Concrete floors can be dazzling, but much of their final appeal is depending upon the finishing method that you choose. Fortunately, there are a variety of options available, so you should be able to find a finish that will work well with your personal design aesthetic.
A highly polished concrete floor can be quite attractive. The concrete will have a perfectly smooth and glossy surface, which will catch and reflect the light in a space. Polished floors are an excellent option in open areas where you want to refract as much light as possible.
Another finishing technique that is the opposite of a high polish is a textured floor. Most texturing is done before the concrete sets. The contractor will use a trowel, concrete brush, or other tools to brush a textured design into the concrete. The design can be random or repeating, depending on your desired look. For example, a brush can be used to create a repeating pattern of brushstroke fan shapes over the entire floor.
Stains are typically applied after the concrete has set. Acid staining is the most common method. The stain is applied to the floor where it works its way into the top layer of the concrete surface. Acid stains, in particular, can turn discoloration and minor flaws into beautiful designs. Most stains are only able to achieve earth tones, but the result can be wonderful.
Dyes are a good choice when you are having a new concrete floor installed because these add color to the liquid concrete before it is laid. Since the color is throughout the concrete, there are no concerns about chips showing as the floor ages. Dyes are available in nearly any color desired.
Stenciling can add a lot of beauty to an existing concrete floor. You can choose simple stencils in repeating patterns, perhaps to give the look of a tile floor. Or, you can choose a border design to edge a room or hallway. Another option is to have a large floor mural stenciled on the floor. Once finished, the floor is sealed to protect the stenciled design.
The most common type of inlay finish is an aggregate finish. A decorative rock aggregate is inlaid into the top layer of the concrete before it cures. Often, this layer is mixed with a clear polymer to create a smooth finish. You can also opt to have decorative tile inlaid into the concrete. This option is often used to create decorative borders.
Contact concrete finishing services for more help.