All You Ever Wanted To Know About Polished Concrete
Concrete can be polished to a high shine for beautiful flooring which needs no coating or waxing. You can grind new or old concrete floors to a high gloss finish. Polished concrete looks like polished stone and is highly durable. It is decorative, practical and also economical.
How to Polish Concrete
Concrete is polished with sanding pads and grinders until it is glossy and smooth. The flooring industry is experiencing demand for polished concrete right now from showrooms to retail facilities to private homes. If kept dry and clean, a polished concrete floor is no more slippery than regular concrete. In fact, it is less slippery than linoleum or polished marble.
Almost any concrete floor can be polished but if it is new, you should wait a month before polishing it. Existing floors might need some cleaning before being polished. A contractor with experience can advise you on what would give your floor the best result.
If the existing surface needs to be solidified and densified, the contractor might apply penetrating hardeners to the concrete. This usually happens after stage one of the grinding process. The hardeners can be used on existing or new floors and react chemically with the concrete to result in a hard crystalline structure. In addition, the hardeners offer extra protection from staining and water penetration and prevent the concrete dusting.
Polishing the Concrete Floor
Concrete floors can be dry polished or wet polished. Most are polished with a combination of the two processes. Wet polishing uses water to minimize the dust produced and to cool the diamond abrasives down. Water acts as a lubricant and reduces friction so the polishing abrasives will last longer. Resin bonded disks melt at high temperatures so the wet process can lengthen their life. Wet polishing can produce a lot of mess and slurry. Having to clean this up can make the polishing process longer. With dry polishing, the machines used have inbuilt dust containment systems. The initial grinding, when concrete is being removed using metal-bonded adhesives, is usually done with dry polishing. Wet polishing is normally introduced when the surface is markedly smoother and finer resin-bonded adhesives are used instead. There are now resin-bonded disks available, meaning that the whole process can be done dry.
A polished concrete floor requires dusting occasionally and the luster will last for years. If it does get dull, it can be buffed to restore its high shine.
If you want a high luster, economical floor, which resembles polished stone, polished concrete could be the perfect solution.
"I`m building my first new home and would like a white marble like floor with underfloor heating. Please would you advise me as to exactly which product will be best for this purpose. I`m unsure as to the benefits of polished limestone against polished concrete etc. for example. Thank you for any information."
"Konrad, So you shudder at the thought of the wet polished school stairs - guess school was a bad experience for you - did you waste your school-age years of youth - when you could have made something of your time at school ??"
"Back in the good old days, about 10-15 years ago, when I was back in school I remember that all the stairs were polished concrete. Although that was the rather not so nice version of it. Now that I think about it, maybe I should start my own blog (already have a website *link removed*- admin)... although I'm a little biased, because every time I think about those wet polished stairs... you get my drift? :)"