There are many factors to consider when remodeling a bathroom, such as the cost of different materials and which design will be the most functional and appealing to you. One decision you may have to make is whether or not to install a concrete shower floor. And for that, you need to know to make its pros and cons list.
Concrete has several great qualities that make it a great material for bathroom flooring. For instance, it is strong, durable, economical, water resistant, and easy to maintain. At the same, there are some downsides as well. Like, it is cold, hard, and slippery. However, its pros outweigh its cons. You can get the best out of it with proper installation.
Further, in this article, we will discuss in detail what pros concrete offers over other types of floors, and what are some downsides of using it as a base material.
Concrete Floor and its Applications
Concrete is a known building material. It is commonly used to build bathroom, kitchen, and shower floors. The widespread use of concrete floors is due to their durability, high compressive and tensile strengths, and long life span of decades.
Speaking of composition, concrete is usually composed of sand, gravel, portland cement, and water. However, to make shower pans, a mixture of only sand and cement is used.
Concrete Shower Floor Pros
Having a concrete floor is quite advantageous. Here’s a list of 5 pros that concrete-based floors have to offer.
#1 Water-Resistant Design
Concrete is water repellent and a poor absorber of water. It never allows water to seep and get absorbed into it. That’s why concrete structures are known to be long-lasting.
A well-designed concrete mixture, with a compressive strength of 4000 psi, gives you a high-strength waterproof design.
Since shower floors will be subjected to water all the time so if their structure is not water repellent, it won’t stay for long. However, if you make a good mixture, and apply a good-quality sealant over concrete, it can easily withstand water erosion.
Concrete is quite cost-efficient compared to other materials used for building up floors. Generally, a basic concrete floor will cost you between $2 to $6 per square foot. However, if you plan to add marble or slate, the high-end concrete may cost $15 to $30 per square foot. So, with concrete, you are not only getting good quality but at a very less cost.
Concrete is known for its durable structures. This is why it is being used for centuries. Shower floors made out of concrete can resist abrasion, chemical actions, and other weathering factors of the environment.
A concrete shower floor can easily last up to 30 years without any issues. Whereas, other floors need to be replaced or rebuild after 5-10 years.
The reason behind its durable and long-lasting structure is the absence of any kind of organic material in its composition. Since organic materials start to decay and decompose in the environment, they make the structure weak. However, concrete is free from any such compo
#4 Easy Cleaning
Concrete floors are much more practical since they can be easily cleaned and maintained. In addition, they are resistant to any stains and do not wear out as wooden floors.
Other types of shower floors get stained due to the joints in between them. However, on concrete floors, you wouldn’t find any joints or grout fillings. You can easily swipe up the dirt with a mop, vacuum cleaner, or any brush.
#5 Modern Designs
Concrete structures offer you a variety of options in terms of design and decorations. You can stencil them to look like marble, tiles; make them colorful, or even create beautiful patterns over them.
Some pigments can be added to concrete floors to make them look like granite or any other precious stone. Moreover, you can stamp new styles over them and give them a fancy look.
Concrete Shower Floor Cons
Although concrete floors offer a lot of advantages, there are a few drawbacks as well. Let’s go through some of these.
#1 Cold Floor
Concrete is naturally cold and has the property of absorbing heat from the surrounding. Therefore, you will find out that its surface often becomes cold.
If you reside in a hot place then this property may be a blessing in disguise, however, in cold areas, a bare concrete floor won’t suit you much.
#2 Slippery Surface
Since concrete shower floors need to have an extra layer of sealers over them. This layer of sealer is very smooth and glassy. As a result, the surface becomes slippery and can be injurious in wet conditions.
#3 Special Treatments
Concrete floors cannot be directly used when laid. For use, they require a good finishing layer over them. Else, the floor is too hard to be used regularly.
Moreover, for applying tiles, you need pan liners over them. Directly tiling over the subfloor of concrete is not a good idea.
#4 Poor Finishing
Concrete floors are the sub-surfaces i.e. they don’t offer you a very look at the first glance
To make them look good, you will need a good surface finish. It may be in the form of tiles or some other materials.
Moisture from the surface may penetrate the floor if the concrete’s surface is not furnished properly. If you hired a professional for floor installation, then this might not be a problem for you.
Do concrete floors require a lot of maintenance?
Concrete floors don’t need a lot of maintenance. Since there are no gaps or grouts in them, you can easily clean them with a mop or brush.
Do you need to waterproof the concrete floor?
Yes, concrete floors require a proper layer of sealers over them for waterproofing. Otherwise, the water can seep through them.
Which concrete is best for shower floors?
Quikrete floor mud (Portland Cement) is the best concrete to use for shower floors. It is a strong mixture and offers strength up to 5000 psi. It is best for making a good slope for the floor and can be used for both interior and exterior floors.
Concrete has all the properties that a shower flower requires. It is hard, durable, economical, water resistant, and easy to clean and maintain. Although it is naturally cold and requires special treatments after installation, it is worth being used as a shower floor.
Amos Christen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Drexel University — Philadelphia, PA. Since 2003, Amos has worked with top interior design professionals in this area, including architects and interior/graphic/lighting designers. As a skilled interior designer, Amos Christen is highly versed in fine arts and crafts and uses that to supplement his main area of expertise. He often publishes articles related to home décor on several websites, including Sprucetoilets.com, Sprucebathroom.com, and Mybesuitedhome.com. He also contributes to leading interior design magazines.