Exposed concrete is a great modern home design feature. There are many ways to use concrete or faux finishes for interior walls. Exposed concrete had a great deal of popularity in Brutalist Architecture of the 1950s and 1960s. The trend died out, but concrete architecture has come back in the 21st Century. Concrete architecture of the 20th Century was rough and raw, but today it has more elegant properties in many ways.
I am Jorge Fontan, an architect in New York and owner of Fontan Architecture. As an architect, I have used exposed concrete and faux concrete finishes.
Interior Faux Concrete Wall Finish
The photo below shows the living room in a Manhattan Apartment we renovated. As an architect, I have always been a fan of concrete finishes in construction. The original apartment was all white and lacking in any texture or color. The owner wanted to add texture, contrast, material, and use darker colors. Interior concrete finishes were a perfect way to transform the apartment and add a layer of texture in a very modern way. This material is a trowel-applied finish over an existing sheetrock wall.
This next image is from the same apartment renovation. This close-up photo shows a corner detail around the concrete wall. The adjacent wall and ceiling are white-painted sheet rock. The two materials create a great contrast in the white vs. dark grey and smooth vs. rough texture. Small reveals are used at the corners creating a shadow line.
Concrete Bathroom Design
When doing concrete finishes in a bathroom, you want to do relatively smooth concrete. The bathroom below had a concrete bathroom floor and concrete bathroom walls. We have another post on Concrete Bathroom Design if you want to check out more on this project.
The photo below shows a close-up of the floor and shower detail. The shower is a Curbless Shower which requires waterproofing the entire bathroom floor before applying the concrete finish. We used a linear drain which gets a concrete finish on top of the drain to match the floor, only leaving a thin reveal exposed for water to drain.
Polished Concrete Floor Finish
Below is a photo of a polished concrete floor in a showroom and office. This concrete floor was poured-in-place concrete and polished to a shiny finish. Poured-in-place concrete floors can have many finishes. This is one example of what a high-polish finish concrete floor looks like.
Polished Concrete Floor Finish
Below is a photo of a polished concrete floor in a showroom and office. This concrete floor was poured-in-place concrete and polished to a shiny finish. Poured-in-place concrete floors can have many finishes. This floor is one example of what a high-polish finish concrete floor looks like.
The following project is a concrete house we did in the flood zone in New York. See another post we wrote to learn more about Concrete House Design. The house is made of structural poured-in-place concrete with exposed concrete. The house is elevated on concrete columns in the flood zone. Concrete was chosen as the material for its strength, durability, and aesthetics.
Concrete Finishes and Options for Concrete Construction
In this article, we reviewed some basic concepts regarding Concrete Finishes. There are many options and different ways to use concrete or concrete-look faux materials.
Thank you for reading our blog post on Interior Concrete Finishes.
I hope this was helpful. If you want to speak with an architect about a potential project, contact us at Fontan Architecture directly.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.