When looking at properties, the first thing that strikes me are the ‘bare bones’ of a home – the floors, windows, ceiling height and natural lighting – these features really help you visualize the overall composition and potential of a space. They can give you an immediate sense of what it would be like to live there… be it warm and inviting, decorative and bright or neutral and earthy. These are usually design choices that one inherits when moving in, unless of course you decide to renovate, so ideally you would want your style and taste to be mirrored in the property you finally settle on.
Having lived in (and looked at) many homes over the years, it is safe to say I have experienced it all: from beautiful plush carpets to original pine floors; wood laminate and every type of tile available. Each surface brings a very specific aesthetic to a space so even when you are essentially moving with the same furniture, the end result can look very different.
It was only until recently, when I moved into my current home with wall-to-wall slate-coloured screed floors that I can truly testify to the real benefits of cement flooring over other surfaces and let me tell you, I’m a huge fan! I’m also a little clumsy and that is why I have summarized my favourite advantages of cement flooring for you here:
- Spills can be mopped up within minutes, leaving no trace that they were ever there to begin with.
- A quick sweep and mop solves everything and they don’t store allergens and dust like carpets.
- They only require the occasional professional polish every few years to retain their shine and condition.
- They store heat and are surprisingly warm in winter and cool in summer, saving on energy bills.
- The natural earthy finish is a decorator’s dream making it the perfect canvas to contrast other textures.
- You can still create cosy nooks with decorative rugs, updating them as they wear or trends change.
- They’re not slippery like some tiled surfaces and if you drop something, the floor isn’t easily damaged.
- Accoustically, they’re great too and don’t announce your every movement (unlike wooden floors!)
This table below also helps demonstrate how carpets and tiles fair in comparison to Cement:
|Available in a wide spectrum of colours||Yes||Yes||Unlimited|
|Longevity and performance||Poor (needs to
be vacuumed and steam cleaned regularly)
|Handcrafted and customizable||No||No||Yes|
|Can radiate heat and store solar energy||No||No||Yes|
|Vulnerable to humidity and moisture damage||Yes||No||No|
|Can harbor mold, mildew, dust mites and other allergens||Yes||No||No|
A well-maintained cement floor has been known to last up to 100 years so it definitely offers great return on investment in addition to all these other benefits.
Sarah Mathews is a contributing writer with a lifelong love of interiors and design.