Walk out your front door and look around. Concrete is everywhere. It paves our driveways, forms our houses and provides porches to sit on. And for good reason — for thousands of years “concrete” has been used as a building material. Over this time it has evolved into the concrete you see today. While the materials used in the mix have evolved to produce stronger concrete, your options as a homeowner have also improved as to what you want your concrete to look like.  When someone mentions decorative concrete, most of us think of concrete countertops or furniture. What oftentimes goes unconsidered is the concrete we use the most — the driveways, porches and floors we live on. Today we are going to focus on these pieces of concrete, and provide some solutions to adding interest, beauty, and durability to these commonly used areas.

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Residential Garages
Garages can be taken for granted. Park the car, shut the door, and turn off the lights. We often times don’t treat this part of our home as an extension of our living space. Wouldn’t it be nice to use your garage to host the party? Or perhaps be the shop you’ve always wanted? Understandably, most of us don’t like spending time in a dimly lit room on a dirty, oil stained concrete floor. Residential garage coatings can change all that. In less than 2 days, your garage floor can transform into a beautiful finished surface. There are many styles available, with endless colors to choose from. And all are finished with clear top coats which are incredibly easy to keep clean and will help brighten the space.

Professionally applied coatings not only look great, they are also extremely durable. These coatings are made to resist de-icing solvents & salt, oil, gas, hydraulic fluid, & staining from car tires. Whether your car is leaking a little oil, or the bottom drops out of your grocery bag, your floor will quickly clean up like new. Simply wipe it down, or hose it off. When a floor is installed properly, it will withstand abuse season after season and provide a space to host the party, turn the wrench, or simply park the car.

Outdoor Concrete
Driveways, sidewalks & patios are the most visible pieces of concrete on a property. Unfortunately, they are oftentimes an afterthought when it comes to aesthetics. The front walk leading to the concrete patio looks great when first poured, but within a few years, weather takes a toll. Now, your beautiful front walk and patio are having a hard time looking nice next to your house and landscaping. Thankfully, exterior concrete can be brought back to life. There are exterior stains and sealers which can be applied to prevent your concrete from being the eyesore in front of your home. These outdoor products are made to be applied to your existing concrete; they are UV stable, and can easily be refreshed as needed. They are also a great way to create decorative borders & patterns on concrete which was originally poured with no decorative elements.

Interior Concrete
Many of us in the Midwest have basements, and all of these basements have concrete floors. Rather than cover it in carpet, more and more homeowners are beginning to use their existing concrete as the finished surface. Utilizing the concrete you have not only prevents you from having to install another floor covering, it also can withstand the occasional water leak and dampness without harboring mold.

Interior concrete floors tend to be polished, stained or coated in ways, which take advantage of the natural characteristics in the slab. Grinding and polishing to expose the aggregate (rocks) in the concrete, or using penetrating stains to highlight the uniqueness, which exists in every slab, can create stunning floors. It's also not just for the basement, more and more people are realizing the beauty and durability which naturally exists in concrete and are choosing to pour floors in many areas of a home.

Concrete Unique As You Are
This article just scratches the surface of what can be accomplished to beautify concrete. The point is: Concrete Need Not Be Boring! You have virtually endless opportunities available to improve the look and performance of the concrete on your property. From the garage, to the basement, and out to the driveway — your concrete can become a highly decorative addition to your home. These options of coating, coloring and polishing all can be tailored to your wants, needs, and budget. So take a look around, see where your existing concrete has been an afterthought, and reach out to a local concrete coating company to help transform the concrete you walk on everyday into a beautiful, durable, extension of your living space.