Disadvantages of a Concrete Floor

Posted on: July 23, 2022

Aside from its cold, hard feel, and lack of insulation, concrete floors have several other disadvantages. For one, removing them requires ripping up the existing flooring. Another disadvantage is that they are not the most environmentally friendly option. Overusing resources is another disadvantage. Besides that, removing them is a costly process. But if you’re sure that you want to get a concrete floor, it’s worth checking out these other disadvantages.

Hard

The surface hardness of a concrete floor is a fundamental aspect of the durability of a floor. Concrete has several different strengths, but all are similar in some respects. Unpolished concrete is about 3000 PSI. Polycarbonate resins add between 500 and 1000 PSI. Densifiers, on the other hand, improve the hardness of a concrete floor’s surface. While these methods can give you a hard surface, you may want to invest in a concrete floor treatment before you do so.

Hardness tests can be conducted to determine whether the concrete surface is stable. These tests include the Shore test and the Roswell test. In addition to the Knoop test, you can also use the Rosiwal test, which has two variants: the medium and hard bond. You can also conduct the Schmidt’s hammer test to evaluate the impact resistance of a concrete structural element. In this test, a hammer impacted against a concrete surface to determine the amount of impact it could withstand before cracking.

Cold

One of the major advantages of a concrete floor is its durability. Unlike other materials, concrete does not absorb or transmit heat, so heat losses through a concrete slab are unlikely to be as significant as heat transfer through windows or doors. Although this disadvantage is likely to be significant, it is not as severe as the heat transfer from a cold concrete floor to a warm floor in a climate-controlled home. Cold temperatures can be uncomfortable, but rugs and special anti-fatigue mats can help offset the discomfort.

The coldness of concrete can make it uncomfortable to stand on, especially in cold areas. While concrete is highly durable and inexpensive, it can also be slippery when wet. It can be a dangerous surface for children, as things dropped on it can break. Also, concrete can be cold underfoot and does not retain heat well. It is not suitable for homes without adequate sunlight or other sources of heat. Concrete is also not compatible with many design aesthetics, including traditional wooden floorboards.

Hairline cracks

Concrete floors are susceptible to hairline cracks. These are the tiniest cracks, only about 0.003 inches wide or 0.08 millimeters deep. They cannot be eliminated, but can be minimized with proper construction practices. Hairline cracks can occur due to the plastic shrinkage of fresh concrete, a chemical process that results from rapid water loss during the concrete’s plastic state. Other causes of hairline cracks include evaporation of water from the subgrade, forms, and aggregate.

Another reason that concrete floors may develop hairline cracks is exposure to heat. A common source of heat-related hairline cracks is a crock pot. Crock pots are not hot, but they sit on a floor for hours. As the concrete warms, it expands, causing thermal stress. As it cools, it contracts again, resulting in hairline cracks.

Lack of insulation

Compared to wood, concrete is a poor insulator. For example, a 12-inch thick wall has only an R-value of 1.2 to 2.4. A six-inch concrete slab has an R-value of just.06 to 1.2. By comparison, a two-by-six-inch wood framed wall has an R-value of 2.4 to 3.4. A solid concrete wall can only retain as much air as its thickness.

One way to combat this issue is to add a layer of insulation under the concrete. In addition to insulating the floor, rigid insulation also protects the concrete from moisture and heat. Many modern building codes require the use of rigid insulation in new structures. Rigid foam is often used to add insulation to floors. It can also be installed beneath concrete slabs and along footings. These steps will improve the insulating qualities of the concrete floor.

Cost

The cost of a concrete floor can range anywhere from $5 to $25 per square foot. The lower end of this spectrum will require more maintenance, due to the fact that it will etch and stain. Lower-level concrete finishes are rarely sealed, leaving the raw concrete exposed. These floors can easily deteriorate over time due to moisture migration. Here are some tips for keeping the cost of a concrete floor down. First, know that you’ll need to mop the floor weekly. Next, you can add a baseboard to protect the floor from dirt and look finished.

Depending on your needs, there are various types of concrete floor coatings available. Each of them has different characteristics and a slightly different cost. Acid-stained concrete and polished concrete floors are both good choices for modern and industrial-style homes, while classic home styles may not suit this kind of floor. Whether you choose to add a stain or finish to your concrete floor depends on the style and design of your home. The cost of these materials will vary depending on what you want, so it’s best to shop around to find the one that will suit your tastes.

Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your concrete floor is vital for its long-term protection against heavy traffic, corrosive chemicals, and general wear and tear. Failure to do so will result in premature degradation of the protective coating, which will ultimately cost you money. Besides being time-consuming, concrete floor replacement can also be a major disruption. To avoid these problems, follow these basic tips for proper maintenance. They will increase the longevity of your floor and decrease its costs.

Routine maintenance of your concrete floor is similar to that of any other type of floor. Depending on your budget and what kind of maintenance you desire, you may not need to spend much time on regular maintenance. You should, however, clean your concrete floor regularly with a broom or a soft, non-metal scrub brush. For stains, you should use a mixture of ammonia and mild soap. Always be sure to place potted plants on a sturdy plant stand.