Concrete's not just for your ordinary gray driveway anymore. Because of its flexibility, it can take on color, texture, and shape, mimicking other, more costly flooring materials. And it offers long-term performance.
Concrete flooring comes precast, cast-in-place, or in the form of concrete floor tiles. It can be poured right over a concrete slab structure. Portland cement, water, sand, and coarse aggregate are proportioned and mixed to produce concrete flooring. Because its hardening process continues for years, concrete gets stronger as it gets older.
Concrete may be colored by adding pigments before or after it is in place, by using chemical stains, or by exposing aggregates, such as marble, granite chips, or pebbles, at the surface. Textured finishes can vary from rough to polished. Patterns can be scored, stamped, rolled, or inlaid into the concrete. Some designers have been known to use divider strips (most commonly redwood) to form panels of various sizes and shapes.
The best way to maintain a concrete floor is to have it sealed. Urethane, epoxy, or water-based sealers are your typical choices. Once the sealer is applied, cleaning is as simple as sweeping and damp-mopping.