2nd Sep 2005, 10:09 AM #1
Polished concrete or floating floor?
After some advice on flooring options for my new house (not built yet). We are building on 8 acres so there will be lots of wear and tear from the 5 kids and 2 dogs running in and out with buckets of sand, mud, sticks etc. following I'm sure! It will be on a conrete slab (possibly a waffle pad? Anyone know anything about these? Good or a problem?) There are 3 options I am considering....
1. Polished concrete- generally I like the look but occaisionally wonder whether it would be too cold, clinical looking? Is it possible to polish a waffle pad (I believe it has polystyrene blocks in the concrete)? How slippery are these floors when wet? Anyone have any ideas on cost?
2. Floating floor- Love the look. Concerned how well it will hold up under the onslaught. Are the laminates fairly sturdy? How about the veneers? Is either more durable than the other? I understand the veneers are sandable but I really don't want to be doing it every year or two! There'd be no timber left in just a few years.
3. Tiles- least favourite option but generally the most affordable.
Anyone have any other brilliant ideas? Thanks in advance for any and all replies.
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2nd Sep 2005, 10:29 AM #2
With that sort of treatment, forget floating floors. You'll be ripping it up again in not time, particularly the thin veneer stuff. You could put solid timber down but it will be more expensive. At least you can sand it and polish it again when required but with that sort of treatment it will look pretty crappy in no time so i don't see the point in doing it.
Sounds to me like tiles are the go. Maybe terra-cotta, not ceramic.If at first you don't succeed, give something else a go. Life is far too short to waste time trying.
2nd Sep 2005, 10:43 AM #3
5 options for timber flooring.
1. 19mm Solid wood T&G timber flooring fixed by direct stick to the slab.
2. 12mm solid wood overlay T&G flooring fixed by direct stick to the slab.
3. Solid wood 260x65x14mm block parquetry fixed by direct stick to the slab.
4. 19mm Solid wood T&G secret nailed timber flooring fixed by glue & secret nailing to hardwood battens fixed to the slab @ 400mm centres.
5. 19mm Solid wood T&G secret nailed timber flooring fixed by glue & secret nailing to plywood sheets that are fixed to the slab.
Checkout www.timberqueensland.com.au for their new flooring data sheets.
Thay are soon releasing a DVD on floor installation practices.
Gaza...any suggestions to add to the above?
2nd Sep 2005, 11:30 AM #4
Looked into waffle pads. The polystyrene blocks are under the slab. They are just there to form up the beams. You start with a level site, lay the blocks down, box up the edges and pour the cement. It's an alternative to digging footings. There might be some insulative properties as well, not sure on that.
Main problem is finding someone who knows how to do it. Someone down here tried it but because the concretor had never done one before, it took him longer and so it cost more than a standard raft or suspended slab.
At my place, we are putting in a suspended slab. Will probably put some industrial carpet in the high traffic areas and timber floor in the rest.
Two problems with tiles: the grout will look filthy after a few weeks of kids + dirt - use a dark colour grout if you go that way; also cold on the feet in winter! Buy some slippers..."I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."
2nd Sep 2005, 02:16 PM #5
You might like to check out TERAZZO.
Effectively polished concrete with a bit of flair to it.....looks very good if laid properly and is pretty high wearing.
One other suggestion is to lay nomad mats outside all doorways.....these are the ones that most shopping centres use and can simply be hosed out unlike carpeted ones.
Decent mats will effectively trap up 75% of all inbound dirt.if you always do as you have always done, you will always get what you have always got
2nd Sep 2005, 03:46 PM #6
If you're worried about Tiles or concrete becoming cold, why don't you look at the sub-floor heating units you can get. My brother got them under his tiles and they are fabulous. It is a nice warmth as well.
3rd Sep 2005, 07:24 PM #7
Ahhh, somebody on my wavelength. Mrsxtro, like you I am building a new house - a 2 storey house, as an owner builder, on a concrete slab. I think polished concrete is fantastic and floating floors are not far behind. For your situation, kids, dogs etc, polished concrete would be perfect.
Rather than bore you with the details, I suggest you have a look at this site:
Not an easy site to navigate but please persevere. Look for the HTC Superfloor section.
I intend to polish the whole slab before I start the framing - bedrooms, bathroom, living area and laundry are all polished concrete. With plenty of large north facing windows I am hoping it will be a huge heat sink.
I have done a fairly thorough cost investigation. To have it polished professionally costs about $140/sq.m. This is not to be confused with exposed aggregate and a polyurethane coating which costs about $70/sq.m. To do it yourself costs considerably less, but is time consuming. The machine, with dust extractor costs $200/day and the various polishing heads set you back about $3500. Supposedly the heads are good for about 1000 sq.m. so I don't know whether they have any resale value. I'm doing a 130 sq.m. slab and expect to take about a week to do it. My cost estimate is around $6000 which equates to $46 /sq.m. I reckon that is pretty cheap for a fantastic (hopefully) floor that requires practically no maintenance.
As for floating floors, a good floating floor with a 6mm veneer and a wearing surface that is almost indestructable will set you back around $90-120/sq.m. laying it yourself, which is very easy. The days of solid timber floors are over. All that mucking around with nail punching, filling, sanding, dust, take off the high heels etc are history. Needless to say, in my case the whole upper story will be floating timber flooring (excluding wet areas). Besides, if SWMBO tells you to bugger off you can pack the floor up and take it with you, under the cover of darkness of course.
Go polished concrete and floating floors!!!!!!
3rd Sep 2005, 11:04 PM #8Originally Posted by Metung
Mick"If you need a machine today and don't buy it,
tomorrow you will have paid for it and not have it."
- Henry Ford 1938
3rd Sep 2005, 11:50 PM #9
Waffle slabs tend to use the foam blocks instead of packing sand you will still have a concrete surface you can polish. The foam would provide some insulation not unlike an esky, but I don't know how effective that is with the concrete mass over it. We have used them in a suspended slab on a second floor and then removed the things afterwards it was a simple way to produce the reinforcing piers. The foam was then resold to someone who probably knew what they where doing on a ground poured slab. In any case I find polished concrete a bit clinical and would prefer the look of tiles if I had the choice of either.
4th Sep 2005, 12:46 AM #10
flooringOriginally Posted by mrsxtro
4th Sep 2005, 03:06 PM #11Originally Posted by Metung
We are producing 40% more 80x19 T&G endmatched solid timber flooring from Australian hardwood than we did last year and still cannot keep up with demand.
I have the drying plant running 24/7 and still need more drying kilns.
Actually our sales are up due to floating floor customers removing the floater and replacing with solid wood.
They are the people that installed floaters about 3-5 years ago and now the floaters are roooted.
5th Sep 2005, 11:57 PM #12
Love the statements of "fact" that sometimes appear.
Anyhow don't trust cold figures in isolation, especially the ones like "relative or specific gravities" & "janka" hardness, very important issues for sure, especially if you like imbedding 6mm ballbearings in your floor or maybe even jumping up & down in the wifes' stilletos' (as we all do on when the urge hits ) what about the bare feet feel, slip & trip issues, the random pattern some floors have, light and energy reflection or absorption & one I don't think is considered or discussed often enough "wear factor". A material can be incredibly hard but not very tough or incredibly tough, but not overly hard or both and still get worn quite quickly.
Walk on some floors, ask the dogs opinion, think about what happens when the kids fall over, or you drop a plate, spill a bit of red, all relevant I reckon.Bruce C.
catchy catchphrase needed here, apply in writing to the above .
22nd Jul 2007, 10:33 PM #13
speaking of polished concrete.
can anyone give me an idea on the cost involved? my possible scenario is purchasing a two bedroom villa with open plan kitchen, dining & loungeroom. currently the property is fitted with lino. its an investment property so i would like to do a quick reno to rent out asap. i am looking at the option of pulling up the lino and polishing the concrete.
i know very little information about the process. ive googled various sites and viewed finished products that are quite impressive (boral concrete etc). unforunately they are of a much higher standard and finish then i would expect (and i would imagine higher price also). ive seen older retail stores that have re-opened and polished their concrete floors. it tends to have a more rougher, natural, not so worried about the occasional defect look about it (i guess more industrial look). this would be the look that i am after (perhaps as i think it would be a cheaper option, plus i like this look)
if anyone can answer? my question is would it be considerably cheaper to tile with a base priced tile rather then polishing the concrete? i definetly do not want to re-lino.
any info would be much appreciated - just trying to put my feelers out on this one.
23rd Jul 2007, 01:24 AM #14
Concrete or tile, the floor shouldn't be too highly polished, so as to reduce slipping. My brother was considering replacing old bathroom tiles because they had "attained" a matte finish. I told him, "No, no; they're supposed to be that way." At least that's how they were built around 1940.
JoeOf course truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense. - Mark Twain
3rd Sep 2007, 09:46 PM #15
Polished concrete floor
The biggest cost with polished concrete floors is the actual polishing.
Here in the south west of Western Australia an average polishing cost is around $100 per square metre. When you see the work and the machinery involved it actually doesn't look too bad. It is a very labour intensive process, even with the high-tech machines these guys use.
If you need to have a grey concrete slab, consider poring it in a colour. We have 28 different concrete colours/styles here in WA, so there's a load of choice and the colour and fancy aggregates don't cost a lot more than standard grey. Labour cost is also the same but I'd consider increasing the ground slab mesh size to SL82.
We'll have loads of information on polished concrete as well as exposed aggregate concrete at our website at -
It should be live before the end of this month!!
Hope this helps.
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