Polished concrete flooring has been around for years, but has become popular in recent years for its aesthetic appeal, and not simply for its durability and easy maintenance. You will find polished concrete flooring used everywhere from retail spaces, stylish cafes, and restaurants, through to warehouses and educational facilities. A high-quality concrete flatwork contractor can create a polished floor to suit the aesthetic and requirements sought.
Polished concrete has advantages over a raw concrete or smoothed concrete floor – including easier cleaning, resistance to liquid staining. It does not create unwanted concrete dust over time and provides a smooth, bright finish with an increased lifespan compared to other flooring materials.
Concrete polishing can be used on either an existing concrete floor or a new concrete slab. There are both wet and dry polishing options. Dry polishing is now often preferred for its easier clean-up and that it is more environmentally friendly.
To get a better understanding, let’s take a look at the process of creating a polished concrete floor.
Step 1: Assessing or Laying the Slab
An existing slab should be assessed to ensure it is suitable. Consider the effect any aggregate, cracks or repairs will have on the final floor.
If laying a new slab, then consider concrete mix and ensure that the laying will achieve the right outcome. Get creative by adding items to the concrete mix – e.g., colored aggregate, colored glass, marble or granite pieces, various metals (brass, stainless steel, steel bolts).
A new slab should be mechanically flattened.
Step 2: Preparing the Slab
An existing slab will need to have any old coatings removed first, then cracks and joints repaired. For a new slab, initial grinding is ordinarily performed 5-10 days after pouring.
An upright grinder is used to flatten the entire concrete surface. This will be completed in several stages, using finer and finer abrasives.
The slab will now be flat but have no real shine.
Step 3: Polishing the Slab
Polishing is the process of making the slab surface as smooth as possible so that light reflects directly back.
A hardener or densifier is often applied before polishing so that the cement does wear off during when polishing. This will chemically alter the concrete, so it is no longer powdery.
Polishing pads, in a series of successively finer grit levels, are now used to achieve the right level of shine. The final stage requires the use of very fine buffing pads.
Step 4: Finishing
Optionally, additional coatings can be applied. These will offer additional properties like increased stain resistance.
Concrete polishing takes time – a lot of time. But, it is well worth it. Regardless of the size of your business, you can find a quality concrete flatwork contractor in Michigan to talk to about creating a polished concrete floor to suit your needs.