Who has concrete floors and...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by dragonfly1113, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. dragonfly1113

    dragonfly1113 Well-Known Member

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    Who has concrete floors in your homes and are they heated? I think the polished colored concrete floors are pretty but was wondering how cold they would be if they were not heated. I am thinking pretty cold... but if it is really warm in your house would they still be cold?

    Also.... what about slate? Pros and cons please...
     
  2. Westwood

    Westwood Well-Known Member

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    We have concrete floors. We used polyurethane floor paint which isn't working out so well in the living room. Too many chemicals used when it was a dairy barn I guess. It's wearing well in the bedroom. The floor is a bit cool in the winter, use throw rugs and keep your furry house shoes handy! It's certainly easy to cool the place in the summer.
     

  3. blue gecko

    blue gecko Well-Known Member

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    My walkout basement floor is stained concrete. When we planned for the pour we did a couple of things to help conserve the inside thermal qualities. We used a vapor barrier and insulation underneath the slab to protect it from the ground temps and moisture. We actually poured the slab so that it sits on the insulated footing for the wall (we used ICF construction for the walls). We also put zoned radiant tubing in the floor but haven't used it yet- we're hoping to go solar at some point. It does get a little cool in the winter because we don't heat (or cool) the basement. The lowest temp the basement has gotten is around 63 degrees which is quite acceptable. The highest temp in the summer has been 78. I use throw carpets under the couches and in my client massage room. I do have a small heater in the massage room for my client's comfort in the winter and a small fan in the summer.

    I absolutely love the floors! They always look nice and are very easy to clean. We used an acid concrete stain with a sealer. Over the years they have developed a patina and have held up very well. The color we used was a dark green like marble. The imperfections in the floor show up in the stain. The whirlybird marks are visible and the places where there is more cream tend to be lighter. We accept this as character.

    You can score the concrete and create a tile like appearance and you can also use different colors for accents.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. blue gecko

    blue gecko Well-Known Member

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    I've used the polyurethane like Westwood before on the floors at my spa in town and was really disappointed in how well it held up. Staining and sealing has been a far happier solution.
     
  5. Westwood

    Westwood Well-Known Member

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    Wish I'd known about that before! :shrug:
     
  6. dragonfly1113

    dragonfly1113 Well-Known Member

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    what kind of tubing do they use in radiant flooring? just curious.
     
  7. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    Pex.

    We have radiant in stained concrete floors. Love them. The floors are warm on cold winter mornings. A very nice feeling.

    They can be cold if not heated though that is nice on the feet on a hot summer day.

    Jill
     
  8. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    I have PEX mounted underneath our wood subfloor. We have poured a concrete pad 10' X 10' under our woodstove. I stained it black and used a latex sealer. I only poured it 1 inch thick, and I included nylon fibers in the mixture.

    It has been there for about two months so far.

    We really like it.

    DW wants me to pour the rest of the house floor the same way. Black stained concrete with lots of fiber in it, and sealed.

    :)
     
  9. blue gecko

    blue gecko Well-Known Member

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    Had I known you then I'd have shared the experience! Hugs. B
     
  10. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, the power just came back after 6 and a half days! We have radiant concrete floors in a strawbale house. In the winter, when they are heated, they are just fine. However, when the power goes out, they become a black hole sucking all the heat out. They seem to radiate cold. If I were to build another house, I would probably do radiant floors, but not on a concrete slab.
     
  11. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    These types of floors are wonderful but can be very hard on your back, legs, and feet as you get older.

    Plan to invest in lots of rugs for some cushioning..
     
  12. blue gecko

    blue gecko Well-Known Member

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    Thats the very reason we poured a full floating slab. The ICF walls are insulated from the outside and the slab stays at a more even temp. Heat travels from heat to lack of heat so if your slab touches colder outside elements then it will loose heat to them. That's one of the reasons that we didn't do a stone chimney through the roof. Gotta keep that thermal mass on the inside!
     
  13. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We llived in a house with a concrete floor. I hated it. But, there was no barrier laid down, which is vital if you plan to use concrete. What ever you put over concrete, carpeting, wood, vinyl, ... will wear faster than if you put it over a subfloor. Concrete is also hard on your joints. There's a reason that workers who stand or walk on concrete wear thick soled shoes and/or stand on rubber mats.

    Our garage basement has a concrete floor with radient in-floor heating. Never a cold floor.
     
  14. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    When we lived in our apartment building was all concrete. Concrete walls, concrete floors, and ceilings. They did cover the floors with ceramic tile, and the tile was very nice. Glossy white tile everywhere.
     
  15. dragonfly1113

    dragonfly1113 Well-Known Member

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    Okay.... Maybe I can do this without starting a new thread....

    Is Radiant Floor Heating expensive?
     
  16. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Dont know how pricy radiant floor heating is...our downstairs part of our house is a concrete slab which has been sealed and painted to resemble red brick. People bend over to touch it to see if it is real LOL. Our house slap sits on top of a moisture barier and then 3" of blue foam insulation stuff. It does not seem hard on our feet at all. But then I do not spend 12 hours a day standing in my kitchen....oops take that back the kitchen has and industrial style kitchen thing, nice and padded. LR and DR and computer room are carpeted with thin dense pad so the only place the concrete is showing is the place between the rooms and in the bathroom. Our slab also is laced with 3 inch pvc pipe through which we move warm air from the peak of the upstairs to the far corner of the downstairs. The slab generally stays 65-70 degrees in the winter here in montana. sis
     
  17. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    I have a concrete floor without insulation because I live in a building originally built to be a garage. In winter, the floors are cold and in summer, there is condensation which makes for damp, moldy carpet, and wet tile.
    Half of the house has a subfloor and that is much better. It is probably built up about 1-2 inches above the concrete.
    Ann
     
  18. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    Radiant cost depends on your system.

    We installed ours. 1200 sq feet.

    two zones heated with a tankless water heater.
    two pumps, two manifolds, two theromstats
    I think about 1200 feet of pex. We spent less than 800.00 on materials not including the hot water heater.

    We will be building again very soon and will be much bigger. We will do it again.

    We have a 1.5 inch slab on plywood deck over a crawl space. Will go slab next time. It takes longer to heat a slab so this is not quick heat.

    Jill
     
  19. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    mine are painted with floor paint, i have rugs in living room and dining room and another in small bedroom I use for office, the office rug is almost as big as the room, I don't notice the floors being cold, in the summer, if I have the ac on I can put my barefeet on the floor and it is cool. The paint is wearing in high traffic areas, but it doesn't have much effect on the look, which is Texas southwestern.
    Ed
     
  20. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    My brother just put in a radiant heat floor in slab on sub floor in his bathroom in his old (1872) house. He loves it. He did it himself and says it was not too hard or expensive. He plans to do the kitchen next but no slab for there as it has a better wood floor.

    I am in the process of building a tiny cottage (252 sq-ft) which is all concrete bottom to top. The floor is a slab on vapor barrier on 4" of foam board insulation so I'll soon get to find out what it is like. This is an experimental house and I will do different types of floors in different rooms. (I know, you're wondering how many rooms can a man possibly have in 252 sq-ft... ...4, 5, 6, 7!)