By Eric Thomas, CRD Design Build
Looking to add industrial style to your interior space? Consider concrete. Its extreme durability and rugged good looks can make your home stand out. Here are a few ways that your interior can benefit from incorporating concrete.
Stained concrete floors
Many people are familiar with decorative concrete patios and walkways, but did you know that polished concrete can make an excellent interior flooring material? A wide range of stains are available to give your floors a customized appearance. The natural variations in the material give stained concrete floors a unique, almost stone-like appearance. The stain is typically applied right after the slab is poured. Easy-to-apply water-based stains are available, as are acid stains for deeper colors. An added benefit of concrete floors is that they serve as an excellent heat sink for your home, keeping it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. In-floor heating can also be added, making for a cozy home environment.
Concrete accent walls
Concrete isn’t just for horizontal floor surfaces. A poured concrete wall can be the ultimate accent for that popular industrial-chic interior design look. This durable surface can be made polished and smooth, or constructed to offer a more natural, rough-hewn appearance. Like stained concrete floors, concrete walls can also help regulate your indoor air temperature.
This is a trend that is taking off. Concrete countertops are popular because they are durable, can be cast to any shape, and have a unique appearance that will make your kitchen stand out compared to those with more traditional granite or quartz countertops. In most cases, pigment is added directly to the concrete mix to give the countertops the perfect tint when they are poured. Additional stains can be added to protect the surface. While solid as a rock, concrete countertops are susceptible to food stains, a characteristic they share with natural stone surfaces like marble and granite. A commonsense way to protect your concrete countertops is to periodically seal them.
Concrete soaking tubs only work for a select few homeowners and are more like a functional sculpture than a bathroom fixture. Due to their weight and large size, they are typically installed before the walls of the home go up. There’s no denying that they make a strong statement and are unlike any other soaking tub. Homeowners who choose to devote the space and money to install one are rewarded with a centerpiece to their bathroom that will last the life of the home and provide hours of luxurious soaking.
A growing trend in interior lighting is the concrete pendant. These modern designs take an industrial material and highlight its unique texture and mass.
Concrete furniture has long been a mainstay of outdoor landscape design, especially in public places, due to its low maintenance requirements and long-term durability. Concrete benches, stools, and tables are starting to make an appearance indoors as well. Popular furniture sellers have recently introduced new product lines that feature this material, making it more accessible than ever. For a look that is even more personalized, concrete artisans can create custom and semi-custom pieces.
Eric Thomas is marketing manager for CRD Design Build, located in Seattle, Washington. CRD has provided residential remodeling and interior design services for nearly 40 years. See their blog for more interior design inspiration and advice.