Are you searching for an apartment and wondering what type of floor suits your purposes? You can go by the current trend of people opting for apartments with concrete floors.
The preference for concrete over other types of floors can get attributed to many factors. And some of them are toughness, noise reduction, easy beautification, clean-ability, etcetera.
Most apartments have floors that feature finishing and other loose-laid materials. And they include cork, laminate, and carpet, which make your apartment more appealing. However, the coverings make it difficult for you to determine the type of floor underneath.
But, you can tell whether an apartment has concrete floors. That’s by knowing the composition and different characteristics of concrete, which are different from those of other types of floor materials.
How to Tell if Apartment has Concrete Floors?
You can use four main methods to determine if an apartment features concrete floors. The first one is the heel drop test, which requires you to use your foot to make noise on the floor. It’s followed by Listen to Sounds, Try a Thumbtack or Masonry Nail, and Check for Damage Signs. So, read on to understand them fully.
Heel Drop Test
The Heel Drop is one of the best ways you can use to know whether an apartment has a concrete or wooden floor. You can approach the method as follows.
- Stand on the apartment floor
- Lift your heel so that you’re on your tiptoes
- Apply your weight on your heel and drop it back so that it gets flat against the floor surface
If you hear any reverberation or there’s a give-in, know that it’s a suspended floor made of timber. If it gets hard and you experience body jars, it’s a concrete floor. That follows from the fact that concrete is hard and strong.
Listen to Sounds
You can know whether an apartment features a concrete floor by listening to sounds from adjoining apartments. Concrete offers a better soundproof material in comparison to timber. It absorbs sounds better, but some can get through like those from heels and hammering.
Your concrete floor will absorb and prevent the penetration of airborne sounds like those from conversations and television. That’s because they have high density and mass.
Try a Thumbtack or Masonry Nail
If a floor has a thick flooring cover, you can use a masonry nail to check its type. Or, if the cover material is thin, you can use a thumbtack.
You can use your thumb or a hammer to drive in the thumbtack or nail. For ceramic tile covers, you can try inserting the nail in the line between the joints.
If the apartment features a suspended timber floor, the thumbtack or nail will go in without any problem. But, concrete is tough, and the two implements will have trouble penetrating.
Check for Damage Signs
Although both wooden and concrete floors look beautiful and artistic, they have differences. And the differences will aid in your quest to know “how to tell if apartment has concrete floors?” Thus, you can check for the following.
- Check for moldy spots in the bathroom or kitchen as they are prevalent with wooden floors which sip in water. Polished concrete resists stains and spills, hence no bacteria growth.
- Also, scratches get caused by hard things like pet paws, high heels, and furniture movements. Usually, wooden floors are highly susceptible to those scratches, but concrete floors are tough and scratch resistant. So, you won’t find scratch marks on concrete floors like you would on wooden floors.
What’s The Composition of an Apartment’s Concrete Floor?
An apartment’s concrete floor is the slab found underneath the floor finish or cover. Concrete gets formed when you mix Portland cement with gravel, rock or sand, and water. The mixture will dry up after some time and then harden.
Although concrete on its own is strong on compression, it’s weak on tension. Therefore, it doesn’t hold well with tension, as its particles get pulled apart to cause crumbling.
Thus, the flat concrete slab needs to get reinforced with Rebar, which features steel bars with steel mesh-wire bidding.
What are the Unique Attributes of Concrete Floors?
There’re unique attributes found in concrete that point to whether an apartment has concrete floors as follows.
Strong and Durable
Concrete floors have extreme strength and durability and can last many years if well maintained. And they can withstand pressure from heavy equipment like vehicles, forklifts, and stacked goods.
Additionally, your apartment floor won’t suffer damage easily if it features concrete. Even if you keep house pets or furniture or wear high-heeled shoes, the concrete floor will withstand their scratches.
But, concrete floors can get cracks if the correct materials mix is not applied. It requires a concrete mixer with the right know-how and honesty.
Easy to Maintain
The same properties that make concrete floors durable also contribute to making them have easy maintenance. And they will keep off dust, stains, and grit if well sealed. You only need to mop your floor using a quality agent for manual cleaning.
But, ensure to use the right tools when cleaning your apartment’s concrete floor. Most mops on the market have harsher materials that can cause scratches on your polished floor. Therefore, you need to use cleaners with soft beige pads for sensitive and polished concrete floors.
Also, ensure the cleaning agent solution doesn’t dry on the floor to avoid discoloring. When using a cleaner machine to clean a wider area, ensure it has non-abrasive and soft pads.
An apartment with a concrete floor spoils you with so many varied choices. Examples include.
- Sensitive areas like your kitchen can get finished with many materials available in the market. And, you end up with a beautiful, dynamic, and durable floor.
- Your apartment’s concrete floor can also accommodate under-floor heating. It enhances your room’s warmth, retention, and comfort.
- It gives you the luxury of complementing your stone veneer walls to give the room a rustic appeal.
If you live in hotter areas, concrete floors will aid in keeping your apartment cool. Unlike asphalt, concrete reflects heat instead of absorbing it.
That’s a benefit you need to consider when looking for an apartment in a hotter climate area, as you don’t need to use air conditioners, making you save on energy.
Compared to other types of floors, concrete is ahead in cutting costs. Carrying out decorative works on concrete floors requires less labor and material costs.
The following are the estimated polishing costs that depend on the grinding levels needed to make your surface smooth and flat.
- You can pay 2-6 dollars per square foot when polishing a plain gray slab to give it a radiant sheen. It will cover the concrete’s subtle cracks to make it look nice.
- To undertake more elaborate finishes and create subtle variations on your floor, you can pay about 5-8 dollars per square foot. That includes carrying out the popular staining process on your concrete floor. The cost will depend on your imagination, the different colors to use, and application techniques.
- Decorative effects like scoring your surface to make grid pattern lines can cost about 5-8 dollars per square foot. Additionally, you can end up with an impressive floor when you use a high-gloss seal or an acrylic sealer for wet looks.
As you search for an apartment, go for one with a concrete floor due to its many environmentally friendly benefits. For example, staying in an area prone to natural disasters doesn’t worry you when you know your floor features concrete.
That’s because concrete is robust and sturdy, making it withstand natural disasters. Additionally, concrete doesn’t leave any carbon footprints due to the materials in its composition of natural products.
They Can Get Cold
Do you stay in a place with extremely cold weather seasons? Concrete slab floors can get very cold as they have high thermal mass, causing a reduction in your room temperatures.
But, with the high density and heaviness of polished concrete, your floor can get warmed through thermal mass heating.
The polished floor has thermal mass heating properties that allow for heat absorption. Compared to other floor materials such as wood, concrete stores warmth and then emits it slowly.
Apart from durability, concrete floors are also sleek and elegant. It will give you all the comfort needed in the kitchen and bathroom. Also, it gives your living room and bathrooms an unusual effect.
All the benefits you get from having a concrete floor in an apartment stem from its unique attributes. But, it still has a few negatives. And they include fragile objects like glass breaking after falling on it and cracks forming with time.
With benefits outweighing the negatives, a concrete floor is good for you. Thus, this post provides essential tips on how to tell if apartment has concrete floors?