing finishes for any space (residential, commercial, retail) – the only limit is your imagination!!!
Variety and unlimited options
Permacolour has a range of products suitable for interior and exterior use. Concrete or cement-based floor finishes allow for the uninterrupted flow from room to room, from indoor to outdoor, by way of a seamless floor finish, also creating the feel of a more expansive space.
Texture and depth are easily introduced by way of finishing techniques and the use of enhancing products. Slip reducers for addition into the sealer coat reduce the risk of slipping on smooth surfaces or areas that are prone to getting wet. A textured finish externally is also a great way of reducing slip factor. Whether you are looking for a smooth seamless finish, a block tile or slate effect, a texture finish or even simulated timber, slate, sleeper or rock, these are all achievable with the use of Permacolour’s cement based products.
Cement is a naturally strong, durable material. Cement-based floor coatings offer the same durability and strength as the rest of your building therefore generating tremendous longevity. There may be several other flooring options available that are comparatively cheaper but cement will last much longer and eventually give you a better return on investment. Concrete flooring is extremely tough and resilient, and is able to withstand the pressure from very heavy equipment such as cars, trucks, forklifts, and stacked crates. That is why it is such a popular material for hard working commercial areas such as garages and warehouses. Durability also means that the material is difficult to damage. High heels, furniture legs, and pet claws will not scratch the surface. You also don’t have to worry about damage from most dropped items.
Cleaning & Maintenance
An important factor when choosing a floor covering is maintenance and cleaning. No flooring material is truly maintenance free, and the same holds true for decorative concrete. Concrete floors are relatively easy to care for when compared with other types of flooring (especially carpet), however they do require regular attention. The level of maintenance your floor will require depends on the amount of traffic it receives. The maintenance needs of a residential floor will be different to those of a commercial or retail setting where the traffic levels will be increased.
Generally residential concrete floors experience light foot traffic, and a simple cleaning routine of occasional sweeping and damp mopping will keep them looking like new for many years.
Once a concrete or cement based floor is installed a good quality sealer specifically suited to the application or product used, is applied. This sealer will bring the floor to life and will assist in preventing staining. Permacolour has a wide range of sealers suited to different applications, gloss levels as well as specific requirements. Permacolour has a Floor Maintenance range called Vision – providing an easy system to maintain your floors. The Vision Floor Maintenance Range includes Vision floor cleaner, Vision Floor Polish and Vision Polish Stripper. Vision Floor Cleaner is for regular cleaning by mop application (this comes concentrated and needs to be diluted). Vision Floor Polish is an easy t o use mop on coating for protecting the sealer, maintaining the look of the floor. Applying polish reduces the time required between resealing with each layer of polish acting as another protective coat on the floor, increasing the resistance to stains, chemicals and abrasion. Vision Polish Stripper can be used to remove the layers of polish when the layers of polish become too thick or if a reseal is required. Although cement-based floors are easy to maintain, it is important to maintain regular cleaning and polishing of the floor to prevent unnecessary wear and tear of the sealer, and eventually the decorative coating. This will increase the longevity of the floor.
Cement-based floor coatings (when installed correctly and with a protective sealer, and polish if desired):
*Are more resistant to pet stains and odors and do not trap fleas, mites, and other pet parasites, making this an ideal, hygienic flooring option
* Do not emit VOCs which can be harmful
* Are easy to clean from pet fur, rain-soaked and mudding paw prints.
* Are more resistant to scratching from pets’ claws (once sealed). Floor polish or wax will increase this resistance.
* They are very easy to clean and do not harbor dust mites and other allergens typical of other flooring materials.
A sealed and properly maintained concrete floor can last indefinitely. Even in commercial applications, it can survive under high traffic conditions for years to come. This saves you money, while also preventing the hassle of having to get new flooring installed periodically.
Because of their thermal mass and ability to retain heat, concrete floors are ideal for passive solar home designs. When homes are built to take advantage of solar radiation entering through windows in the winter months, concrete floors will absorb the heat from the direct sunlight and release the stored heat as needed at night to keep rooms warmer. Conversely, in the summer and in hot climates, concrete floors shielded from the sun will stay cool longer and can actually help lower air-conditioning costs.
Concrete floors are also ideal for use with energy-efficient radiant in-floor heating systems. With radiant heating, coils heated by electricity or hot water are embedded in concrete floors, warming the floor itself to deliver clean, even heat. When homes are heated with in-floor radiant heating, no air is being blown around, as with forced-air systems, so no dust or dirt gets recirculated into the air.
Cement-based floor products are non-hazardous, and also don’t require the use of hazardous cleaning products. This in itself makes cement-based floors green. Also, some other floor coverings require the use of adhesives which emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere over time. Not only does cement flooring offer better energy conservation, but it improves indoor air quality as it does not harbor allergens and bacteria.
In summary Concrete and Decorative cement-based floor, coatings are the ideal medium to create a truly unique and long lasting finish for your space, with the added benefits of durability, ease of maintenance and versatility. Concrete allows for the synergy between beauty, sustainability, and economy, which will last the life of your home.