When is Polished Concrete a Better Choice Than Hardwood Floors?
Indoor flooring options available to homeowners and businesses have expanded over the years. Choosing from these various options can be a challenge. One of the challenges people face is deciding on the right floor to install. Since most floors elevate the house’s curb appeal, it can be challenging to settle for the best.
However, if one needs clarification about whether to install polished concrete or hardwood floors, they have come to the right place. This article will focus on polished concrete floors vs hardwood floors to help people with their decision.
What Are the Advantages of Polished Concrete Floors?
Here are the advantages of a concrete floor.
They Are Affordable to Install
When working with an existing concrete slab, one doesn’t need to acquire various floor coverings, such as tiles. This is because the concrete flooring expert mainly polishes the slab to create an excellent polished floor. It makes the flooring process cost-effective.
In contrast, if one requires different flooring materials, such as wood, they will pay for these materials and the labor.
Additionally, since polished concrete floors are long-lasting, people don’t have to worry about cleaning expenses. For instance, one doesn’t need to hire a cleaning company to clean their polished concrete floors.
Ultimately, installing a polished concrete floor is cheap, and one may not incur other maintenance expenses.
They Are Aesthetically Pleasing
Polished concrete floors are attractive. One cannot compare a concrete slab with a polished floor. These floors are smooth and shiny, which boosts the home’s curb appeal as well as the consumer experience in retail or commercial settings.
People can even choose different dyes, stains and patterns for their polished concrete floors – you aren’t limited to a dull grey color.
With polished concrete flooring, people have many options on how to style them to make them unique.
They Are Durable
Polished concrete floors have higher longevity because they are difficult to damage. These floors are strong and can withstand heavy equipment, such as furniture and machines. With proper care, these floors will last for many years.
They Are Easy to Maintain
Polished concrete floors don’t require much maintenance. One should sweep the floors regularly to avoid dust accumulation. They should also clean the floors weekly with a wet duster, especially when dealing with stained concrete, to restore the floor’s gloss and remove any watermarks.
Those with a large floor space can use a vacuum cleaner for concrete floors to fasten the cleaning process.
They Are Sanitary
Some polished concrete floors are resistant to contaminants. During the polishing process, the concrete flooring experts usually apply a coating, which creates a protective barrier against contaminants, such as water. Some floor coatings also provide microbial protection, thus making the home sanitary.
Additionally, most polished concrete floors don’t have cracks, meaning they cannot trap spilled food. It prevents one from having a pest infestation in their home.
What Are the Disadvantages of Polished Concrete floors?
Here are the disadvantages of polished concrete floors.
They Are Cold
Polished concrete floors can be cold if not properly insulated since concrete conducts heat more than many other flooring options – especially if the floor isn’t properly insulated. This can provide a cold sensation for someone walking on these floors in the winter.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this – buy area rugs. Rugs and other floor coverings can make a surface warmer and more comfortable to walk on. They can also cut down on noise as concrete does tend to echo soundwaves.
It Can Lead to Mold Growth if Not Properly Installed
Poorly finished and unsealed concrete floors can lead to mold growth. This is because moisture can penetrate the concrete if proper moisture mitigation steps aren’t taken.
If the moisture stays in the concrete pores for long, it creates a suitable environment for mold growth. Such problems arise when people implement DYI solutions, so the best option is to hire a flooring professional
They Are Hard
People like polished concrete floors because they are hard and strong. However, this is also one of its drawbacks. Since these floors are hard, they won’t cushion the feet when walking. Some people find it uncomfortable, especially standing on a polished concrete floor for hours.
Another disadvantage is that these floors are unforgiving. If someone drops a fragile item like a glass, expect it to break. This is a concern, especially if one has small children.
What Are the Advantages of Hardwood Floors?
Here are some of the advantages of hardwood floors.
They Are Easy to Clean
One only needs to sweep their hardwood floors to clean them. One can also use a vacuum cleaner if the hardwood flooring covers ample space.
Other people use a steam cleaning unit to disinfect their wood floors, which is also an effective and easy way to clean them.
Ultimately, cleaning the hardwood floors prevents dust accumulation and reduces pest infestation.
Hardwood Floors are Aesthetically Pleasing but Don’t Offer the Same Durability as Concrete
Increase the House’s Value
Wood flooring boosts the house’s value. Many home buyers prefer houses with hardwood floors over those with carpets. These buyers don’t like using another person’s carpet since they assume it may contain dirt and grime attached to carpet fibers..
Thus, many buyers are willing to pay more for a house with hardwood floors to avoid installing these floors in the future.
They Are Easy to Refinish
With hardwood floors, one can easily refinish them without replacing the entire floor. This is beneficial, especially for people who buy a new house and don’t like the flooring plan.
For instance, one can change the floor color and replace it with their preferred one. People can also change the floor design, such as the floor patterns, without affecting the floor’s quality.
It makes it easy for people to switch from one wood floor design to another to break the monotony.
They Are Long-Lasting
Hardwood floors are durable, especially if one maintains them properly. For instance, one should call n repair expert if they notice a small crack on the wood floors to avoid aggravating the damage.
Another way to boost these floors’ longevity is to install strong hardwood floors. However, these floors are expensive, but one can look for engineered hardwood floors.
Engineered wood floors are strong and inexpensive and have the same quality as solid hardwood floors.
Ultimately, hardwood floors will last for long provided one installs high-quality wood and maintains it properly.
Boosts the Home’s Indoor Air Quality
Carpets have fibers that attract dust, affecting indoor air quality. However, wood flooring is smooth, making it easy to wipe the dust from the floor.
Hardwood floors are ideal for allergy sufferers and other people with respiratory issues, such as asthma.
What Are the Disadvantages of Hardwood Floors?
These are the disadvantages of hardwood floors.
They Are Susceptible to Termite Attacks
One must know how to combat termites when installing hardwood floors. All types of woods are prone to termite infestation. It may take a while after installation, but these nuisance pests eventually attack one’s hardwood floors, especially if they haven’t taken measures to combat them.
Thus, after installing the hardwood floors, one must consult a professional to prevent termite infestation.
Besides dealing with the damage from the termite infestation, one also spends more money on pesticides and other chemicals that kill termites.
Eventually, it makes hardwood floors expensive to maintain as people must always inspect their floors to ensure there isn’t any infestation.
They Are Susceptible to Water Damage
Excess water on the hardwood floors can damage the wood. If one spills excess water on the floors or cleans them incorrectly, it may weaken the hardwood floors. After a while, one notices that some floor areas are damaged, especially if there is high foot traffic on that part.
These floors are expensive to repair after water damage; thus, one must be cautious when handling water.
They Are Easily Scratched
Many things can cause scratches on the hardwood floors. Some of them include furniture, pets, and shoes. As a homeowner, one must take various precautions to prevent this, or else they will be refinishing the floors regularly.
Furthermore, if someone doesn’t eradicate the scratches, the floors wear and tear after a while, causing damage.
With hardwood floors, one must be cautious when dragging items on the floor.
Is It Cheaper to Install Polished Concrete Floors Than Hardwood Floors?
The price of installing polished concrete floors vs hardwood floors depends on one’s floor’s size.
However, on average, prices start at $2 to $6 per square foot to install basic concrete floors with prices increasing for high quality polished concrete floors which can be significantly more costly. $15 to 30$. In contrast, installing hardwood floors costs $6 to $18 per square foot and will cost more for unique designs.
Which Should I Choose – Hardwood Floors or Polished Concrete Floors?
Ultimately it comes down to your preferences.
Concrete Floors are extremely durable and easy to maintain. They are more prevalent in retail, industrial and commercial settings. This is partly due to their beauty and their overall very low lifetime cost.
That said, plenty of homeowners also choose polished concrete floors for common areas, basements, and entertaining spaces. Polished concrete can provide an elegant look for any home.
Wood floors aren’t as durable as polished concrete floors and are much more prone to damage from water, pets, and wear. A wood floor won’t last nearly as long as a concrete floor, but they can be a bit more comfortable to walk on and won’t feel nearly as cold as concrete on cold winter mornings.