Go Green! Part 3 – The Eco-Friendly Advantages of…Concrete?

That’s right, you read the word correctly: “Concrete.” Believe it or not, concrete flooring is quickly turning into the eco-friendly flooring of choice for many consumers.

This isn’t the same concrete you grew up with, either; there are so many flooring options and materials currently available, it will make your head spin! We will discuss the myriad benefits associated with concrete flooring and cover the disadvantages (few in number as they are).

So, how on earth can concrete be considered an environmentally sound choice? Well, for one thing, concrete is not only eco-friendly, it is also a significant energy saver; comparatively, concrete utilizes far less energy when it is produced.

Second, no trees are cut down to produce the material. The environmental advantages are abundantly apparent here. Third, concrete is recyclable. Fourth, other flooring creates an abundant amount of waste stemming from leftover or unused padding and scraps. Conversely, concrete eliminates this type of waste. Fifth, concrete flooring does not contain volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) as many carpets do which contain synthetic fibers.

There are several other less apparent benefits to concrete as well. The economic benefits extend to cost efficiency. Although the initial cost may be higher than other flooring options, it will never need to be replaced. NEVER. Carpeting, hardwoods, and laminates require more care and certainly do not last forever; concrete, however, will last a lifetime if properly maintained.

Additionally, the design choices for concrete are nearly as vast as your imagination; conceive a unique design and odds are that any capable concrete artisan can create a floor to your specific specifications. Add in the minimal maintenance required and the fact that concrete actually improves your home’s air quality (no dust mites), it can prove a blessing for your home and family.

That said, there are a few disadvantages associated with concrete flooring.

First, this is not a project for the faint-hearted, weekend do-it yourself warrior. Concrete installation is a difficult process and should only be installed by someone with expertise in the field.

Second, concrete floors tend to be cold and unyielding. Even with the addition of area rugs, concrete will not provide a warm, soft surface. It also tends to easily transmit sound and can create an echo in certain environments.

Third, although concrete floors require little daily maintenance, they will need to be re-sealed every few months in high traffic areas.

Finally, the cost can be prohibitive depending on the extent of the design and variation of color desired.

All in all, concrete is a terrific option if installed properly and in the right room within your home. It’s durability combined with its eco-value and overall energy-saving components is worth serious consideration.