Sustainable Flooring: Concrete

If you look closely, you'll notice concrete floors in many of our homes. Find out why we turn to concrete and other sustainable flooring options.

If you look closely, you’ll notice concrete floors in many of our homes. Find out why we turn to concrete and other sustainable flooring options.

Why Concrete?

The majority of EkoBuilt homes are built to slab on grade, and of course those with basements share a common feature with slab on grade: a concrete base or floor.

We discovered back in 2016 with our first model passive home (pictured here early in the process of finishing the home) that concrete floors could easily remain concrete and be a great option.

We found that the concrete had a great modern look appealing to many, in addition to the fact that it’s durable, easy to clean, doesn’t absorb odors, possible to finish in a wide range of ways, and just very flexible. It’s also fire and water resistant.

As with hardwood and other flooring options, it’s better for overall occupant health than our old habits of wall to wall carpeting, and easily softened and spruced up seasonally with throw rugs.

Looking down at the concrete floor in our first passive model home from the open upper storey.

Simplicity & Savings

With simplicity, of course, comes financial savings.

A concrete floor costs in the neighbourhood of $5 to $7.50 per square foot, finished.

By comparison, other flooring options run closer to $10 to $15 per square foot (hardwood, tile, cork).

Stopping at concrete on your ground floor means you limit expenditure and don’t add another level of manufactured material on top.

If your home has an upper storey as well, concrete obviously isn’t an option there, and we have some great ideas on other sustainable finishes for your upper floors.

Concrete may be an even greener choice in future. Have you read that researchers have identified the possible use of coffee grounds to replace the natural sand used in concrete? (Full of beans: scientists use processed coffee grounds to make stronger concrete, The Guardian)

We love the light, seamless run of flooring and how easy it is to clean. See more of our net zero model home in Ottawa, Canada.

Flooring looks that suit you

Concrete floors can sport a variety of finishes, from staining and coatings to acid etching.

Your floors can absolutely be unique to the look and feel you want to establish in your home.

Our model passive home has a light epoxy finish on the floors in a deep cream colour, enhancing the focus on light, natural finishes throughout the home.

Concrete floors can easily sport colour and wonderful effects. In our home patch, we can recommend Concrete Fusion.

On upper floors, we recommend both reclaimed wood flooring and cork. Both are sustainable choices and both are occupant healthy choices that have a natural look. We’ll dive into these options in a future post.

A photo of a concrete floor for a residential home by Concrete Fusion.
This concrete floor is an example of one with a special finish. Photo from Concrete Fusion.
Click to learn about bathroom design in a smart, sustainable home.
Concrete flooring is a natural for bathrooms and laundry rooms. Hard wearing, easy to clean. Perfect.

Stay in touch

We hear every day from folks in the very early planning and dreaming stages, and those closer to making their new sustainable home a reality.

Reach out when it suits you. In the meantime, we hope the continually refreshed stream of planning and inspirational information available here helps you wherever you are on your home journey.

Ready for a chat? Give us a shout!

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