Monday, August 23, 2010

Set in concrete

I received an e-mail over the weekend from a reader who had a question that she thought was too boring to put in the comments: "What is the floor of your house made of?" I didn't think it was a boring question at all because it gave me the opportunity to wax poetic about my floor just as I was, well, waxing my floor.


The floor of my house is stained concrete – it's the actual concrete slab on which the house is built, stained to this pretty color. A brightener was added to the concrete as the slab was poured, then the builder applied the stain. I had him score the concrete to look like tile - 12" squares in the dining room and kitchen and 24" squares in the living room. Each of the other rooms is scored 6" from the baseboards, more or less to define the spaces.


As the house has settled, a few cracks have appeared, which are to be expected. I think they add character and charm. I keep hoping that grass will eventually sprout through the cracks. Imagine what a conversation piece that would be.


I love my floor. It may be my single most favorite part of the house. It has texture and irregularity. It is indestructible. It is energy efficient because of its geothermal mass, whatever that is. It is pretty.


My stained concrete floor is also very easy to clean, if you're into that sort of thing. Which I'm not. Pick the right color and the dirt doesn't even show. Every couple of years, you're supposed to "reseal" it. Concrete is very porous so the sealant protects the surface. I spent most of Friday doing this chore. The resealing part was easy, the moving out all of the furniture part - not so much. But in the process, I fell in love with my floor all over again. It looks shiny and brand new.

And now the dust bunnies tumble ever so much faster across the surface.

24 comments:

  1. I love your floor ... it really adds to the look of your house, and, IMO, so much better then carpet, tile, or hardwood, such as I have in my house. Your floor would also be nicer when a crazy dog, like my Wally, gets into his really playful moods, tearing around from here to there.

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  2. Now THAT is totally cool. Love it!
    :-)
    BB

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  3. I think that is a brillant idea in flooring!! I 'specally like the floor covering, the cats ;-)
    signed
    Theresa in Alberta

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  4. What a beautiful floor. Thanks for sharing your secret. Fl Fan.

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  5. Your floors are beautiful! They are perfect for your ranch lifestyle and really add to the character of your home. Love them and the color!

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  6. Nancy in NC8/23/10, 6:59 AM

    I'll repeat what everyone else has said - I love your floors also! My husband does restoration work and stained/stamped concrete is really becoming popular around here. It really does add "something".... On another note - my dust bunnies are bigger than yours! Nanana boo boo....

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  7. We (foolishly) tiled over our concrete slab when we built our house. The tile I chose looks exactly like the color of your floor. I wanted something that would hide the dirt. Geez...I could have saved a bundle of money. Your floor looks great...dust bunnies and all! :)

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  8. My husband does stained concrete - our current house has fake hardwood, I made him promise when we build next that we do stained instead.

    It really is remarkable how lovely it glows and how it supports the passage of dust bunnies.

    Dust bunnies were endangered in the 50s when there was a weird emphasis on vacuums. Thank god that was just a fad.

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  9. Your floor looks beautiful. That's pretty commonly done in Arizona too, and I have seen gorgeous floors from the method. The closest thing I have to it up here is a bedroom where we did pour the concrete over concrete and set irregularly shaped travertine marble slabs in it (we picked them out individually in Livingston, Montana and managed to get them shipped to us without breaking the bank). That floor pleases me every time I walk across it although it's very nontraditional, more like a patio floor than a bedroom.

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  10. Great floor, it's perfect for your lifestyle and it's beautiful.

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  11. I had a neighbour who did that in his condo unit. It was very unusual and I liked it. I imagine it really helps to keep your place cool in the summer time.

    Lovely floor model, btw. *smile*

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  12. Love your floors and love the color! We built on a crawl space so that wasn't an option.:(

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  13. Linda, LOVE your floor! With 2 dogs and 2 indoor cats, I'm ready to pull up the carpets and just have the concrete. Ugh! Dog hair!

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  14. Well, I thought my question was boring, but it looks like you have a lot of floor fans. Glad I asked it. Count me in as a fan, I am thinking of doing something like that on an outside patio.
    Sue

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  15. I love stained concrete floors, so I noticed yours from the start! Several of my country friends chose this flooring when they built their homes. Some are stamped like tile, some are smooth. This is what I want in my next house. Unfortunately, it requires new construction/pouring to properly achieve.
    Well, my dog just caught and ate a bird while I was writing this, so I'm disgusted and mad.

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  16. Not to mention...your floor becomes a beautiful place to display animal skins...some more active than others!

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  17. Your floor is beautiful! I would totally go with a floor like this next house I live in.

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  18. In my case since we rent; I'd love to pull up the carpets too! But our luck we'd not be able to get the owner to agree on it! We have seriously thought about getting a RV parking it somewhere and saying the heck with renting an apartment!! At least it would be "ours"..... LOVE THE FLOORS!!!!

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  19. There is no emphasis on vacuums in this household so we are a nationally registered historic dust bunny preserve.....and my dust bunnier are bigger than all y'alls :)

    Of course, I love the floors.....but what I think is cool is how much YOU love your floors. It is so fun to have something in your house that just tickles you pink and makes you smile every time you remember what a great decision you made to have it that way. We should enjoy our homes. My mom's thing that tickles her pink is all the closet space she put in her new house.

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  20. I love your floor! I think it's so beautiful and if I ever build a house, you can be sure my floor will look exactly like that! Gorgeous!!

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  21. Now, that's my kind of floor....beautiful and virtually maintenance-free! Love the color too!

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  22. I've been following for a while...time I chipped in. Our floor is stained and sealed particle board. On a good day ie, when the dust bunnies and grit have been dealt with, it looks like dark cork.

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  23. I agree...that's a great floor!! I'm trying so hard to get My Man talked into rippin' out the carpet...we can't afford to put anything over it yet, but I just want the stinkin' carpet GONE!!

    Our back "mud room" has a concrete floor and it has a crack...no grass growing through it, but if one of the dogs leaves a kibble on the floor, the ants come through the crack...yuck!

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