Minimalism is all about organization, limiting waste and clutter, and clean efficient living. When it comes to home decor, this philosophy can very easily be translated into your home by using concrete floors. They are durable, low-maintenance, iconically minimal, and cost-efficient.
And with the help of decorative concrete techniques, your concrete floors can be further utilized in a way that showcases your creativity and style without compromising the minimalist nature of your home.
In this thorough guide to decorative concrete floors in minimalist homes, we run you through four techniques in decorative concrete that we believe are perfect for minimalist homes, including how to achieve them and styling tips!
Polished concrete is a wonderful choice for a minimalist home for a number of reasons: first, it does not cover up the gorgeous concrete floors you already have and instead simply enhances its aesthetic appearance. This means that if you enjoy the look of your concrete floors but want a room to look sleek and put-together, polishing your concrete floors is the best option. Second, it is a cost-effective solution to drab concrete floors without creating waste, which keeps in line with your minimalist philosophy.
And finally, it is a customizable option. Polished concrete comes in a variety of finishes; the higher the finish, the shinier the concrete floors will look after polishing, and similarly, the lower the finish, the subtler the polish will be. This choice is entirely up to you and will depend on the decor of the rest of your house as well as your own personal preference.
Concrete gets its polish from concrete densifiers, which are applied over the concrete to fill in all the pores of the surface. Once it is filled and the densifier has dried, grinding tools are used to ground the surface to get the desired finish and smoothness.
Polished concrete can be used in any room in the house. Workspaces and kitchens can benefit from its industrial look, durability, and stain-resistance, and will look good with either a high finish or a low finish depending on how reflective you want your floors to be. Polished concrete floors with a high finish also look wonderful in living areas with high ceilings and natural light, as it becomes a reflective surface for sunlight entering the home.
Adding textural elements to a home can transform any living space and make it look personal and unique. With concrete floors, adding texture both incorporates subtle design into your home while also creating a slip-resistant surface perfect for the outdoors and high-traffic areas like hallways.
There are a number of decorative concrete techniques that can be used to texturize your concrete floors. A simple and easy one is a broom finish, where a clean, densely packed, and rough-bristled broom is used to create straight lines in the wet concrete before it fully dries. When completely dried down, it reveals a texture that you could not guess could have come from a broom. It creates a subtle design as well as a slip-resistant surface. This technique is perfect for the outdoors, like around the pool or on the driveway.
Concrete stamping is another technique that is used to bring texture into a home. It can be done both indoors and outdoors and can be customized according to what kind of design you want. Small-scale patterns in concrete floors will look beautiful on the patio or in the living room.
A rock salt finish can also be installed on your outdoor concrete floors. This is achieved by pressing rock salt particles into the wet concrete and then power washing them off when the concrete dries. You are then left with a small textured pattern in your floors that blends in beautifully and provides slip-resistance.
Concrete staining is one of the most useful and popular decorative concrete applications as it is highly versatile and cost-effective. It can be used to add color to your concrete floors and can also be used to create uniformity in your concrete floors. For a minimalist home, you have a number of options in staining your concrete floors.
A simple way to enhance your floors without spending too much is to stain your concrete floors a tone of grey. Light tones of grey can be used to match the discoloration in your concrete floors to give an overall even appearance. This can be done throughout the home or in bedrooms and bathrooms where the discoloration may be more noticeable.
On the other hand, dark tones of grey can cover up imperfections in the color of the concrete and also provide a dramatic and warm backdrop for furnishings. If you have an open-plan type of home as a studio apartment, we recommend staining your concrete floors a dark grey to make it look homier and to create a continuous flow of color throughout your living space. Style a dark grey concrete floor with modern and white furnishings to sit atop.
If you are looking to only stain the concrete floors of one or a few rooms, go for impact and stain them either black or white for maximum effect.
Don’t forget you can mix and match the techniques mentioned in this guide, so you may also want to consider polishing your newly stained concrete floors.
Keeping it bare (kind of)
If you’re looking to make a real ode to minimalism in your home, you can keep your original concrete floors bare. But even with bare concrete floors, there are decorative concrete processes that can improve their appearance, extend their durability and longevity, and protect them from damage.
It is important to remember that concrete is a naturally porous material that is vulnerable to water, oil, and stain damage. Sealing your concrete floors can go a long way towards protecting your bare concrete floors. You can choose from a variety of sealers, depending on what your budget and what kind of finish you want. We recommend choosing a sealer carefully as cheap sealers are prone to peeling off, yellowing, or creating too much shine and slip.
You will need to reapply a sealer every couple of years to ensure your concrete floors look flawless and remain undamaged. We recommend hiring a professional to maintain your bare concrete floors, as flaws from DIY missteps will be very noticeable and may take away from the decor of your minimalist home.