Polished Concrete Solutions
Polished concrete improves the appearance and durability of an untreated concrete slab. It adds shine, increases wear, is easy to maintain and creates a beautiful and unique backdrop for any decorative style. Polished concrete is a popular choice for showrooms, offices, museums, retail spaces, restaurants and home interiors.
Polished concrete is achieved by mechanically grinding and polishing the concrete with a series of diamond and resin based tools. A concrete densifier is utilized in the middle stages of the process to harden the concrete and allow higher levels of polishing to be effective. At the last stage, a polished concrete guard is applied; this material acts similarly to a Scotch guard that is applied to fabric in that it soaks in to the substrate to protect it from stains and general use. A concrete dye can also be utilized for a colorful decorative touch.
A typical polished concrete floor is produced up to an 800 grit finish. Once this level is achieved, the polished concrete guard is applied and then high speed burnished. It is possible to bring the level of polished concrete up to a 3000 grit finish, which improves the sheen and clarity of the job.
The Benefits of Polished Concrete:
Sustainable and Affordable
Polished concrete is a good sustainable flooring option because it makes use of the materials already present. Instead of having to create a whole new foundation with imported materials, polished concrete uses your existing concrete slab, making it an eco-friendly and affordable option. Most modern buildings are built on a concrete slab, which makes it easiest to utilize polished concrete rather than cover it with another, more expensive flooring option.
Durable and Low Maintenance
Polished concrete floors are low-maintenance, as they are more durable and easier to clean than many other flooring options. They are relatively slip resistant as the products used in the process contain materials with a slip coefficient suitable for public areas. Polished concrete also reduces dust mite and allergen problems common with other flooring systems like wood and carpet, and is also mold resistant.
Mopping with water and a mild neutral cleaner once a week is the only maintenance required for polished concrete. A concrete floor that has been properly hardened and polished will have an extremely long life expectancy.
Polished concrete is hard-wearing and can maintain its fresh appearance for much longer than softer flooring solutions. Hardened and polished concrete flooring can last decades if properly maintained.
Although it may look smooth as glass, polished concrete floors are actually less slippery than waxed linoleum or polished marble as long as the floor is kept clean and dry.
Sometimes standard-grade grey concrete isn’t enough no matter how polished it might be. Fortunately, concrete can be stained or dyed to create any customizable design to fit any style. Adding stains and dyes will enhance the polished look and feel of the concrete itself and make your space truly unique. We’re happy to offer a variety of color solutions for your design elements and/or brand and any existing decorative considerations.
The process of polishing concrete is similar to that of granite or marble. Heavy-duty concrete polishing machines are used to gradually grind down surfaces to a specified degree of shine and smoothness. Polished concrete can be finished between a 400 and a 3000 grit level.
The primary tools involved in the process are heavy duty grinding and polishing machines, densifying agents, diamond and resin tooling and polished concrete guards. Each step involved aims to progressively grind the concrete flooring down to the specified density and finish.
We Polish Both New and Existing Concrete Floors
We polish both new concrete floors and existing concrete floors, although the process is slightly different for the two. Read on.
Polishing New Concrete Flooring
New floors require less patching and repair, often resulting in lower costs. When planning a new concrete floor, consider the desired final look before you start pouring concrete. The surface of the concrete will need to be finished to a high standard to facilitate the polishing process.
*Builders need to be aware as early as possible if the concrete is to be polished so that the final finish is of the best quality.
Polishing Existing Concrete Flooring
Polishing of existing concrete floors can transform a dull and dilapidated concrete slab into a work of art. Some considerations when polishing an existing concrete slab may be:
1. What type of floor covering was previously installed?
In many cases, when tile of any sort is removed in order to polish the concrete, a permanent imprint of that tile pattern will likely be present even after the polished concrete process is complete.
Another scenario is carpet. Generally carpet is held down at the wall edges by tack strips, which are nailed into the concrete. Once removed, the nail holes will need to be filled and will likely be noticeable once the polished concrete floor is finished.
2. Are there trenches or cores in the concrete?
In many TI's (tenant improvements) plumbing or electrical has been added by cutting a trench in the concrete slab and re-filling it with concrete. When this happens there will be a noticeable difference between the existing and re-poured concrete.
3. Is there a new concrete slab poured adjacent to the existing concrete slab?
Many times when a home or building has had a remodel or addition, a new concrete slab is poured adjacent to the existing slab, which will create inconsistencies in the overall appearance of the area.
These are a few of several considerations to observe when considering a polished concrete finish. Many people admonish these variations because they tell a story about the space; in other words, they add character.