Last week we wrapped up a polish on a new build in Pittsboro, North Carolina. The floor was finished to a 1500 grit minimal grind polish throughout the entire home. Though the home is still in the process of being built, it is coming along beautifully, and the flooring option they chose was the perfect compliment to the overall aesthetic being developed.
The home was designed by a builder local to Chapel Hill, Anchorage Building Corp. Anchorage specializes in custom, uber-green homes with uniquely artful designs. We really enjoyed being able to work on this house and learn about the many ways that you can make a home more environmentally friendly and maximize all of the home's functions.
Polished concrete is a popular choice for many environmentally-conscious companies and homeowners. It is considered one of the most green flooring options you can choose, and there’s a number of reasons for that.
For starters, concrete itself does not use up rare resources. One of the main raw materials in concrete cement is limestone, a mineral which can be found in abundance on earth. Because most structures are going to have a concrete base or subfloor to begin, you’re able to conserve waste by simply using the materials that are already there, as opposed to bringing in additional materials like wood or tile. If you really want to double pack a green punch, you can have your concrete made by using waste byproducts from manufacturing factories, such as slag cement or fly ash, or add other recyclable products like glass or old marble for a decorative effect. Because the floor is extremely durable and can last for years, you reduce the cost (both for you and the environment) of replacement, unlike carpet or tile. If you do ever choose to have your concrete replaced, it’s recyclable!
Concrete flooring can increase the energy efficiency of homes and commercial buildings as well. In the summer months, concrete floors stay cooler than other flooring options if shielded from the sun, reducing your A/C costs. In the winter, concrete floors can absorb heat during the daytime when sunlight is coming in through the windows and retain this heat all through the night. You can really go the extra mile and have radiant heating installed beneath the floor, one of the most economic ways to heat a home. Additionally, because it is more reflective than most other flooring options, spaces with polished concrete require lower wattage for lights, and can even reduce electrical costs by up to 15%.
The process of polishing requires no harsh chemicals or pollutants, reducing the environmental impact of the installation. If you choose to stain or dye your concrete, there are soy-based dyes available. It’s easy to clean, won’t hold any dust, mold, or dander, making this an excellent option for those who are allergy-prone.
If environmental impact or economical savings are a top concern for you when choosing a flooring option, polished concrete is likely the best flooring treatment for you. The homeowners for this home were thrilled with the results and love the look. We were glad to be a part of this Eco-friendly project.