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Did you know?
  • In 2007, world production of cement in 2007 was 2.6 billion metric tons.
  • Producing one ton of Portland cement base also produces approximately one ton of carbon dioxide.
  • Replacing one ton of Portland cement with one ton of fly ash or other supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) keeps approximately one ton of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
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Not just for basements anymore, concrete floors are appropriate for any room in the house. They can be beautiful, warm and eco–friendly. Yes, concrete can be eco–friendly if you choose the right product.

Standard concrete includes sand and aggregate (gravel, pebbles, etc). So far, so good. But it also includes Portland cement, which has a significant impact on the environment. To make Portland cement, raw materials are fired in a rotary kiln at 2700° F. This process accounts for about 7% to 8% of the annual carbon dioxide emissions in the world.

So how in the world can concrete be green? Simple: innovation.

In one major step, some manufacturers now replace part of the cement in concrete with fly ash, a waste product of coal–fired power plants. According to the U.S. EPA, fly ash can replace 15% to 35% of the cement in concrete mix.

Image of Concrete

This substitution actually increases the concrete's strength, improves its resistance to sulfates, decreases its permeability, reduces the amount of water required, and makes it easier to work with.

On another front, the energy used to deliver concrete to its destination is low. Cement is almost always manufactured within 50 miles of its point of use, and concrete ready–mix is produced locally, as well.

Finally, the lifespan of concrete flooring can be measured in decades. Centuries, even. You can't say that about many other flooring materials. And if it is removed for some reason, it can be recycled. Broken up pieces of old concrete can be used as aggregate in new concrete.

To learn more about concrete flooring, see our concrete section on

Concrete Floor Products

Alternatives to Concrete Flooring – Other Green Flooring Options

If you appreciate the long lifespan, moisture resistance, and clean, solid good looks of concrete flooring, these options might appeal to you as well:

Image of Recycled Terrazzo and Glass Tile

  • Recycled Glass Terrazzo. Made of up to 95% recycled glass combined with either cement or epoxy, terrazzo can be a green choice. It lasts 40 years or more, requires little maintenance, and resists the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew.
  • Recycled Glass Tile. This tile is made by melting down glass and then remolding it. The glass used is post–consumer (bottles jars) as well as industrial waste. The tile is extremely sturdy and available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, colors, and finishes.
Concrete Flooring Information | Help
  • Questions – Learn everything about concrete floors.
  • Lifecycle – Everything you wanted to know about concrete floors lifecycle.
  • Buying Guide – Review our guide before you buy your concrete flooring.
  • Flooring Estimator Tools – How much material do you need to finish your concrete floors? Use these tools to find out.
  • FAQs – Get answers to frequently asked questions about concrete floors.
  • Glossary – Consult our glossary for definitions of common concrete flooring terms.