Exploring Residential Cement Floors

By Amanda Lutz Updated April 30, 2024

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If you need help choosing a flooring material for your home, consider a cement floor. This type of flooring is growing in popularity for its low maintenance, durability, and unique aesthetic appeal. In this guide, we’ll review the benefits and drawbacks of residential cement floors, the costs associated with installation, and the maintenance requirements associated with this type of flooring to help you decide if it’s the best flooring option for your home.

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Overview of Residential Cement Floors

Residential cement floors, also referred to as concrete floors, are highly durable floors that are easy to clean and provide a sleek, modern appearance. Unlike many other flooring types, cement floors are fire-resistant and can repel stains, water, and bacteria with proper sealing.

Cement is the main substance found in concrete, so you’ll often hear these two words used interchangeably. For this article, we’ll use the term “cement” when referring to this type of flooring.

In addition to their durability, cement floors offer various design opportunities for homeowners who prefer stylish surfaces. Here are a few rooms that typically have cement floors:


Benefits and Drawbacks of Residential Cement Floors

Cement floors, which used to be popular only in commercial spaces, are now trending in residential buildings. Like any other floor material, cement has advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits

From aesthetic appeal to low maintenance requirements, here are the main benefits of cement floors:

Drawbacks

While residential cement floors have many advantages, they also come with a few drawbacks.


Cost of Residential Cement Floors

The average cost of a cement floor is $4,500*, but the total cost of your project can range from $1,000 to $8,000. Here are a few factors that can affect the cost of your residential cement floor:

The cost of installing cement floors can also differ depending on the project type. Installing a new concrete slab can cost you around $6 per square foot, while resurfacing an existing cement floor can cost $3 to $5 per square foot.

*All cost data via Angi.


Design Possibilities with Residential Cement Floors

Cement floors offer a variety of design possibilities due to the material’s versatility. Here are a few examples of residential cement floor design options:


Installation of Residential Cement Floors

Cement floor installation is rarely a do-it-yourself (DIY) project since it requires experience and special tools. Here’s a high-level overview of an installation from start to finish:

  1. Surface preparation: Proper preparation is the most important part of a successful cement floor installation, as the prep quality determines the longevity and durability of the surface. To prepare, remove the existing floor materials, and check the subfloor for damage. Repair any floor damage, and remove all debris and contaminants.
  2. Priming: Once the subfloor is clean and dry, apply a primer to create a strong bond between the cement and the substrate. The primer can also seal the underlying surface and prevent moisture from penetrating the substrate.
  3. Application: Mix the cement according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, pour the mixed cement on the subfloor, and spread it evenly. The thickness of the cement depends on structural requirements and your finishing choices.
  4. Smoothing: Smooth and level the cement to create a seamless finish. Then, apply any finishing techniques, such as staining or stamping.
  5. Curing: Allow sufficient time for the cement to cure. Curing times can vary depending on the temperature, humidity, and type of cement. After curing, apply a sealer to protect the surface from stains and moisture.

Maintenance and Repair of Residential Cement Floors

While cement floors are low maintenance, you can maintain them by sweeping and mopping the floors with a mild detergent and water solution. Additionally, if you spill something on the floor, clean it immediately to avoid stains in the cement. For tough stains, use a commercial concrete cleaner. Alternatively, you can make a cleaning paste from baking soda and water. Avoid using acid cleaners because they can cause permanent damage to your floors.

While routine maintenance can help prevent most issues, there may be times when you need professional assistance. Call a qualified contractor for repairs if you notice cracks and chips in the floor surface. You may also need their help to reapply sealant if your floors look worn or damaged.


Our Recommendation

Thanks to its durability and low maintenance, cement can be an ideal flooring solution for kitchens, bedrooms, garages, and hallways. While strong and cost-efficient, these floors have a hard and slippery surface, which may not be ideal for families with small children, and they’re prone to stains.

If you’re thinking of installing residential cement floors, use this guide to weigh the pros against the cons while considering all maintenance and installation factors. For additional guidance, contact a local contractor or interior designer to help you understand all the benefits and drawbacks of this type of flooring.


Residential Cement Floors FAQ

Is concrete a good choice for flooring?

Concrete can be a good choice for flooring because of its durability and low maintenance. However, it can be harder and colder than other floor types.

Is a poured concrete floor cheaper than tile?

Yes, in general, poured concrete floors cost less than tile. However, if you’re looking for specific finishes and designs, your concrete floor could end up being more costly.

Can I install a residential cement floor myself?

We recommend hiring a professional contractor to install a residential cement floor because it requires specific tools and expertise. Without the proper experience, it’s easy to make mistakes that could affect the appearance and longevity of the surface.