We are new to Houzz and have noticed a lot of requests for a 'concrete' specific forum, to answer and address some decorative concrete questions.
When deciding if concrete is for you, think of concrete as comparable to any natural stone, in relation to imperfections, irregularities, and how it would react to staining. As long as you take care of it and have good sealers/waxes on the surface of your concrete, it's going to hold up well over time. Food grade sealers or waxes are used on kitchen countertops, so there is a barrier between the concrete and any food it might come into contact with. Make sure you do your research and use a reputable concrete contractor that uses high quality products, for a high quality long term result you'll be happy with. To clean and maintain concrete, we recommend natural non-abrasive cleaners.
Some other things home owners or clients should know about concrete... concrete will have variations and inconsistencies, all characteristic properties of concrete. With concrete we embrace and look forward to variations, in particular concrete floors will develop irregularities, freckles, hairline fractures, spider webbing, and a patina naturally with wear over time. If you choose concrete, be aware that as your concrete ages, it will continuously develop 'beauty marks.'
Homeowners, concrete experts, designers, architects, please join in on the discussion and post your pictures!