When to Choose Polished Concrete Floors Over Vinyl Floors
One of the biggest decisions you make when building a house or planning the ideal business space is what kind of floor you want. Flooring is the largest piece of decor and will be seen most. It can be hard to decide because so many variables go into the choice.
Understandably, most people love the upscale look of polished concrete. The versatility and customizing options of vinyl can be a big draw for others. Here are the pros and cons of polished concrete vs vinyl flooring.
Hard stones, like granite and marble, have been used as flooring for a long time. However, using concrete as a less-expensive alternative has only been popular in the last 30 years. Giving the concrete a dry polish and covering it with a floor coating makes it shiny and attractive. Concrete flooring can be dyed before sealing to create various colors and meet decorating needs.
Several reasons could make a polished concrete floor best for your needs. They are stylish while also being durable.
Polished concrete floors are strong and resist scratches and scuff marks. They can withstand the weight of heavy furniture and even vehicles.
A concrete floor will probably outlast you. With the lifespan of these floors being at least 50 years, there is a good chance that you will never have to replace them.
A polished concrete floor is fairly easy to maintain but does require diligence to keep its shine. You will need to wax and seal it once a year.
There are some drawbacks to using a polished concrete floor. While it is a long-lasting material with a very low lifetime cost compared to other flooring options, the upfront cost can be a bit more expensive than other flooring options.
A polished concrete floor costs considerably more than vinyl at up to $15 per square foot. If you have it refinished later, the cost could be even higher.
There is no getting around the fact that concrete floors are uncomfortable to walk on, especially in some residential settings. Polished concrete floors can be great in common areas and provide an elegant space for entertaining. That said some rooms may not be ideal for concrete. As an example, many people don’t want a hard and sometimes cold surface in places like bedrooms.
Despite what many think, concrete floors when properly insulated can be a good energy efficient option. They’re able to absorb warmth during the heat of the day and slowly release that heat as a house cools at night.
Many people prefer vinyl flooring because there is a wide variety of styles, colors, and patterns from which to choose. While polished concrete comes in many colors, vinyl can mimic the look of other materials, such as wood.
Here are some of the many reasons people choose to use vinyl flooring.
At up to $7 per square foot, vinyl flooring is one of the most cost-effective materials available.
Vinyl floors are easy to maintain. They need to be swept and mopped periodically.
One draw of vinyl is the way it can mimic other materials. A vinyl floor can look like almost any other material, including granite, luxury vinyl tile, and wood grain.
While many people enjoy the choices they get in the look and feel of vinyl, there are definite drawbacks to it. You may save money on installation, but the short life of the material may cost you later.
Vinyl flooring is cheap, but it isn’t durable or environmentally friendly
Vinyl floors may not scratch as easily as tile or laminate flooring. However, sharp objects such as dropped knives or broken glass can pierce vinyl planks.
Vinyl flooring will not last a lifetime since it must be replaced after 5 to 10 years, especially in high-traffic areas. You can not refinish vinyl as you can with concrete.
A polished concrete floor has less long-term, negative effect on the environment than vinyl. Because the sealant is non-toxic, it can be a safe choice. Concrete is less likely to be a hospitable environment for mold, and the ease of cleaning makes it allergy friendly.
Vinyl flooring on the other hand is not biodegradable. When you get ready to replace your flooring in a few years, it will go to a landfill and stay, which is not ideal for the environment. The risk of mold also exists on the subfloor beneath the vinyl, depending on its composition.
One key difference in polished concrete vs. vinyl flooring is how it is installed. Most floors have concrete underneath, so it is possible to polish the existing floor. A new floor can be put in, or an overlay placed on top.
Polished concrete floors are a lot of work to install, which is why they are much more expensive than the alternatives.
In extreme cases, a new concrete slab may be required. In this case, the surface must be prepared and surveyed before excavating the old floor. Then concrete has to be poured, which can take up to three days to harden. After that, the polishing and sealing are completed.
Because of all the work that has to go into installing a polished concrete floor, it has to be done by professionals who know what they are doing. It will cost a bit more for installation than you can expect from many other flooring options.
Vinyl floors, on the other hand, are not difficult to install. You will not need to hire professionals, but many companies can do it quickly. Some companies can get your new floor installed in a day, or you could do it as a DIY project. Sheet vinyl or self-adhesive vinyl tiles are easy enough to install if you follow the instructions and watch some videos online.
A cost saving of vinyl flooring, such as vinyl tile, is that it does not require excavation of the old floor. In most cases, it can be installed on top of the subflooring that already exists. That can reduce the cost of a home renovation as long as there are no structural issues with the existing floor.
Polished concrete floors will last longer than vinyl over time. Vinyl floors must be replaced after a few years, but concrete can last decades. However, one thing that many people do not take into consideration is cracking.
Concrete floors may develop slight cracks over time – especially if you choose a subpar concrete flooring company. While slight, barely noticeable cracks are part of the settling and curing process, they can easily be filled with sealant to be barely detectable and to prevent further damage. They can be refinished, which will make them less noticeable.
There is the possibility of having the best of both worlds. If you want the long-lasting sustainability of concrete with the versatile look and texture of vinyl, you could do both. Many people install a concrete floor to have sturdiness and durability and install vinyl planks to simulate a hardwood floor.
That can be an expensive choice because you will have to pay for all the renovation of a concrete floor, plus the material costs and installation of the vinyl. However, the price of the concrete will not be as high because you will not be polishing it or adding the sealant.
An underlay is usually installed under vinyl to help with absorbing water and creating a softer feel on your feet. If you already have a concrete floor and want to add vinyl, you may not have to put down an underlay. If there are any uneven areas or you want to reduce noise, an underlay could help.
Business owners have been choosing concrete over vinyl more often in recent years. The industrial look is attractive to many restaurants, bars, and small offices, and polished concrete goes with it well. The fact that owners do not have to replace it often and it is easy to keep clean is also an incentive.
Vinyl sometimes works well in a business that wants a more traditional look. If you want an old-style tile floor in your restaurant, or a hardwood floor in your dentist’s office, you would more likely choose vinyl. However, the foot traffic that goes through a business may require it to be replaced more often.
The durability of a concrete floor is attractive to many homeowners. The idea of never replacing the floor can be an incentive. It holds up extremely well to foot traffic and is very easy to clean.
Vinyl can be a good choice for many homes because it can add personality to various parts of the house. Vinyl tile can be used in the kitchen and bathrooms, while vinyl planks are installed in the living room and bedrooms. Vinyl can also be quieter than concrete because it can be a bit better at absorbing sound.