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Anyone have any opinions on whether or not Polished concrete is a valid alternative to Hardwood Flooring ??

A friend recently mentioned Polished concrete, but i said it was too cold and bland, in comparison to the warm and comfortable sensation of hardwood.

You cant tell me Polished Concrete is a valid alternative.. or is it ??
 

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It is a valid product if it fits your needs and design. Not everyone is the same.

Some people will not have wood for many reasons ("green", low thermal storage, aesthetics, etc.). If you are a traditinalsit and want a home like you grew up in, concrete is not for you.
 

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I like both products but it depends where they are being used. I've installed several stained/etched concrete floors in restaurants and retail stores and they look great and are cost effective. At home or on a Residential project the warmth of a hard wood floor is hard to beat.
 

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Wood floors warm? I can make concrete look warm and wood looks nice but neither is warm. How about 'crete/tile at high traffic enterances and wood everywhere else?
 

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concrete floors are definetly not cold with radiant floor heat... which I thought would catch on alot more by now, but no! Crawlspaces are pointless + basements (in floor heat) have purpose.
 

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I personally don't like them. I have seen many examples and lived with then for a day or two. My experience is in foreign Countries with tropical climates. I'm not down with there decor at all.:laughing:
 

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Polished concrete is great, but a lot can go wrong with it also, if the concrete is not within the flatness guidelines provided by the manufacturer, there will be spots where more aggregate is shown then not.

If donw right, with stains or dyes, it can be an awesome floor. Just make sure your flooring guy is an artist, in order to do floors like those shown above.
 

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Cdat,... you did find what would look to be in my opinion, some horrible pics of concrete floors. Way too much going on with that, I hate it most when you take concrete + replicate something there is no shortage of. In this case a persian rug or stamped concrete brick + stone paterns. Or even concrete countertops that look like granite with a cut stone edge,... just get the real thing damn it! Concrete floors aren't for everyone nor every place. they are very trendy at the moment + very conversational. Concrete as a flooring "alternative" are very much creatively endless through polishing, cutting/grouting, staining + inlaying/exposing. As with anything, as more + more people get into it + do it, it will be over used + become ordinary like tile, carpet, + hardwood coverings.
 

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Hi Academy Hardwood,

Just to add to the diversity of comments your getting about concrete floors. We live in a timberframe home, the main floor is radiant heated concrete (2" thick). It is coloured (very light brown) and power trowelled. We also have an upstairs which has a 3/4" thick maple floor (similiar to Bruce Hardwood Flooring). We have lived with both for 3 years. My wife and I both love the concrete floor and we would never change it to wood. This is our fifth home, and first with a concrete floor in the main living area. We have Indian rugs in the living room, dining room and hallway. The rugs don't interfere with the radiant heating efficiency. The floor is a heat sink in the winter (30,000 to 40,000 lbs of concrete), and has a surface temperature almost equal to the room temperature (which we keep around 70 Deg.F.). We can walk around in total comfort with bare feet during mid winter with outdoor temperatures well below 0 Deg.F. It also acts as a cold sink during hot summer days - one of the reasons it is used extensively in tropical climates. This reduces our requirements on our A/C system. The floor requires virtually no maintenance and is very easy to keep clean. Walking on it is similiar to walking on a hardwood floor except there are no creaks and the floor is not cold during the winter.

Your question compared polished concrete to wood floors and I would suggest that you do not polish the floor because that would make the floor appear more commercial, just have an experienced power trowel operator do the final finish. I agree with Medusa - don't get too fancy on the floor because you'll probably tire of it and it's hard to change it. Use color in your concrete mix or use a simple acid stain.

Good luck on your decision,
Richard
 

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I'm a big fan of concrete floors, and think they are a fine alternative. Preferably with radiant heat in them- given the choice I would never see another forced air furnace with all the vents and ducts...

Just like a wood floor, you use carpets for traffic areas and comfort areas. A bare wood floor is nice to look at, but not any better to sit on than any concrete floor.

And, at all costs, you avoid wall to wall carpeting anywhere for any reason. Some things just shouldn't be done.
 

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Cdat,... you did find what would look to be in my opinion, some horrible pics of concrete floors. Way too much going on with that, I hate it most when you take concrete + replicate something there is no shortage of. In this case a persian rug or stamped concrete brick + stone paterns. Or even concrete countertops that look like granite with a cut stone edge,... just get the real thing damn it! Concrete floors aren't for everyone nor every place. they are very trendy at the moment + very conversational. Concrete as a flooring "alternative" are very much creatively endless through polishing, cutting/grouting, staining + inlaying/exposing. As with anything, as more + more people get into it + do it, it will be over used + become ordinary like tile, carpet, + hardwood coverings.
Different strokes, differnt folks. If you've better pic's, post them. They look just fine where they're at and I'd love to have 'em in my house.
 

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"You all know where i stand, you know how i make my living" Quote from jaws. Anyway, Concrete floors, when done correctly, are warm and practical as a residential floor. Will concrete ever acheive the popularity of wood? Probably not, but not for practicle reasons, its really because of availability and knowledge. Wood floors will always be viewed as the superior product. G
 
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