The Surprising Material Replacing Hardwood Floors

Carpeting, hardwood, and tile have long dominated underfoot surface areas, but today's homeowners are increasingly turning to a different floor material: concrete. Don't let its industrial roots fool you. Not only does concrete have many major benefits over more traditional materials, but it's also available in a variety of überchic design finishes.

Here are the top seven reasons to pick concrete for your home's floors:

  • Cheap
  • Compared to hardwood, carpeting, and just about any other floor treatment, concrete is shockingly inexpensive. Basic installation starts at $2 to $6 per square foot.

  • Low Maintenance
  • Besides applying a surface sealer a few times year, you can completely ignore your concrete, and it will be A-OK.

  • Easy to Clean
  • No harsh chemicals or expensive treatments are needed to clean concrete since dirt and grime can't penetrate beyond the surface. You needn't do much more than a weekly sweeping or mopping with soapy water.

  • Durable
  • Pets, kids, and even steamrollers can do little to damage concrete. This material is virtually immune to scratches, chips, and stains. As long as you remember to seal it regularly, it can last indefinitely — hence its popularity in commercial buildings.

  • Eco Friendly
  • Using concrete as a finished floor eliminates the additional installation of wood or carpeting and all the associated by-products. Plus, concrete doesn't harbor allergens, which decrease indoor air quality.

  • Stylish
  • Pick from a surprising range of sleek and expensive-looking finishes, from colorful stains to decorative overlays and even ornate stamping techniques.

  • Temperature Regulating
  • Concrete absorbs hot and cool air, allowing it to stay cool in the Summer and warm in the Winter — which comes in handy with the energy bill!

  • Versatile
  • Whether serving as a workhorse surface in an industrial warehouse or peeking out beneath an area rug in a modern loft, concrete floors look and function beautifully in a variety of settings.