People walking on concrete flooring in a commercial building lobby

The Pros and Cons of Concrete Flooring for Commercial Buildings

Polished concrete flooring is durable, attractive, and a great flooring choice for many businesses. From office environments and industrial settings to airports to retail stores and education – concrete surfaces are the perfect solution for all kinds of commercial spaces.

Concrete has come a long way from its drab, gray, industrial beginnings. Today, decorative designs, colors, sheen, and exposed aggregate surfaces have transformed concrete into one of the most popular flooring options.

But when deciding whether concrete flooring is the right solution for your business – it’s essential to know its pros and cons.

In this blog, we’ve laid out our top five pros and top five cons of concrete flooring for a commercial space.

The pros of concrete floors for commercial buildings

First, look at the top five advantages of installing concrete floors in your commercial space.

1. Durability
Polished concrete floors are more popular than ever. They are highly durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic, spills, and other forms of wear and tear. This durability makes them ideal for commercial, industrial, educational, and retail buildings. As a result, concrete is becoming a popular replacement for tile and resilient flooring.

2. Low Maintenance
Exposed concrete floors are low maintenance and do not require much care or continual replacement like other flooring materials, saving your budget in the long run.

Although considered low maintenance, it can quickly become high maintenance by leaving it unsealed and porous or applying wax* that requires regular polishing and periodic stripping and rewaxing.

*Using traditional wax on concrete is not recommended. A better solution is to use a penetrating sealant or a quality performance coating designed for concrete.

3. Style & Versatility
Exposed concrete is one of the most versatile floor finishes available and finding the right solution for your business couldn’t be easier.

Concrete can be stained, painted, or treated in various ways to create a unique look that complements the space’s decor.

You can diamond hone and polish or apply a long-lasting concrete protective coating to achieve the desired shine, from matte to high gloss. Even though some concrete floors may feature a smooth, shiny surface, concrete can easily be made non-slip to reduce accidents.
Concrete restoration is a great choice if your concrete looks worn and dull. If you get tired of the look, feel, or vibe of concrete, you can change it or cover it with carpet, tile, or resilient.

4. Eco-Friendliness
Concrete is a sustainable material made from natural materials such as cement, water, sand, and aggregate and produced locally, reducing the environmental impact of transportation. In addition, concrete floors have a high thermal mass. As a result, they can absorb and store heat energy, helping regulate the indoor temperature and reducing excess heating and cooling run times, resulting in lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint.

5. Cost-Effectiveness
Exposed concrete floors have a long lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacement or refinishing. Not only saving resources and your budget but also reducing waste and the associated environmental impact of manufacturing, shipping, packaging, and sending the construction debris and old flooring to the landfill.

Compared to other flooring materials, exposed concrete is relatively inexpensive and can be a cost-effective option for businesses that need a durable and functional floor.

The cons of concrete flooring for commercial buildings

Along with knowing why concrete flooring is an excellent choice for commercial spaces, we must consider the cons.

With this information, you’ll be able to make a fully informed decision about whether concrete is the right choice for you.

1. Aesthetics
While concrete can be treated to create a unique look, it can also look bland and uninviting. It may not be suitable for facilities that want to create a welcoming and aesthetically pleasing environment.

In addition, concrete slabs are prone to cracking due to temperature changes, moisture, and the settling of the building. Cracks are common and often overlooked if the floor looks well-maintained.

To combat the harsh vibe of an exposed concrete floor and to combat concrete’s highly porous nature, this can be treated with a performance coating that will allow the facility manager to choose the level of shine from matte to high gloss and an anti-slip agent can be added to reduce slips and falls while maintaining an appealing sheen.

2. Comfort
Exposed concrete floors can be cold and hard, making them uncomfortable for employees and visitors, especially in colder climates. This can lead to reduced productivity and employee morale.

Standing for long periods of time can become uncomfortable. To combat this, you can add mats to areas where employees or customers will most likely stand for long periods.

3. Noise
Exposed concrete floors can amplify sound, creating a noisy and distracting environment, which can be disruptive to employees and visitors. Having upholstered furniture and other fabrics in the space to absorb sound will help keep noise bouncing to a minimum.

4. Slipperiness
Without anti-slip additives in the protective coating, concrete can become slippery when wet, which can be a safety hazard for employees, visitors, and customers.

5. Maintenance
Although concrete is a cost-effective flooring option, the cost of preparing and treating the surface to make it suitable for use and aesthetically pleasing can be substantial. The price may not be feasible for facilities on a tight budget. But, it is essential to remember that unsealed concrete is porous; it attracts and traps dirt, oil, dust, and even pathogens that can be health hazards.

However, treating the surface with a penetrating concrete sealer or a long-lasting protective coating will be very cost-effective for facilities with a long-game mindset. Surface coatings can make concrete floors chemical resistant and impervious to spills, staining, and microbial growth. It also makes it feasible to use green cleaners and eliminates the need for the environmentally unfriendly and high-maintenance waxing process.

Take care of your concrete flooring with Corporate Care

Professional concrete maintenance and cleanings are essential to keep concrete flooring in good condition.

Dirt, grease, and grime can quickly build up and get caked into unsealed concrete’s porous surface. Giving an unclean and unkempt appearance can let down your commercial space’s appearance.

We hope this blog has told you everything you need to know about using concrete flooring in commercial spaces. Although there are some cons to choosing concrete flooring, overall, it’s a versatile, durable, and attractive option.

Give us a call if you want a reliable surface care company. Corporate Care exists to improve the appearance, performance, and longevity of every surface in the buildings you manage.

Our IICRC®-certified concrete cleaning specialists deliver a thorough, concrete-specific deep clean to extend the life of your flooring investment.

We’ll begin by performing a deep scrub cleaning of your concrete floor and applying a high-grade penetrating sealer or premium high-performance coating to protect the surface and add a beautiful shine.

If you want to learn more about our services, contact us today!


About Corporate Care – A sustainability company

Corporate Care exists to improve the appearance, performance, and longevity of every surface in the commercial buildings you manage – reducing capital expenditures, stress, and management burden on facility managers from coast to coast.

As true surface care experts, we understand the unique properties and cleaning protocols every surface needs (or doesn’t) to look amazing and comply with manufacturer warranties. We’re here to support your existing janitorial crew with cadenced deep restorative cleaning and tailored maintenance protocols – performed by IICRC®-certified cleaning technicians.

We are firm believers in restoration over replacement. Let’s reduce waste together!