10 Clever Ways to Use Concrete to Create a Fire-Resistant Home

Concrete can be beautiful as well as fire-resistant. See more home design pictures.

Cast off as the stuff of unfinished basements, cheap patio flooring and maximum security prison cell walls, concrete has long been the scourge of home designers, many of whom look for creative ways to cover up and limit the use of this typically drab building material. Yet concrete serves a number of useful functions inside a home. In addition to providing a sturdy, durable and cost-effective foundation, concrete is also fire-resistant. The material's properties make it slow to transfer heat and thus unlikely to burn like wood or soften and bend like steel when exposed to fire [sources: Concrete Centre, Portland Cement Association].

There are a number of ways to make a home more fire-resistant using concrete without sacrificing a warm (figuratively speaking) and appealing aesthetic. Read on for a few hints.