High Class Concrete

A new concrete system gives the substance a chance to bask in the high-end flooring limelight.

April 30, 2001

With all the high-end flooring materials available today, customers and builders rarely think of concrete to complement their decors. But one Colorado architect has devised a system to change all that.

Bob Melland, president of The Melland Design Group in Denver, has figured a way to pour concrete over any traditional substrate in any room of the house and keep it from cracking.

"This system offers new interior design opportunities like the ones we’re seeing for patios and walkways," says Melland. "These floors can be stamped, stained or finished with any type of faux finish applicable to concrete."

The key to this system is a series of metal tabs applied to the substrate every 129 on-center, keeping the concrete in compression to prevent cracking. The tabs resemble metal gusset plates found on engineered trusses, with the prongs sticking up into the concrete.

"I designed this specifically for wood substrates, but have poured it over linoleum and slabs," says Melland.

These floors can be poured as thin as 3/4") so they weigh only about eight to 10 pounds per square foot. The cost per square foot is around $2.50, depending upon finishing technique.

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