Industrial style designs have become increasingly popular in recent years and use of concrete has risen in parallel with this.
In this article we’ll look specifically at concrete floor tiles, providing an overview of:
- Some of the areas that concrete tiles are used
- Advantages of concrete floor tiles
- Tiles vs. poured concrete
- Concrete effect floor tiles
What Are Concrete Tiles Typically Used For?
Typically concrete tiles are used for roofing and have been ever since their introduction in the 1840s by a German cement manufacturer. Adolph Kroher developed a machine that could press the tiles and this proved to be a popular technique in Bavaria. Many of the roofs from this era still exist today, a testimony to how well these concrete tiles perform on roofs.
While concrete tiles don’t have the same stability of solid concrete, they can still hold up against plenty of force. Research into these tiles states that they can take class 3 hail and wind speeds in excess of 125 miles per hour. Concrete tiles also aren’t flammable, unlike some other commercial tiles.
Concrete roofing tiles are still commonly used, but they are increasingly being used throughout the home. There aren’t many other materials that can provide you with such a modern, clean look, be extremely hard wearing and that can be used in a variety of applications.
A few ways to use concrete tiles to enhance the look of just about any commercial space include:
- Using Concrete floor tiles in offices to create the beautiful and modern look
- Polished concrete floor tiles in a clothing shop makes the space look great and heavy foot traffic won’t wear the tiles out too fast
- Use them as factory floors for their hard wearing properties
- Use them in heavy traffic areas of the home like the kitchen
- Adding the finished look to columns and pillars
- Hotels and restaurants use them for a modern look that’s easy to clean
- Use in outdoor spaces for a clean and safe look thanks to the concretes anti-slip properties
- As exterior floor tiles to create an indoor outdoor flow
These are just a few ways of using concrete tiles to get an excellent look for a commercial property that is very hard wearing and requires very little maintenance to keep it looking excellent for years to come.
Advantages of Concrete Floor Tiles
From hotels and restaurants to massive housing projects, concrete floor tiles can be used in so many different applications to provide an elegant and warm feel, and that is just one of the many advantages.
Some of the other advantages of concrete floor tiles include:
- Easy maintenance – The only maintenance required for concrete flooring tiles is a weekly mop with some soapy water. This means that, long-term, your customers can spend less time cleaning their floors. It also means that once you have fitted the floor, there isn’t much work for you to do to keep them looking excellent.
- Economical – If your customer wants an excellent look but doesn’t quite have the funds to afford a marble tile floor or polished concrete flooring, you can use concrete floor tiles instead. Concrete floor tiles and even concrete effect floor tiles are very cheap and yet provide a clean look throughout any area of a hotel, restaurant or home. Of course, more elaborate finishings of concrete tiles like staining them do cost a bit more, but there are plenty of ways of making concrete tiles look beautiful for even the tightest budget.
- Longevity – As we mentioned earlier, there are still Roman ruins standing made from concrete. It is very likely that a concrete floor that you install will last for well over a hundred years, even in the most heavy traffic areas.
- Versatile – Concrete tiles can be used anywhere, outside with silicone sealers, inside with a polished look for a modern yet traditional feel to any space and they are excellent for transitioning between indoor and outdoor spaces when your customers want these spaces to flow together perfectly, from a pub garden to the inside, for example.
- Stylish – The possibilities when it comes to concrete are only really limited by your customer’s imagination. They can be used for just about any look that your customer is after, from rustic to clean and everything in between.
Concrete Tiles vs. Poured Concrete Flooring
While poured concrete floors have also grown in popularity, it is not always practical to install them.
Concrete tiles can cost almost a fifth less than a concrete floor, making them perfect for getting the look required even on the tightest budget.
Other advantages of tiles over poured concrete include:
- Weight – All concrete floors require a thick layer of concrete underneath them with polished concrete flooring being no exception. Typically, this layer for a polished concrete floor is 100mm. No matter how small the space is, this 100mm layer adds up to a rather hefty weight. For example, if the floor is 100 m2, this adds up to about 24 tonnes. Clearly there are a lot of places in the home and business where having this sort of weight on the floor isn’t practical. On the other hand, concrete floor tiles do not add much weight at all. It is just the weight of the tiles and the glue holding them in place. Plus, you can use concrete effect tiles on the floor and on the walls to create the perfect space without the weight.
- Build time – To get a polished concrete floor looking amazing, takes a lot of time. If your customer is looking to get their business open quickly or get their houses on the market as quickly as they can, poured concrete may not fit into their schedule. This can be solved by using concrete tiles. As long as the surface is in good condition already, it shouldn’t take much more than a few days to get the tiles in place.
- Maintenance – Without proper sealing, a polished concrete floor is not going to stay looking good for long. This maintenance doesn’t take too long and only has to be done every so often, but many customers do not factor this is in when considering installing a concrete floor. Most people want to get a floor installed and then never have to worry about it again. If your customer is the same, recommend concrete tiles, they can get the look they want without any need of sealing the tiles in the future.
- Versatile – Concrete tiles are more versatile than concrete flooring. You can use them to create tile patterns that suit a room of any size. They can also be pre-stained, saving you and your client time and money if they want a stained concrete floor look in their space.
Concrete Effect Floor Tiles
With the rise in popularity of concrete flooring, it seems that everyone wants to get this look in their home or business. However, as we mentioned earlier, the price, maintenance, weight and time it takes to lay a floor such as this can be off putting.
- Price – Concrete effect tiles are considerably more affordable than polished concrete flooring, allowing your customers to get the perfect look in every part of their business or home and they don’t have to compromise on the aesthetic at all.
- Weight – Concrete effect floor tiles weigh pretty much the same as any other porcelain or ceramic tile so there is no danger of them being too heavy for the space which is a common issue with concrete flooring. For example, if a customer wants a concrete floor on the second floor of their property. However, if they have concrete effect tiles installed, this problem is adverted, and they can achieve the look they want.
- Finishing – Porcelain and ceramic tiles come with the added benefit of new printing technology. This allows beautiful effects to be created. Wood, stone, metal and concrete effects can all be applied to the humble porcelain or ceramic tile.
- Aesthetics – These effects can then give a space the perfect look without any drawbacks of wood swelling and metal rusting due to moisture, for example. Another benefit to the tiles is that they are far less susceptible to staining than a concrete floor, so they are an excellent alternative if this is going to be an issue.
- Upkeep – All of the looks mentioned above can now be installed in homes and businesses easily and cost-effectively. And once they are installed, each look requires much less maintenance than the real thing. This makes concrete effect floor tiles a viable option for anyone who wants a beautiful looking space that is easy to clean and maintain.
For more information on sourcing the best concrete floor tiles for your next project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.