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Have a raw concrete floor at home? What a strange idea... Not so much... The sobriety and the rough side of concrete stripping seduce more than one designer. So the floors of the 1200 m² exhibition of the Cartier Foundation in Paris are made of raw concrete simply protected by a water repellent coating that does not hide the rustic nature of this coating. For his architect, Jean Nouvel, concrete has always been a noble and decorative material.
And in your house, a raw concrete floor will bring sobriety and rigor to him.

A bare concrete floor, what is it?

Today when we talk about concrete, it's the cement concrete we're referring to. Because it is he who serves as a binder to agglomerate between them sand and chippings or aggregates with water. The dough thus obtained solidifies and becomes the resistant materialt we know. It is the cement itself that confers this resistance. At the base, cement is a mineral powder obtained by grinding and high temperature cooking of limestone and clay.

To create certain soils, it is often added adjuvants such as plasticizers, plasticisers, accelerators or retarders, fibers, etc. Each bringing his qualities or to better work the concrete.
A bare concrete floor is therefore simply, as the name implies, a floor on which concrete has been poured or a floor on which slabs of concrete have been sealed. For the interior of the house, the concrete floor is most often a poured concrete.

Raw concrete floor must be protected

Do not trust his gross side! If it is resistant, it nevertheless needs to be protected... For its longevity and its maintenance, a raw concrete must obligatorily receive a surface treatment. Indeed the concrete is porous. It must be covered with a water-repellent product that will protect it from water and dirt. Resin-based, this protection is like a wear layer and as such, it must be renewed regularly.
In order to avoid stains, the surface treatment must be applied from the beginning.

A raw concrete floor but not only...

Raw concrete floor has all the advantages of concrete: strength and high resistance to wear. That's why you can adopt it for any room in the house. But it remains a concrete and its appearance can put off. It's a matter of taste...

But, the raw concrete can be worked on the surface to modify its texture:

  • Smooth concrete: For more softness, it can be smoothed thanks to a manual or mechanical scrubber (helicopter). Which gives it a satin appearance.
  • Polished concrete: It can be polished by successive passes of an abrasive wheel. After 5 to 6 passes, the concrete becomes polished and shiny.
  • Bushhammered concrete: To give structure, the concrete can be bushhammered. After being smoothed, apply the cement bush, a small metal roller with pins or patterns that print on the concrete.
  • Seamed concrete: In order to make visible, the shape and the color of aggregates, concrete is polished to 1 to 2 mm deep.
  • Waxed concrete: At the base is a raw cement that has been given a polished finish.

And if you find the gray sad, know that the concrete can be tinted using resins or natural pigments:

  • Either tinted in the mass when setting up.

With natural ochres, you will get a color palette in yellows, reds, chestnuts.
With metal oxides or resins, the colors are less transparent but more varied.

  • Or by surface coloring by sprinkling the pigments on the surface while the concrete is not yet dry. You then get mottling effects.

Did you know? Cement as we know it today is an invention of the French engineer Louis Vicat. But it is Englishman Joseph Aspdin who filed the first, in 1824, the patent and the mark "Cement of Portland". He gave it this name in reference to the stone mined on the island of Portland and which was used to build the greatest British monuments: The Palace of Westminster in 1347, the Tower of London in 1349, the first London Bridge stone in 1350, to name only the oldest.

Discover also other types of soil:

  • Vinyl flooring
  • Floating parquet
  • Granite tiles

Video Instruction: DIY Concrete Floor Series - EP10 - Tackling the Big Room