The Features, Care & Cost of Concrete Flooring vs Hardwood Flooring
Aside from personal preference, there are things to consider when deciding on flooring, including the aesthetic and the intended use of the space.
Two popular options for flooring are hardwood and concrete. Let’s look at some of the features, the care and costs associated with both types of flooring.
Concrete Flooring vs Hardwood Flooring – Features
Hardwood cannot be lumped together as just hardwood. Much of what you get with hardwood depends on the wood you choose. The most common types of wood floors include:
Much of what you get with your choice of hardwoods comes naturally due to the unique grain. No two pieces are exactly alike. In addition to the unique look of each type of wood, you may also change this look further using stains and wood finishes.
When it comes to concrete, however, you have the ability to create intricate designs that would not be possible with hardwood. This enables a more creative look for the floor, without getting into time-consuming, and expensive cutting or design work.
On the plus side again, concrete is more durable over time, both options can stand the test of time. Of course, this requires some special care and maintenance.
What about Installation?
You are likely to find that having your flooring professionally installed can contribute to the cost significantly. This is true of either hardwood or concrete. If you choose a wood that is easier to lay, you may be able to do it yourself. When it comes to something more complex, such as Bamboo, you will probably need to hire an expert, unless you have done it yourself before.
Concrete, however, can actually be dangerous to install. For that reason alone it is crucial that you hire a pro. Due to the challenge involved with laying out concrete, make sure you factor the installation cost into your budget.
Costs Involved with Concrete vs. Hardwood
When it comes to wood flooring, the prices can vary a great deal. This is true not just of the different types of wood but even within variations of the same wood. For example, you can get a basic Cherry wood for a fairly reasonable cost. But when you switch to Brazilian Cherry you are looking at close to triple the amount per square foot.
So if you are considering hardwood, do some pricing per square foot before making your decision. Bamboo you may find to be the least expensive wood per square foot. However, when you factor in the price of installation it could change whether this fits your budget or not, by quite a bit.
Concrete flooring is usually cheaper and can start as low as $2 a square foot. The price will vary mainly according to the grade. Higher grades of concrete will change the cost a lot. Once you get into more complex patterns and premium stains, you are looking at approximately $15 a square foot.
The bottom line is to make sure you get a quote for the style of wood or concrete you want, not just a general one. Make sure your estimate also includes the cost of installation. Any potential additions such as fancy trim will also need to be factored in so you have an accurate idea of your cost.
Considering the Care Factor
Both hardwood floors and concrete require a type of sealant for protection. This will help you get longer life from whichever type of flooring you choose. The main difference is that concrete does not require that much care following the sealant.
Hardwood, on the other hand, could get a new protective sealant application done every few years. This can be time consuming and a bit pricey, but it is essential in prolonging the life of your floor. In either case, the floors should be checked somewhat regularly for any possible issues.
Both types of flooring can suffer damage caused even by normal wear and tear. Correcting these issues is important. This is especially true of wood before applying a new sealant. For instance, if you have any water damage or mold, adding sealant could worsen the problem.
Either choice you make should leave you with a fine finished look perfect for your flooring project.
Janet Leigh Keeney is a blogger and web enthusiasts who loves all things design and home improvement-related. She is also the Chief Editor for PaversPrice.com an online resource focused on helping homeowners with home projects.
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