How to Tell if Concrete Kitchen Flooring is Right For Your Kitchen
As you get started designing your custom dream home, some of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make will be regarding the materials used in the kitchen – in particular, what type of flooring you want for the space.
Concrete flooring is becoming a popular option these days because of its versatility, durability, and natural stone appearance. However, it’s not for everyone, given that there are some potential drawbacks to this material.
Below is our guide to understanding if concrete flooring for your new kitchen is a good choice for your project goals.
Pros of Concrete Flooring in the Kitchen
There are many advantages to going with concrete floors for your new kitchen. For instance, concrete flooring:
- Has an attractive, natural stone-like appearance when it gets stained and pigmented
- Is completely customizable with unlimited design options in terms of colour, texture, staining, etchings, and extras
- Is low-maintenance and resists stains and scratches when properly sealed
- Is very compatible with radiant floor heating installations
- Is durable and lasts a long time (anywhere from 50 to 100 years)
- Resists damage from things like furniture, pets, and high heels
- Does not contain any harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are often found in carpet, hardwood, vinyl, laminate, and other flooring materials
- Can be created from an existing slab or installed as newly poured material
- Can easily be changed up in the future if you change your mind – simply add another flooring material on top of the concrete
Cons of Concrete Flooring in the Kitchen
Let’s take a closer look at the potential drawbacks of using concrete as a flooring material. In general, concrete kitchen flooring:
- Requires multiple, specialized installation processes in most cases, with strict timelines for things like colouring, pouring, polishing, and sealing
- Does not retain heat very well, so radiant floor heating might be required, depending on your climate
- It is a little noisy and echoey due to having no sound-dampening qualities (comparable to ceramic tile or hardwood)
- Needs to be properly sealed in order to avoid stains from water, cooking oil, pet accidents, and other types of spills
- Requires resealing every three years or so, depending on use
- Might chip if an extremely heavy object is dropped on it
- Might develop structural cracks if expansion joints are poorly installed
- Is a hard surface, so people can get easily hurt during a trip and fall
- Presents some discomfort for anyone standing on it for long periods of time
- Costs quite a bit more than other flooring options when multiple customizations and treatments are ordered
How Long Does It Take to Install Concrete Kitchen Flooring?
The installation of concrete flooring is a multi-step process. Typically, installing concrete kitchen flooring takes anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to complete, depending on how custom of a look you’re going for.
The actual pigmenting, pouring, and spreading of a one-colour, one-slab concrete floor takes just one day. However, if you’re wanting an acid stained floor, the timing goes up to two days (if the flooring is all the same colour) or could jump up to five days if you’re getting a stone-look floor achieved by using multiple coloured loads.
Depending on things like the weather and the size of the space, a stained concrete floor might have to be covered for two to four additional days so the stain can penetrate the concrete surface.
Polishing everything up comes next and can take anywhere from one to five days, depending on the level of smoothness you’re after. After polishing, sealing the concrete takes about one or two days.
How Much Does Concrete Kitchen Flooring Cost?
The price of concrete kitchen flooring for a custom home varies significantly, based on the level of customization (pigmenting, stamping, patterns, etc.) and polishing (smoothness, texture, matte vs. gloss finishes, etc.) you’re looking for.
For an absolute basic, sealed concrete kitchen floor installation with no bells or whistles, the cost is between $2 and $5 per square foot. If you’re adding a lot of polishing or acid staining, the price can climb to around $15 per square foot. At its highest price range, concrete flooring tops out at around $40 per square foot. This includes highly intricate designs such as metal trim embedding, several different colours, and a shined out, super smooth polish job.
You can think of concrete flooring as having a base price, with all extra toppings and side dishes selected from the menu costing a couple dollars extra. For example, saw cuts are about $1 to $3 extra; acid staining is about $2 to $5 extra, and extreme polishing to a high gloss is about $3 to $5 added to the base price of installed concrete.
Below is a closer look at some of these extras.
Concrete Kitchen Flooring Extras
You can take your concrete flooring to the next level by adding certain extras, which we hinted at earlier. Here’s a short list of where to start when it comes to customizing your concrete flooring. Ask your flooring installer about any of the following options:
- Pigment or Colour:Tints can be added to the entire batch of concrete to create nearly any colour of flooring.
- Acid Staining:Going with a direct acid staining process after the concrete has been poured permanently changes the surface colour of the concrete so it looks like it has various shades and the veining of natural stone.
- Embedded Materials:Several types of materials can be embedded in the concrete, whether they are patterned around the perimeter, for example, or at random throughout the floor field. Choose from things like tiles, stones, and coloured glass to truly add your mark to your flooring.
- Stampings:Various designs or lettering can be created and stamped into the surface.
- Metallic Coatings:The addition of epoxy coatings can create shiny, metallic-looking surfaces that truly sparkle.
- Saw Cutting:A saw can be used on the surface of finished concrete to create random shapes or create the illusion of slabs rather than a solid surface.
- Polish Level:The level of polish affects how matte or how glossy a concrete flooring becomes.
Caring for Your Concrete Kitchen Floors
Caring for and cleaning your floors regularly and properly helps to mitigate some of the drawbacks to concrete flooring mentioned above. For example:
- Always sweep gritty dirt off of the floor immediately to prevent it from wearing away the sealer that is there to protect the floor from kitchen stains.
- Using a broom is preferred over the vacuum. A vacuum can be used but we recommend disabling the rotating brush, so that it can’t damage the finish of the floor.
- A soft cloth or mop with warm water is acceptable for stubborn grime and dirt.
- Avoid detergents, which often leave behind a faint residue that over time dulls the floor’s surface and might even stain or discolour it.
- Avoid any cleaner with harsh chemicals and acidic ingredients such as citrus and vinegar.
- Consider using a special wax specially designed for concrete flooring if your kitchen gets a lot of foot traffic.
If you are still unsure if a concrete floor for your new kitchen is right for your project, talking things over with a custom builder and interior designer is a great place to start! LIDA Construction in Victoria, BC can help you design your dream kitchen. Contact us today for a free estimate on your next project.