When we began building our home almost two years ago, we were limited to a small budget and had to do things as inexpensively as we could. At the same time, we wanted a home that would be comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. One area where we decided to try and save money was the floor.
We knew we didn’t want carpet. We have dogs. We have dirt. My husband has allergies. On the other hand, we really did like wood. We had it before and loved it; but wood, as you know, is expensive when one is trying to cut corners.
We decided then on stained concrete. It was a low cost option, and one that we thought would be easy to maintain while still being (relatively) pretty to look at. Having lived here since the fall of 2012, I have developed a love/hate relationship with my concrete floor.
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It is easy to clean ~ Our homestead is still a diamond in the rough.
We have a driveway but no walkway. We have grass but no sod. We have chickens, we have dogs, we have a garden, we have mud.
There is a lot of dirty traffic throughout the house on a daily basis.
I don’t always have time to mop, but with a good sweeping, or even a once over with the canister vacuum cleaner; it looks pretty good. (For mopping by the way, I recommend one of these with an extra head. Use one, wash the other. Super handy!)
It is inexpensive ~ Our only cost was the stain and the labor to get it done. It really did save us some money.
It is attractive ~ It might be hard to believe that concrete could look good, but it really does! While one can have it stained virtually any color, I chose a medium brown that would have the effect of wood. Before we moved in, I was very concerned that our home would look cheap and unfinished but we were happy with the look of our floor.
It is not indestructible ~ I never would have believed this. I thought that once we sealed our floor, we’d never have to deal with it again. Not so. It has gotten scratched, the paint has started to chip, and furniture sometimes leaves permanent marks.
Take this with a grain of salt however. It could be that it was not properly stained (I wasn’t here to oversee every detail with our builder); it could also be that we chose the wrong application.
I thought when I told the builder “stained concrete” I was asking for the shiny finish I had seen in commercial use. It would have been helpful to know more about finishes, or to have a contractor who had the time and was willing to explain it all to me. That didn’t happen and what we have is a dull finish that scratches.
Lesson to be learned: if you are not going to DIY, make sure you are communicating well with your contractor.
It does show dirt ~ Brown stain, does not hide brown dirt like one would think. Yes, it is easy to clean, but until I get it cleaned it shows dirt. It also seems to collect dust much quicker than wood and carpet. Granted, not seeing dust on carpet does not mean one actually has a clean carpet. The concrete may be working to my advantage by alerting me to the fact that I need to clean, but if I don’t have the time to drop everything and vacuum, I don’t always want to know it is there.
It doesn’t provide the warmth of carpet, both in temperature and atmosphere ~ While it is attractive, it is cold and the rooms don’t have as warm of an ambiance as I would like. For this reason, I see some throw rugs in our future.