Stained and polished concrete is a gorgeous material that can be used in so many ways and create a unique look for your home- but it isn't the right choice for everyone. You may be intrigued by what you've seen on television or in design magazines and even on this blog, and you might be thinking it could fit somewhere in your home. But how do you know if it's the right material for you?
Here is a quick test courtesy of CS Concrete Interiors to help you decide. Give yourself a point for each "True" answer.
Concrete may not be suitable for you - keep looking. Your interior designer will be able to suggest other options you will enjoy more.
Get in touch with a qualified fabricator or your interior designer and ask more questions. Consider purchasing a sample (most companies will provide them at a reasonable cost).
Concrete could be for you! Work with your designer to develop a concept, create a sketch and get samples.
Conditioners in the mix will help to create a slab that is resistant to liquid absorption. After curing, the concrete slab should be also treated with food-safe waterborne polyurethane top coat sealer.
If properly sealed as described above, no special maintenance is required. Do not use abrasive cleaners like soft scrub or comet. Simple Green stone cleaner, 409, Windex and similar products work great!
In fact, it is one of the greenest products you can put in your home. Portland cement is easily obtained without destroying mountains (unlike granite and marble), and is non-toxic after water is added and it is cured. It is mined in the USA and does not employ low-wage or slave labor (again unlike most granite). It does not need to be shipped around the world on large cargo ships that emit greenhouse gases. It can also be recycled and can incorporate recycled fly ash in its fabrication.
With pre-cast, it is possible to achieve surfaces that are extremely smooth. The weeks needed for curing happen off-site, not in your home. The mess is also kept off-site and out of your living environment.
Personally, we love to use stained concrete for floors, countertops and even walls. There are many diverse possibilities that concrete allows which other materials just can't duplicate, and the look can range anywhere from Old World to modern- and anything in between.