Maxx Minutes Blog

Achieving the Concrete Look for Less

Have you ever considered incorporating the popular concrete floor “look” into a project? Whether lending a modern aesthetic to a multifamily project or a low maintenance floor to a commercial or retail environment, a poured cementitious finished floor can provide many benefits that add to the overall value of the project while offering a spectrum of design possibilities.

Benefits

Value

The concrete look is very popular, especially in warehouse-to-loft conversions, because of its sleek appearance, long-term durability, and low maintenance. Concrete is heavy and generally has to be poured very thick. High strength cementitious underlayments can be poured from featheredge to any thickness required by the project. A typical topping over concrete is 3/8” average, which eliminates potential floor height or weight concerns while also providing lasting durability with the look of concrete at a more affordable price.

Time Savings

Concrete is hand or power troweled making for a slow finishing process, while a cementitious underlayment can be pumped in and smoothed to a flat finish in hours. Where a tight timeline is a consideration it is important to note that concrete dries very slowly (it can take months to dry) but cementitious underlayments can be walked on in as little as 2-4 hours after the pour. Some cementitious underlayments offer self-drying technology. If using a self-drying overlay/underlayment, it can be sealed or ready for finished floor goods in as little as 24 to 48 hours after installation. Topping damaged concrete? A thin layer of cementitious underlayment can be poured directly over the old concrete, eliminating the time and cost associated with concrete removal.

Customization

Pumpable cementitious finished floors offer the unique opportunity for customization allowing you to create the ideal finished floor for your project:

  • Several coloring options offer an extensive variety in the look of the finished floor. Possibilities include:
    • Integral color added to the batch mix during installation
    • Staining of the cured underlayment
    • Colored sealers
    • Clear and colored coatings
  • Unique top coat treatments can add dimension, slip resistance, or a one-of-a-kind texture.
  • Sealers available in matte or gloss finishes further allow for finished floor customization and provide the added benefit of protecting your cementitious finished floor.

Questions to Ask to Determine the Right Finished Floor Solution for Your Project

There are several important questions that should be considered when determining what finished floor goods should be used on a project. Here are a few to help guide you:

  • What is the intended use of the project?
  • Do particular spaces have differing uses?
  • Should the floor be low maintenance?
  • What look is desired?
  • Does the look of concrete enhance the project?
  • Is there a flatness or levelness requirement?