When we invest in home improvements, we want to be sure they are going to last. Concrete is a durable and versatile building material with wide-ranging applications, making it the perfect option for home improvement projects including driveways, pathways, entertaining areas, pool surrounds, landscaping, polished concrete flooring and even benchtops. Once considered merely a structural material hidden under other finishes, concrete is now rightly appreciated for not only its inherent strength but natural beauty. With the advances in finishes and the decorative range, concrete adds design gravitas to any area of the home.
To make sure there's nothing stopping you from choosing decorative concrete for your home, we've busted some of the most common concrete myths.
Myth #1 - It cracks
One of the most common concerns we hear about concrete is that it might crack. It's important to remember that all solid surfaces have the potential to crack, including tiles and paving, but measures can be taken to
prevent concrete cracking.
Holcim Australia has revealed the major causes of cracking are poor site preparation and construction supervision issues - both avoidable factors. Design defects and unfavourable weather conditions can also
contribute to concrete instability.
As always, prevention is better than cure. The Geostone Best Practice Placement Guide at www.geostone.com.au
provides helpful advice for consumers and their concrete installers on the best methods to prevent cracks in concrete.
Myth #2 - It's too slippery
Decorative concrete is a popular material for pool decks and pool surrounds and also high in demand is concrete floors for bathrooms and wet areas.
Exposed aggregate is ideal for outdoor use, while indoors, polished concrete offers a sleek flooring option, and honed concrete can be used both indoors and out.
The exposed aggregate as well as polished and honed concrete finishes from Geostone offer slip-resistant qualities, which make them a safe flooring and underfoot option for the family home.
New research shows polished concrete is one of the safest architectural hard surfaces available today. Concrete also provides a flat and stable floor surface, reducing tripping hazards or the risk of tipping furniture. In high traffic areas such as hallways, living rooms, kitchens and indoor/outdoor interfaces, concrete is the one material which
can help link and define these zones while withstanding the wear and tear.
Myth #3 - It's old fashioned
A quick search for "concrete" on Pinterest will reveal this building material is considered anything but old.
Concrete has experienced a modern-day resurgence as a highly sought-after building material, capable of creating award-winning and awe-inspiring homes and architecture. A look at the most recent Australian Architectural awards will show you how concrete is very much the go-to building material when it comes to cutting edge home design. It suits all Australian environments as its thermal properties keep interiors stable without excess heating or cooling costs.
The versatility of concrete means it can be used creatively to suit any style of home. According to leading designers, it's also a material which complements all other finishes.
Myth #4 - Concrete looks too industrial
In case you still need more convincing, let us say one thing. Concrete doesn't just come in grey anymore.
Geostone's coloured concrete is available in a range of natural and earthy colours giving customers the power of choice when it comes to designing their dream entertaining area and home exteriors.
The exposed aggregate as well as polished and honed concrete ranges also feature natural Australian stone, creating a warm and welcoming finish to driveways, pathways, pool surrounds and more.
Myth #5 - It requires too much maintenance
Concrete is a naturally durable and long lasting hard surface, meaning it requires less maintenance than some other flooring and landscaping options.
Low maintenance doesn't mean no maintenance however, and decorative concrete will look better for longer by following a few simple steps for cleaning and care.
Regular sweeping is recommended for exterior concrete surfaces to avoid build-up and potential staining, while indoors a damp mop is sometimes all you need for cleaning decorative concrete.
Taking steps to preserve the concrete surface such as waxing polished concrete floors or sealing outdoor concrete can also help to protect your solid long term investment.
Tips on how to capture the contemporary concrete look in your home:
Go Big: There's no need to hold back when it comes to contemporary concrete. Whether you're planning a single, large concrete space or combining several separate features, Geostone's decorative concrete range is versatile and diverse enough to use without restraint.
Embrace Colour: Raw and exposed traditional grey concrete is certainly hot right now but adding colour to the mix is still popular with homeowners wanting a softer style. Geostone's coloured concrete allows you to customise your concrete to the unique colour scheme of your home and surrounds.
Natural Look & Layering: Concrete is ideal for pairing with natural textures and building materials such as stone and timber. Geostone features natural Australian stone sourced from your local region to truly reflect
where you live.
Polished Concrete: If sophistication is your style, it's hard to go past the beauty and durability of a polished
concrete floor. Speckled with natural Australian stone throughout, Geostone's polished concrete is a truly
beautiful option for flooring and benchtops.
Think Outside the Square: Concrete doesn't have to be restricted to driveways and patios. Check out Geostone's website for more inspiration at www.geostone.com.au
Should you restore or build a new drive-way:
As with any landscaping or home improvement project, there is a range of important factors to consider before
embarking on your new driveway.
Going into your renovation with a defined budget, well thought-out plan and a clear vision of the finished project will make the process much easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
It is particularly important to communicate this plan clearly with your suppliers and service providers. If you're installing a driveway as part of a bigger landscaping and renovation project, it is essential to coordinate the timing of the driveway construction with those too.
- Budget: Budgeting may not be fun, but it is important. By determining a budget at the beginning of a project, and sticking to it, you can avoid spending too much on renovations.
- Timing: You probably don't want to pour a brand-new concrete driveway right before earthmoving equipment arrives to clear the backyard. If you need landscaping and pathways in other areas of the property, you could potentially save time and money by combining all of the projects together. Weather is also a factor when pouring concrete, so it's important to consider the best time to renovate your driveway.
- Longevity: When investing in home renovations, you want them to last. This is why you and your service providers should take steps to improve the lifespan of your new driveway, including measures to prevent concrete cracking.
- Value: Whether you're improving your home for your enjoyment, or preparing to list the house for sale, you're probably interested in ways to add value to your home. Restoring your driveway using decorative concrete, is one way to increase resale value.
- Colour: Did you know neutral colours are more likely to return higher value when you sell your home? Choosing the best coloured concrete for your home ensures you enjoy your space while you live there and reap the greatest benefits when it comes time to sell.
- Sealing: Not all service providers include outdoor sealer as standard. Thoroughly finishing your decorative concrete including using an outdoor sealer, can help to extend the lifespan of your driveway.