Concrete floors in lofts
Among the features characterizing majority of the hard loft conversions - great ceiling heigts, large, factory-style windows, original floor finishes (either old wood or concrete), exposed brick walls and exposed ductis and pipes, concrete floors are very often at the top of the wish list of my clients.
Concrete floors are durable, easy to clean and attractive. They appeal to the senses. They look just as well with sparse, modern furnishing as with antiques. But to look their best, concrete floors should be polished.
While it is impossible for an owner of a single loft unit to change windows, or increase ceiling heights, it is possible to have new 'finished' (but not polished), or old and tired floors re-finished and polished. Several companies do that in Toronto.
Marmoleum floors in lofts
Linoleum is a man made material which was invented, patented and first manufactured in Scotland in the 1800's. It is produced out of raw materials such as linseed oil, pine resins, wood flour, clays and chalks, which are pressed onto a jute backing. It is manufactured in the same locations in Holland and Scotland since the early years, and in 1872 first plant was built in the United States.
After the World War II vinyl flooring was introduced, in an attempt to simulate real linoleum. Vinyl flooring, however, doesn't perform or feel like linoleum, and is not biodegradable. When linoleum reaches its end of its long life, it will break down in a landfill and not harm the soil. It feels very comfortable and easy on the feet, because it is thicker than vinyl, and provides better cushioning.
Lighting your loft
It is very important to ensure adequate lighting in your loft. If natural light enters the loft on one side only, you will need good lighting on the opposite side. Fluorescent lights provide light that is very similar to natural daylight, so if it is possible to install some concealed fluorescent tubes (they are not pretty, so should not be exposed), such lighting might be a good option for this area.
Using translucent dividers and strategically placed mirrors can also improve lighting in the back part of the loft.
Night time lighting is best if it combines many sources of light. Depending on the ceiling heights, hanging lights or track lights can be used for overhead fixtures. If the height allows, track lights mounted on metal railing look good in lofty spaces.