MCM Questions: Why Concrete in Modern Homes?

Mid-Century Modern homes typically feature concrete as a building material. Plenty of original, renovated and new MCM homes feature a LOT of concrete as a finished material, such as flooring. All this concrete in modern homes may have you confused. Raise your hand if concrete floors in MCM renovations come up constantly in your Pinterest feed. You’re not alone.

Why all this concrete in Modern homes, you ask? We’ve got some answers for you below. Some might surprise you!

Concrete in modern homes is very common, but why?

Easy to Work With and Cost-Effective

First, concrete is easy to work with. Concrete creates a clean, continuous, timeless look. It is easy to transport, prepare and install. The amount of time needed to cure is comparable to tile.

Beautiful concrete floors in a Modern home - concrete in modern homes is very common

Concrete is also highly customizable. Specialists can apply dyes, polish techniques, stamps and additives for an infinite number of beautiful possibilities. If you want striking purple floors, you can have them with concrete.

Additionally, concrete is a cheap alternative to many flooring options. New, custom concrete floors can be expensive depending on the treatments you want, however it can be much cheaper than pricy natural stone tiles or hardwood. Developers choose it as a general building material because it is highly affordable.

Eichler featuring concrete floors

Energy Efficient

Concrete is generally regarded as a sustainable building material and particularly popular in residential building for its heat retention abilities. Concrete has high thermal mass. It easily absorbs and stores heat, radiating it slowly. Therefore, concrete in Modern homes is a good option for boosting the energy efficiency of the dwelling.

Many MCM homes came equipped with under-floor radiant heating, typically enabled through a water boiler which pumps hot water through pipes embedded in the flooring. Concrete can be poured directly on top of these pipes. Combined with radiant heating, concrete makes for an energy efficient flooring option due to its ability to store and release the heat slowly. Warm, polished concrete floors on a chilly winter day cannot be beat!

Concrete exterior walls for energy efficiency MCM building

In addition, exterior concrete walls, especially south-facing walls, are great for passively heating a home during the winter. When the sun shines upon the concrete, the material absorbs the heat and releases it slowly into the house. 

Low Maintenance

Concrete has very minimal upkeep, unlike tile and wood flooring. You can clean concrete with any mild household cleaner, even dish soap. Concrete is porous so you can’t get away with murder; you still need to be vigilant for spills or non-color fast items resting against it. However, it is more resilient and can handle a lot more stress than other materials.

MCM home with a concrete chimney

 

Concrete is a good residential building material for a number of reasons. Concrete seems to be having a major moment as the number one trendy flooring choice, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. Pure concrete is a timeless material, much like Mid-Century Modern design. We’re convinced that concrete in Modern homes is here to stay.

 

Are you interested in getting into your own concrete-optional MCM paradise? Contact us today; we’re ready to help!

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