Polished concrete – polishing basics
Polished concrete is fast becoming the ultimate no-wax flooring material. Thanks to recent advances in polishing equipment and techniques, contractors are now grinding concrete floor surfaces, whether new or old, to a high-gloss finish that never needs waxes or coatings. Factor in the superior durability and performance of concrete, and it’s no wonder why more retail, warehouse, and office facilities are opting for polished concrete flooring as an alternative to marble, granite, tile, linoleum, or coated concrete. Even homeowners are catching on to the appeal of these smooth, high-luster floors, which can be stained to replicate the look of polished stone.
Because polishing is a multistep process, you can choose the level of sheen — from satin to high-gloss — that meets your maintenance and aesthetic requirements. This versatility makes polished concrete an ideal flooring material for a variety of applications.
This section offers a complete overview of polished concrete floors, including benefits, design options, equipment requirements and maintenance needs.
You’ll learn the basic steps in the polishing process, the differences between wet and dry polishing, and the advantages of polished concrete compared with other flooring materials including carpeting, wood, ceramic tile, natural stone, and vinyl tile. You’ll also find the average costs of polished concrete and what factors affect the final price of installing polished concrete floors.
You’ll learn how to prepare concrete surfaces before polishing to ensure good results, as well as why some concrete floors may not be good candidates for polishing. Also discover the difference between the various levels of shine possible with polished concrete, ranging from low gloss to reflective mirror-like finishes.
Plus get popular design options for polished concrete, including coloring with stains and dyes, decorative engraving, and stenciled graphics. Find ideas for achieving interesting decorative effects by applying multiple colors of dye and using faux-finishing techniques.
Finally, you’ll find instructions for cleaning and maintaining polished concrete, how to improve the slip-resistance of polished concrete floors and the environmentally friendly attributes of polished concrete.
Be aware that the process of polishing concrete floors requires a great deal of expertise and the use of specialized heavy-duty polishing machines equipped with diamond-impregnated disks that gradually grind down surfaces to the desired degree of shine and smoothness. Considering the investment in equipment and the skill required, it’s definitely not a project for the do-it-yourselfer. You’ll want to hire a professional concrete polishing contractor to do the work.
Factor in the superior durability and performance of concrete, and it’s no wonder why more retail, warehouse, and office facilities are opting for polished concrete flooring as an alternative to marble, granite, tile, linoleum, or coated concrete. Even homeowners are catching on to the appeal of these smooth, high-luster floors, which can be stained to replicate the look of polished stone.
Author Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.com Columnist and Senior Editor of Concrete Network Magazine