Thanks to its durability, cost-effectiveness, and modern aesthetic, concrete flooring is increasing in popularity as a go-to flooring choice in Melbourne.
But to find the perfect floor for your space, you need to know your options. It’s no good Googling “concrete” and pointing at the first surface you see. Concrete in the 21st century is more than the dull, lifeless grey it once was.
Your choice will include a range of decorative concrete finishes from stamped to stained, epoxy coated to acrylic - and picking the “best” is no easy task.
So we’ve rounded up everything we know about concrete floors (which is a lot) and jammed it into one ultimate guide. By the time you finish this article, you’ll have all the information you need to choose the right concrete flooring option for your Melbourne home or business.
The answer to this question will be personal, as not everyone *needs* concrete flooring.
But with so many advantages to this robust resource, you’re hard pressed to find a more valuable surface for your floors. Here are some of the leading qualities of concrete that could be yours:
✔ Low maintenance
What’s more, concrete flooring can also add to your design aesthetic and bring a unique, fully customisable look to your home or business without breaking the bank. More than a tough surface, the right concrete finish can elevate your brand, or help your retail store stand out from the crowd - and we’ll show you how.
We hope you like having choices in life, because when it comes to concrete, you’ve got plenty.
Unlike in previous generations -- when concrete was simply grey and drab -- you can fully customise your concrete today in a range of styles and finishes, as well as colours.:
Looking to make your concrete finish matte or as glossy? No problem
Prefer to add colour or texture to your mix to create an entirely unique look? Easy
Thinking of adding dyes and chips into your concrete? Simply add when pouring
Interested in concrete sections that mimic a tiled or designed look? You can
And these design considerations are just scratching the surface. With all that in mind, let’s unpack the best types of concrete flooring in Melbourne.
Finding the best concrete flooring for your needs will depend on the location, style, and durability you’re looking for.
That said, some top options to consider include:
Each of these finishes comes with their own strengths and weaknesses, so it helps to know a little about each variety. Read on for a crash course in concrete.
If you want a flooring that’s elegant and refined, decorative concrete is an obvious choice.
Decorative concrete is simply concrete that’s had a chemical application to create a decorative finish. This can replicate the appearance of wood, brick, tile, marble, granite, or slate.
This aesthetic can give you the illusion of one of these materials without the associated costs. After all, concrete is highly cost-effective, and it can also be easy to clean and repair.
Overall, there are four main types of decorative concrete:
If you’re looking to improve a large space, you can’t go wrong with polished concrete.
This technique uses a step-by-step grinding and polishing process to elevate any concrete slab and give it evenness and shine. There are many benefits of polished concrete, including:
✔ Stain and odour-resistant
✔ Elegant and sleek
Another great option is to add colour using chemical or water-based stains.
Chemical staining, in particular, is extremely popular because it leaves attractive, intricate designs that can dress up a standard concrete slab. You can also choose a variety of colours here, either remaining neutral or opting for a bold, fashion-forward choice.
Alternatively, if you want a more environmentally-friendly option, you can choose a water-based stain. These options won’t have the bright colors of chemical stains, but they contain low organic compounds (VOCs) and are safer to apply.
Keep in mind, though, that no matter what option you choose, you will have to finish your stained floor by either polishing it or applying a sealant like an epoxy resin (more on that later). The choice you make here will likely vary depending on whether you are staining an outdoor or an indoor space -- if you want it to look “completely finished,” an epoxy resin might be the way to go here.
Using the stamping method, tools are used to imprint patterns onto fresh concrete.
These patterns can mimic materials like slate, stone, and brick. Today, stamping methods are so advanced that it can be really difficult to distinguish between the concrete and the real brick or slate.
There are also a wide variety of patterns and colour choices that make it a wonderful option for patios, pool decks, tiles, and more.
You can mix colour into new concrete with integral concrete or colour your existing concrete using dry-shake coloring or stains.
This is a great choice if you want to add something new and dynamic to your space. Your colour options range from subtle shades to bold hues, and you can colour your concrete to break up large areas in your yard, mimic a natural or earthy appearance, and hide stains or discolouration on your existing concrete.
Quartz sand epoxy concrete is a great option for commercial settings that require aesthetically-pleasing, highly functional flooring.
More specifically, this option is ideal for factories and garage floors because quartz is impact and abrasion-resistant, non-slip, easy-to-clean and maintain, and naturally antimicrobial thanks to the lack of seams
Looking to protect your concrete’s surface while enhancing its colour?
Acrylic sealed concrete is an ideal choice. This flooring option suits concrete surfaces exposed to water, as acrylic can protect floors against both moisture and chloride.
Here’s a quick overview of the advantages that come with an acrylic sealer:
Attractive, uniformly matte finish
Fast-paced (drying within an hour)
Low-cost to keep money in your pocket
Thin coating that won’t require lengthy drying
However, it’s important to remember that acrylic sealers are slightly flexible, meaning that they’re more likely to show scratches, wear, and tear over time.
Looking for prices? Click here for our guide to concrete sealing prices [Melbourne Edition]
If acrylic offers medium-strength protection, then epoxy coatings offer advanced protection against wear and tear, impacts, moisture and UV rays.
There are many high-quality epoxy coatings that offer durability, shine, as well as a variety of colours (we’ll cover a few of the most popular options below). Overall, epoxy options are great for interior and exterior residential spaces, areas that have a lot of foot traffic, and areas that need an abrasion or chemical-resistant flooring - like a garage.
In short, epoxy coating suits all residential, commercial and industrial settings - so you can’t go wrong.
We wouldn’t be talking about concrete if there weren’t sub-categories of epoxy coating to consider, so here’s a little info on your options.
A great option for garages or hotels, epoxy chip floors consist of an epoxy primer, base coat, and paint chips to add colour and style. The result is a dust-proof, water-proof, and easy-to-clean, attractive floor.
If you want to take the elegance up a notch, a great choice is metallic epoxy. With metallic epoxy, metallic additives are combined to the clear epoxy coating to mimic natural mineral slabs. You can get fairly creative here, too, creating pearlescent or highly coloured designs.
How to choose a concrete floor that suits your budget
That said, the “best” option for you will depend on a range of factors, including your price range, the area that you want to apply concrete to, and your final motivation.
If you’re using it for a space that is exposed to a lot of water, for example, you might consider acrylic concrete. If you want a high-quality, can’t-believe-it’s-concrete aesthetic, you might prefer epoxy chip or metallic epoxy options.
In short, consider your needs and your budget before you make a final choice.
More of a visual person? Explore our Flawless Floorz project gallery for our latest successful projects
For residential spaces, in particular, you may look for particular features for various areas of your home.
For your pool area, for example, you will want a concrete choice that is water-resistant, attractive, and slip-resistant for you and your loved ones. This could be an option like stamped concrete or polished concrete (depending on your aesthetic).
How to choose the best concrete flooring for a commercial space
For a commercial space, you have different considerations to keep in mind.
If your concrete will be customer-facing, you may want to consider design and attractiveness. In this case, a choice like epoxy chip concrete would be great.
On the other hand, if you’re working in a commercial space with heavy machinery or chemicals, you should prioritize durability with an option like quartz concrete.
Ok, deep breaths, you just experienced a crash course in concrete and came out the other side an absolute PRO.
You have all the information and tools you need to go toe-to-toe with a concrete flooring company and find the best surface for your home or business.
If you’re still on the fence, it helps to know you can’t go wrong with cement as a budget-friendly, durable flooring option. No matter what finish or design you choose, you’ll have a robust floor that handles everything you throw at it.
Inspired to make a choice but need a little help? Contact us directly for more information or for a fast and FREE quote