Category: Radiant Heating Benefits

Staining & Painting Concrete – Pros & Cons - April 2, 2014 by Dave Mckiever

Concrete-flooring

Whichever you decide to do, one thing is for sure, either option is better than looking at the ole’ plain grey concrete floor .  Since there is so much information out there on the pros and cons of painting or staining concrete, how to do it, who should do it and so forth, we thought we’d help with a few links and ideas.  To help simplify things, let’s start with some advantages that everyone in the business of making concrete floors look pretty agree upon:

  • Green – Not the color, but with regards to being good for the environment.  No trees are cut down, no unused materials that contribute to the mountains of trash that already exist, and of course concrete is recyclable.  Follow these links for more information:

http://www.epa.gov/wastes/conserve/imr/pdfs/recy-bldg.pdf

http://www.concreterecycling.org/why.html

  • Health Benefits – Concrete flooring is a good option for those with allergies in that they do not provide a welcome environment for dust mites.  See this link on the HGTV website – http://www.hgtvremodels.com/home-systems/use-concrete-slab-as-finished-flooring/index.html
  • Can Last Forever – This type of flooring is durable and can handle punishment, although if you juggle sledge hammers for a living, and are not that good, you will have some cracks here and there.  Nonetheless, at least you wouldn’t have to replace the whole floor.
  • Heat Is Possible – Concrete floors don’t have to be cold if you insulate and install radiant heat underneath.  Follow this link for details: http://www.warmup.com/us/in-slab-heating.phtml.  If you have any questions regarding heating under concrete flooring, feel free to call us at 1-888-927-6333.

Now for the cons that some have expressed about the concrete floor option:

  • Echo Chamber Effect – Observations have been made that concrete floors help to transmit sound..sound…sound.  You might not want this effect.  However:  You can mitigate this effect through the use of throw rugs, wall coverings and drapes, or your own furniture.
  • Can Last Forever – I know, this was also mentioned as pro.  The con part is that if you stain your concrete floor you are stuck with your design.  If you decide to paint a concrete floor it has been pointed out that it is easier to re-paint and re-seal your concrete floor, but that doesn’t make it easy.  Of course there is an escape clause in the form of installing wood, carpet or vinyl after the fact.  Follow this link to see how this can be accomplished: http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Flooring/Wood-Flooring/installing-wood-flooring-over-concrete/View-All
  • Cost – Most say that this is not a con at all since concrete is inexpensive when compared to other flooring options.  However, when you get into custom designs your cost goes up and may not be so cheap after all. Then there is the labor cost.  While many DIYers say that while painting concrete is not that hard to do, you might still decide to hire a professional which adds to the bottom line.  Pretty much everyone who advocates staining concrete says to definitely go to a professional for installation.  Even DIY enthusiasts seem to agree on that point.   Shop around and get some quotes for professional installations.  Follow this link for a guide to what you can expect to pay for a professional installation: http://concrete.networx.com/info/concrete-floor-stain-costs/
  • Cold – In the summer a concrete floor will keep your floor a little cooler if out the direct rays of the sun.  This is a good thing. But what about during the winter?  There’s the rub.  Cold weather means cold concrete if you do not plan to insulate and install radiant heating underneath.

So even though there is more information out there on this subject, this should at least get you on the road to making a decision regarding whether to go with a nicely painted or stained concrete floor.  It is definitely worth considering, especially with radiant heat!

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