What is Polished Concrete?
Polished concrete is concrete that has been processed through a series of mechanically ground “polishing/grinding” steps utilizing professional equipment designed for concrete polishing. This process also includes the use of concrete densifier/hardener which penetrates into the concrete and creates a chemical reaction to help harden and dust proof the surface. During concrete polishing the surface is processed through a series of steps (in general a minimum of 6-8 grinding steps of processing is considered polished concrete) utilizing progressively finer grinding tools. The grinding tools are progressive grits of industrial diamonds in a bonded material such as metal/hybrid/resin often referred to as diamond polishing pads.
Concrete polishing has a standard step by step process that can be followed for most concrete floors; however, concrete floors vary in size, age, and damage, so it should be noted that each situation and circumstance is different, each floor will have its own history that will impact how a professional handles its future. Furthermore, a typical concrete process is as follows:
Your floors should be inspected by a professional to ensure that there isn’t a foundational issue with your concrete.
Any abrasions, chemical damages, holes, cracks, or residual coatings/paints will need to be fixed and removed.
Diamond grinding begins once your floors have been approved and this step will involve you stating how fine you want your floors ground.
A chemical hardener/densifier is added to strengthen the concrete floor after it has been ground.
The polishing process is the last process and the level depends on how much sheen is desired.
Whether you’re investing in polished concrete floors for a commercial, residential, or industrial property, they offer amazing benefits that fill all the needs you may have. Some of the benefits of a polished concrete floor include:
Money Savers. A polished concrete floor is the best way to save money, especially when you compare installation and maintenance to other flooring options.
Longevity. Polishing concrete floors can give you two or more decades with your floors with minimal to no maintenance.
Hygienic. When your floors are easily cleaned your space is easier to manage. Concrete polished floors are easy to clean and even easier to keep clean because they do not allow any liquids or debris to penetrate your concretes surface.
Resiliency at its finest. A polished concrete floor is resistant to wear and tear from high foot traffic, so if you are installing polished concrete floors in a commercial setting you can rest assured that they will last for years down the road. Polished concrete is also resistant to chemical breakdown, moisture, and staining. Moisture can create breeding grounds for bacteria and mold, ruining unprotected concrete.
Less maintenance than any other flooring option. Polished concrete floors do not require back-breaking care or intensive treatments to ensure long lifespans. They stay clean and are easily swept or mopped to be kept clean.
Glass-like finish. With a. glossy finish, polished concrete floors help brighten up any room they are installed in because they reflect the lighting in the said room.
Sustainability. Polished concrete floors do not use any hazardous coatings or materials. They do not require excess tools to install or remove flooring, so they do not create unnecessary waste.
Because of polished concrete’s unique shine and high reflectivity, many people question if it is slippery. Generally speaking, when the concrete is clean and dry, it is generally no more slippery than plain concrete surfaces. In fact, polished concrete tends to be less slippery than waxed linoleum or polished marble.
Concrete polishing can remove certain oil stains. There are many factors involved that can change that, like the age of the concrete, the amount of any type of stain, and what coating was previously on the floor. The grinding and polishing process can revitalize a damaged floor but each case should be evaluated by a professional.
Maintenance for polished concrete is very minimal, however, regular cleaning is still needed. Regular care includes occasional damp mopping to remove dust or grit. You may also consider use some neutral cleaner and conditioner that cleans the surface, and leaves behind a dirt-resistant film.
Except for high traffic areas, polished concrete will keep its shine for years. If it should ever dull, it is easy to restore. Sometimes simply buffing the floor with a commercial polishing compound will do the trick. If more touch-up is necessary, the floors can be lightly re-polished with a fine-grit abrasive.
Polishing damaged concrete floors is something that is very doable. Many questions must be answered beforehand, like how old is the concrete and are there any foundational issues? Many things may impact the final decision on concrete polishing damaged floors.
It is true that, all concrete can be polished, but it should always be inspected by a professional. In some cases, the concrete is simply too far gone and needs to be replaced completely.