While American homeowners have long used concrete for certain outdoor projects, such as building patios or pouring in-ground pools, the building material has only recently begun to enjoy popularity for indoor projects, like countertops. In actuality, concrete is one of the oldest construction materials known to man and is nearly perfect for all sorts of renovation jobs. As you read this guide, you’ll discover more about concrete than you probably ever knew before!
Start at the beginning.
In order to understand why concrete is such a great choice for all of your Carolina home remodeling projects, it is important to know where the material comes from. Historians and anthropologists believe that concrete first came into use in about 1300 BC, meaning it precedes recorded history! Any material that has been around that long has to still be here for a reason.
“Modern concrete,” made with Portland cement, was developed circa 1860, and the same basic formula is still used today in the 21st century. Portland concrete consists of a mixture of sand, water, and stone aggregates. Certain chemicals are sometimes added to make an already durable substance even stronger.
What are the benefits of concrete?
As you might expect of anything that has existed for literally thousands of years, concrete offers a host of benefits. One of the reasons it is so appealing, even in the modern world, is its affordability. Concrete is an inexpensive building material that people can buy on almost any budget. It is also functional in all climates. Whether you live in the mountains of North Carolina or on the beaches of South Carolina, you can use concrete successfully.
Another key benefit that was mentioned previously is concrete’s immense durability. This material lasts a long time and can generally hold-up to a variety of weather events and temperature changes. Extreme heat and cold can cause it to crack, so be aware, depending on where in the Carolinas you live.
What are the current concrete trends?
While concrete is still popular for exterior work, such as patio construction, entire concrete houses are growing in popularity as well. Insulated concrete forms (ICF) have changed the game when it comes to the aesthetic of concrete houses; no longer do they look like cement blocks, but instead, have a chic, contemporary aesthetic.
Polished concrete floors and countertops are another trend that more and more Carolina homeowners are embracing. Once, concrete flooring was only used in warehouses and garages, but now, it is one of the most stylish choices for remodeling jobs and new builds. Acid washed concrete has a particularly edgy appearance, but there are other more traditional finishes too.
Speaking of edgy, concrete is a major player in the steampunk trend. This material is perfectly suited to the industrial aesthetic and blends in well with other steampunk materials, including leather and copper.
We hope this look at how concrete was first created and how it is used today will help you plan some concrete projects of your own!