Concrete seems to be the Marmite of building materials. Made popular by the Brutalist and Modernist architecture of the mid 20th century, the use of concrete finishes has been dividing opinion ever since.
In recent years, exposed concrete has had a strong presence not only on the exterior of buildings but – increasingly – in the interiors of our homes. Its versatility contributes to its popularity. Concrete comes in a variety of finishes and can be used on walls or floors. It can also be cast to create worktops, basins and even staircases.
Here, we look at a number of homes where concrete has been used in the interior scheme, to stunning effect.
Old Meets New in an Extended Cottage
The new section of this extended cottage is floored with polished concrete. Then, as you move to the original parts of the building, concrete makes way for traditional materials such as wooden flooring and timber beams.
Shuttered Concrete Walls
In this organic self build shuttered concrete has been used to make a beautifully textured wall. Shuttered concrete is created in-situ by pouring concrete into a formwork, which then leaves an imprint (wooden planks in this case).
Industrial Style with a Practical Purpose
When this home was extended and renovated, the owners wanted to retain its period charm while making it function properly for the 21st century. They restored the listed cottage and built a contemporary extension to the rear, which houses a concrete utility room and service pod.
Poured into shutters and then waxed for a smooth finish, the concrete column forms a central heat store which retains heat from the sun, slowly releasing it back in to the building.
Concrete is often shunned by those who believe it will be cold underfoot, however it works incredibly well with underfloor heating. In this Brighton home, poured concrete flooring has been used throughout. It looks great and not only allows the underfloor heating to perform at its best, but also acts as a heatstore for heat obtained through passive solar gain too.
Seamless Indoor Outdoor Space
Concrete is a great choice for anyone looking to link their home and garden by using one, continuous flooring material. In this Victorian terrace both the home and garden have been made to feel much bigger thanks to a concrete floor in and out, broken only by a folding door.
Cast In-Situ Staircase
The placement of the woodburning stove in this longhouse-style home meant a non-combustible material for the staircase was essential. The options were stone (which was too expensive), rendered block, or shuttered concrete. Stainless steel shuttering was used to mould the balustrade and also the concrete fireplace.
Polished Kitchen Floor
Concrete has been paired with stainless steel worktops and appliances in this kitchen in a remodelled home for a contemporary, industrial look. The room opens out onto a concrete terrace in the garden, creating one big space for entertaining.
Wow-Factor Floor in an Energy Efficient Home
This airtight, super-insulated home already has a very low heat demand, but the thermal mass of the concrete floor means any heat produced is stored and slowly released.
Exposed stone, polished lime plaster and this stunning polished concrete floor create a utilitarian palette in this 300-year-old converted barn. It fits the owners’ brief to design a modern home that sympathetically worked with the barn’s heritage, and would work well with their collection of Mid-century Danish furniture.
Sloping Site Design
Concrete has been used both inside and out of this industrial-style home, and poured to work with the topography of the site for a split-level layout. A waxed finish floor throughout adds even more drama to the interiors and contrasts perfectly with the untreated wood used about the build.
Walls and Floors
Concrete has been used in several ways in this contemporary self build. Much of the concrete used for the structure of the building has been left exposed, and shuttered concrete (using a timber formwork for a wood grain print) has also been used to add contrasting texture. There is also a shiny concrete floor showing yet another way this versatile material can be finished.
Unique Interior Scheme
To keep costs to a minimum in this barn conversion, the structure of the building was restored and a concrete floor poured, creating a shell in which the owners could build their own interiors using inexpensive materials. The open-plan layout has been divided into rooms using OSB pods, working perfectly with the concrete, bare brick, and exposed rafters.