October 2018

Unique Concrete Uses in Your Home

by TRP Ready Mix on October 11, 2018

A wine and water glass placed on a set of concrete stairs inside a home

With Ready Mix Concrete, Your Home Décor Options Are Endless!

Is concrete a suitable material for projects at home? If you’re thinking that its uses are limited to walkways, driveways, and foundations, you’re missing out on the tremendous potential of this versatile material.

You may have considered building your own concrete patio. But concrete can also be used inside to enhance the look, feel, and function of your home.

Here are some of the many uses of concrete throughout the home along with the many benefits of using concrete.

Using Concrete in Projects at Home

Concrete can be used for:

Floors

Concrete floors are a homeowner’s dream come true. They are customizable with coloured dyes, stamps, embedded materials, etchings, and polishes to suit any interior décor.

They are incredibly durable, being scratch- and scuff-resistant. And they are easy to clean, requiring a simple sweep and mop. Concrete is also excellent for basement floors and staircases.

Walls

Concrete walls, especially on the exterior walls of your home, are easy to clean and maintain. They are durable enough to withstand harsh elements and extreme weather. And since concrete is fire-resistant, concrete walls will keep you and your home safe.

Concrete walls also prevent pests from burrowing into your home. And these are excellent at blocking outside noise.

Countertops

Concrete countertops are seamless and waterproof, making these ideal for use in kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor kitchens. Since these countertops are created with a single pour, there are no joints or cracks for water to seep into.

Concrete countertops are customizable in shape and size, being poured into custom moulds. And you can even have a sink moulded in for a continuous countertop-sink combo. Other parts you can add to the design include a dish drain, soap dish, and trivet.

Sinks

Concrete sinks, whether standalone or continuous with the countertop, are durable, unique, and low-maintenance. With an occasional sealing, these sinks will last for years.

Tabletops

If you want a durable, long-lasting indoor or outdoor tabletop, consider using concrete. You can customize these tabletops to suit your home, and you can use the table with your family for many years to come.

Fireplace Hearth

You can create a modern-looking fireplace hearth and mantle using a solid piece of stained concrete. Or, you can stamp it to look like brick or stone. Concrete is an efficient material for fireplaces since it retains heat. So even after your fire is out, the concrete will slowly release heat into your home.

Shower Walls & Floors

Troweled-on concrete makes for seamless, low-maintenance, and waterproof shower stalls. Concrete shower walls and basins are also much easier to clean than your typical grouted tiles.

Bathtubs

Concrete bathtubs vary in size. There are single-person, standalone soaker tubs that take up minimal floor space. And there are also two-person tubs.

But do keep in mind the strength of your floor if opting for a large concrete tub. Concrete is heavy. So you will need to have a professional inspect your flooring before installing a heavy tub.

Home Accessories

You can make almost anything with concrete. And concrete accessories can certainly enhance your home décor. Some home décor accessories you can make with concrete include bowls, candlesticks, napkin rings, vases, and coasters.

What’s a Good Concrete Mixing Ratio?

When mixing your own concrete, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the concrete bag. Otherwise, use a concrete calculator to determine how much concrete you need, and contact your local ready mix concrete supplier.

Depending on the amount and type of concrete you need, you can have your concrete delivered to your door and ready to pour.

Advantages of Working with Concrete

The following are some of the many benefits of using concrete for your home.

  • Durable

Concrete won’t degrade, rust, rot, or mildew like wood and other interior materials. So it can last longer and won’t affect the air quality of your home.

Concrete is also resistant to scratches and scuff marks, so if you drop a pan on the floor or countertop, you won’t have to worry about leaving a mark.

  • Won’t Off-Gas

Unlike many materials found in homes, concrete won’t off-gas and reduce the air quality in your home. During off-gassing, human-made materials release volatile organic compounds in the air.

Materials like carpeting, paint, cleaners, and sealers will off-gas. Off-gassing may or may not smell, but it can cause health problems, like headaches, dizziness, nausea, worsening asthma symptoms, and irritated eyes, noses, and throats.

  • Fire-Resistant

Concrete doesn’t burn. So concrete in the home, like on countertops, floors, and walls, is more likely to stop the spread of a fire than flammable materials like wood. And since concrete is heat-resistant, you can place hot pots and pans on your concrete countertops without worry of causing heat-related damage.

  • Sustainable

The durability of concrete means it has a long lifespan and won’t need replacement as often as other materials. This means less waste and materials used in the long run.

Concrete is recyclable, being reused as aggregates on road beds or in new concrete mixes. And concrete is often made with industrial waste and by-products, diverting these materials from landfills.

Ready mix concrete also comes from local materials sourced by nearby concrete suppliers. So when shopping local, you can reduce the environmental footprint of your concrete.

  • Cost-Effective

Concrete is more affordable than other building materials, and it can last much longer. Its long lifespan and minimal maintenance make this a cost-effective material that could save you plenty of money over time.

  • Versatile

You can create unique concrete forms in any shape, size, or colour. And you can have it stamped, embossed, etched, hand-stained, and polished for an attractive, customized pattern, texture, or design.

  • Retains Heat

Aside from radiating heat from fireplaces, concrete can also retain and radiate heat in bathtubs and heated floors.

  • Blocks Sound

Concrete can help block noises from travelling in your home, especially through concrete floors and walls.

Challenges of Working with Ready Mixed Concrete

While concrete is waterproof, it is also porous, which means it can stain easily if not sealed properly. So no matter the type of concrete project you take on at home, you should seal the concrete once it has dried using either a penetration or a topical sealer.

You will need to reapply the sealer every couple of years, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

At-Home Concrete Curing

Depending on the size of your concrete project, it can take about 1 to 3 days for your concrete to dry and 28 days for it to cure. So avoid touching or walking on your new concrete until it has dried.

Consider covering it with a cloth or plastic sheet to keep it clean and protected. And don’t place or drag any heavy items on the concrete until it cures.

If you’re ready to start using concrete at home, pull up the concrete calculator to figure out how much you’ll need and contact your local ready mix suppliers. When it comes to using concrete, the options are almost limitless, so don’t be afraid to enhance your home with this versatile and durable material.