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Why Concrete Flooring That Looks Like Wood is So Darn Cool

May 29, 2020

Been browsing Pinterest for ideas on how to replace your flooring? Understandable. Wowed by pictures of concrete flooring that looks like wood? Very understandable. 

Everyone loves the look of hardwood, but it’s not always the right floor for the job. It costs more than many other options, it requires a good bit of maintenance, and even the most durable types of wood flooring aren’t immune to scratches, chips, and water damage.

And while there are many different types of fake wood flooring—from laminate to types of tile that look like wood—concrete flooring might just be the most heavy-duty. If you haven’t looked into concrete floors yet, they’re actually pretty awesome!

That’s why below, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about concrete flooring that looks like wood: the different methods used to make it, how to add wood floor designs to concrete, how much it costs, and more. When you’re done reading, we hope you’ll think concrete flooring is just as cool as we do!

Can You Actually Make Concrete Flooring That Looks Like Wood?

A loft with concrete flooring that looks like wood

Let’s start with the basics—yes, you can make concrete resemble nearly all types of wood flooring. It’s not a photoshop trick, and it’s easier than you may think. With your spare time, a few tools, and the right motivation (or just a trained professional), you create concrete floors that look like they were sold by any of the best hardwood floor brands on the market. 

Alternatively, you can also pick up pre-made concrete tiles that look like wood. Either way, concrete surfaces can make great indoor or outdoor flooring options

How to Make Concrete Flooring Look Like Wood

If you want guests to mistake your concrete for the best hardwood floors around, you have a number of options. The method you choose will depend on your needs, your budget, and whether you’re doing the work yourself or opting for professional installation.

Use Painting or Staining Techniques on Existing Concrete

If you’re looking for an easy do-it-yourself flooring option, painting and staining your existing concrete is a great way to go. There are a number of YouTube tutorials that detail how to get the look of wood with just a few household tools. 

The process typically involves thoroughly preparing the concrete (with cleansers or a power washer), marking out lines to look like wood planks, and then layering colors and brush strokes to imitate the natural variation and texture you find in all types of wood flooring

However: while this method results in concrete flooring that looks like wood, it also results in a fairly smooth surface. And if you’ve looked up any comparisons between tile vs. wood floors, you’ll know this is a positive for some people but a negative for others. It’s all up to you!

Use Texturing Techniques on New or Existing Concrete 

Some homeowners will want to achieve both the look and feel of real wood. After all, when it comes to hardwood floor alternatives, more texture often means more realism. 

You can achieve this effect by using grinding tools to imitate the natural grooves and spacing of hardwood planks. Other texturing methods may include adding a wet layer of concrete to the existing floor and creating a wood grain pattern with brooms and trowels before painting and staining.

Pouring Fresh Concrete? Make it Wood-Stamped.

Outdoor concrete flooring made to look like wood
Wood-Stamped Concrete in an Outdoor Walkway

If you don’t have an existing surface, you can make concrete flooring that looks like wood from scratch! Did you know that concrete can be poured in place and stamped in a wood grain pattern? After stamping and curing, it can be painted or stained to add depth and color to the design.

Use a Porcelain Tile Alternative

What can’t they do with tile these days? True, porcelain tile isn’t exactly concrete—but if you want concrete flooring that looks like wood without the hassle of, you know, actually pouring concrete, wood-look tile is a good alternative. Plus, advances in snap-together tile flooring have made it easier and cheaper than ever to install tile.

Where Can You Put Wood-Look Concrete?

If you have a concrete floor, there’s no need to worry about the merits of click-together flooring or the disadvantages of floating floors or any of the normal flooring concerns you read about. 

Concrete flooring that looks like wood is water-resistant, so it can go in many places where real hardwood can’t. If you’re looking for a waterproof flooring option or if you’re agonizing over the pros and cons of tile vs. laminate, consider wood-look concrete instead!

Where should you use concrete flooring that looks like wood? We have a few suggestions:

  • The Porch/Patio: Spice up the look of your existing outdoor flooring with wood-look concrete. Unlike wood, concrete won’t fall victim to rot or termites and can have a longer life span. 
  • Moisture-Prone Areas: Everyone knows you shouldn’t install many types of wood flooring in basements or parts of the home that experience a lot of moisture or humidity (like laundry rooms or bathrooms). Concrete flooring that looks like wood, however, can be used in these rooms. You can also use it in garages and sunrooms, where dramatic temperature changes can damage wood floors.
  • Above Existing Subfloors: Perhaps you’re wondering: “what is subflooring?” Subflooring is actually under our feet every day—but we rarely think about it because it lies below our finished floors! Translation: while we stand around debating carpet vs. laminate or the pros and cons of cork flooring, we could be standing on a concrete gold mine! If your existing subfloor is made of concrete slab, you can use it to create concrete flooring that looks like wood—you don’t even need to add extra concrete.

The Benefits of Concrete Flooring That Looks Like Wood

There are a number of advantages that come with concrete flooring that looks like wood. Here are just a few:

Concrete Flooring That Looks Like Wood is More Durable Than Real Wood

There’s a reason concrete is found outdoors and in spaces like garages and basements: it’s super hardy! Concrete resists water and other types of damage much better than any wood flooring types ever could. And while chipping and cracking is possible, concrete can usually be patched easily. 

Concrete is a Low-Maintenance Flooring Option

Concrete can be swept, mopped, even cleaned with a leaf blower (hot tip: this cleaning method usually works better outside). Occasional resealing or repainting may be necessary to keep your wood grain design looking fresh, but that’s about it. Want to lay down a couple Home Depot carpet tiles for comfort? Go for it—you’re not going to damage your concrete.

Concrete Flooring is Economical

Compared to the average wood flooring cost, concrete can save you a lot of money. For example, consider the cost to replace carpet with hardwood. Between removing the old finished flooring, purchasing the new materials, and paying installers (or learning how to install hardwood floors yourself), you may be looking at a higher price tag and more effort than expected. You may wonder why you even considered carpet vs. hardwood in the first place.

But as we mentioned, concrete is often already installed in your home—as your subfloor! If buying hardwood flooring means spending a bit too much cash, consider concrete flooring that looks like wood as a more affordable alternative. 

Despite the fact that engineered wood products are usually cheaper than solid hardwood, concrete is often comparable in price to the best engineered wood flooring and best types of vinyl flooring around. Its water resistance also means it is also likely to last longer than natural wood alternatives, from the cork flooring Lowes offers, to even the best bamboo flooring.

How Much Does Concrete Flooring That Looks Like Wood Actually Cost?

Let’s break down the factors that impact the cost of wood-look concrete flooring so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you. 

The first point to consider is the square footage of raw material needed. Plain poured concrete usually costs between $3 and $6 per square foot. If you’re starting with existing concrete, you’ll still need to know the square footage to determine how much paint, stain, or sealer is needed. 

You’ll also need to decide whether to opt for a professional install or DIY project. If you don’t do the work yourself, you’ll have to consider the cost of installation. Plain concrete installation usually ranges between $2 and $6 per square foot. If you decide to face the challenge on your own, however, you’ll have to calculate the cost of purchasing or renting any additional tools you may need for the project. 

The technique you choose to create concrete flooring that looks like wood will also impact the cost. Professional stamping, scoring, and faux finishes can add to poured concrete installation costs. Still, this is considerably more affordable than many other types of flooring!

Where to Shop For Concrete Flooring That Looks Like Wood

So: did we fulfill our promise? Do you understand why concrete flooring that looks like wood is so freaking cool? And did you know there were so many options when it comes to concrete flooring? This durable, affordable, and low maintenance alternative to hardwood might just make you do a double-take.

So: where do you shop for concrete flooring that looks like wood? Start at the source: talk to a flooring expert in your area! Use this link to find a flooring store near you—local flooring retailers answer all of your biggest flooring questions, from “what is laminate flooring?” to “what are the pros and cons of engineered bamboo flooring?” They’re the real heroes.

And for more information on everything flooring, check out:

About The Author

Kelly Pitts

Kelly is a freelance lifestyle and wellness writer. Her guilty pleasures are coffee and celebrity gossip. When she’s not hard at work creating content, you can find her traveling the world, being a crazy fish mom, and cooking vegan food.

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