One of the first decisions we’ve had to make for our new home was what the flooring in the main living area/first level would be like. Right away we knew we wanted something that resembled the natural tones and pigment of the surrounding desert rock. We toyed with the idea of a brick, terracotta tile for a while, as it gave us a nod to the Spanish style, southwest design we have been inspired by throughout this process. We kept running into hiccups with this, so we decided to go with a tinted concrete. We liked this idea as it will not be perfect, over time it will show imperfections and age differently in different spots. I know to many that isn’t very appealing, but to us, we liked how the floors will continue to tell a story and age with us as we make memories in this home.
How to Pick a Tinted Concrete for Your Home
We decided to go with Davis Colors for the flooring. If you’ve been following along with us on social media, you might have read about how for quite a bit there were no samples available on the Davis site, but we finally got them just in time. It’s so hard to tell online via an image how they look because lighting is so different and everyone photographs things differently. Ultimately we decided on Southern Blush – it’s a warm tinted concrete that has some pink undertones, reminding me of clay, and the terracotta pigments in sand. It also reminds me a bit of flagstone, which we plan to use in some of the outdoor spaces. I’m hoping this will create a pretty and seamless flow from indoor to outdoor living.
The Pros and Cons of Concrete Floors
Concrete Flooring: the Pros
Low – Maintenance – Concrete floors can be pretty low maintenance if sealed correctly. We are opting for a matte finish, so we will not be having them polished. This will leave us susceptible to more stains and such, however as I mentioned above, I’m leaning into the whole wabi-sabi of it all.
Durable – A concrete floor is extremely strong and durable. We love how this will stand the test of time in the main living area and in high function spaces, such as the kitchen and family room.
Eco-Friendly – Although concrete itself isn’t a sustainable material, it does require less energy than other floor types to produce and will naturally absorb warm and cool air, minimizing the need for heating and cooling systems to running all the time. Concrete can also be recycled so any left over material will not be put to waste such as scraps with other material.
So Many Design Options – There are so many finishes and colors you can go with. If you already have existing concrete floors you can add a a decorative overlay or enhance it with a stain or polish. We are going with a smooth, matte finish, but you can do polished or troweled texture as well.
Concrete Flooring: the Cons
Cleaning – You will definitely have to use more gentle cleaners on concrete floors, especially if you choose not to seal them. We use natural and non-abrasive cleaners already at home, so this doesn’t bother us.
Cracking – To prevent cracking you will need to have “joints” created. This resembles grout lines in tile. We spoke about creating the most seamless look as possible with our concrete team, so we are planning on having most joints created in the corners of the home and about six-eight feet apart.
Comfort/Hardness – Some people don’t love how hard concrete might feel under their feet. However, we will have area rugs to warm up the most lived in spaces. Something to consider though.
Cost of Concrete Flooring
From my understanding after speaking with our general contractor and the foreman of the concrete company who was on site when our concrete was poured, the darker the concrete the more expensive. Color adds about 10-30% to the cost of the concrete itself. So the basic, most commonly seen light gray concrete is the most affordable, and cost goes up as you go darker. Something else I wasn’t aware of when we started this process was how with a deeper pigment, we needed to make sure it was being spread out faster as it was being poured. In turn, we ended up needing more hands on site to work the concrete with through the space as its being poured. This could also add to cost, and something to consider when thinking of pricing out concrete flooring, but will definitely vary depending on what company you decide to use for your project.
I can’t wait to share more as the project progresses. When the concrete is first poured it appears much darker than it will be when it dries. You can see the two images above. Framing starts soon you all and I am bursting with excited for this all! I’ll keep you all posted.
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