Polished concrete is recognized for being one of the better cost-effective no-wax, slip-resistant floor finishes. Many public spaces such as warehouses, garages, hotels, airports, hospitals, and restaurants utilize polished concrete for its attractive finish. Polished concrete is fairly easy to maintain, requiring only dust mopping along with occasional use of cleaning agents.
How is Concrete Polished?
Polished concrete undergoes extreme polishing to optimize its durability and minimize the need for maintenance of the surface. Installers use machinery to slowly grind a concrete surface until it reaches the desired smoothness. A hardener is then applied and polished.
Concrete floors must be properly prepared for polishing to remove dirt, grease, or coatings. Older concrete floors may need extensive preparation prior to polishing. New concrete floors must be in place and cured at least 28 days before the polishing process.
The degree of sheen of the finish can be specified.
Almost any concrete floor can be polished as long as it is structurally sound.
Why Polish Concrete?
Polishing a concrete floor can be a lower-cost, practical option in some applications. For instance, some of the large “big box” home renovation centers and other retail outlets prefer polished concrete floors for their utility and durability as do other high-traffic areas such as schools and warehouses.
Polished concrete floors have smooth surfaces with a lustrous surface that can brighten a space. Polishing concrete enhances the aesthetics of an area for a relatively low cost.
Apart from the obvious appeal of dressing the floor up, polishing concrete has other advantages:
Lower Maintenance: Unpolished concrete floors can be susceptible to dust buildup, creating increased maintenance efforts. With polished concrete floors, dust particles are reduced, minimizing the cleaning required.
Water and Stain Resistance: When concrete floors are left untreated, they are more porous and therefore more susceptible to staining. Oil or dyes can be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove from untreated concrete. Polishing increases the floor’s water and stain resistance.
Slip Resistance: Even though polished concrete floors have a sheen, they are not slippery. Polished concrete floors are, in fact, less slippery than some other flooring surfaces.
Durability: Polished concrete can withstand extreme pressure brought by heavy foot traffic and machinery. The hardened surface increases the floor’s compressive strength, making it less vulnerable to chipping and other types of damage.