Forget Tile, Use Concrete
Surfacing the floor or kitchen and bath surfaces of your Cozy Home with tile is a great way to add style and color to a small space. However, tile, with its weight and fragility can be a high maintenance product. A practical alternative to typical tile (and all the heavy lifting) is to use concrete. Concrete is being used now for more than just foundations and walkways. Concrete is a low maintenance product that can be used for a “tile-like” floor, countertop, backsplash or sink. It’s also versatile and can be molded into various shapes and finished with various colors and decorations.
Concrete can be poured directly onto a foundation to create a floor and then scored in various patterns to look like tile or stone. The concrete can then be stained with an acid based chemical stain to add color and decorative qualities. The scored areas are then grouted to look even more like tile, natural stone or marble.
Concrete in the kitchen and bath
Precast concrete countertops (also with stains), backslashes, tub surrounds and sinks are being used in homes around the country. Molds, hand-pressing, troweling and other finishing techniques are used to decorate the concrete. A concrete countertop can be installed by someone who is familiar with marble or granite installation.
For the installation, a plywood substrate is fastened to bathroom and kitchen cabinets, the countertop rests on top of the plywood and is made fast with construction adhesive. Once installed, concrete should be sealed against moisture with wax paste every few months.
Concrete = Marble cost
The use of concrete as a decorative floor or countertop is not cheap. The materials and the labor will cost about the same as adding a marble-tile floor or countertop. However, in a small or tiny house, the amount of concrete to be used will be reduced. The decorative qualities of concrete also lend themselves to more creativity for a home owner and end up looking more earthy and organic than cold marble tile.