When you are visiting a bank or hotel you might notice a fine-looking floor in the lobby. That glistening floor or expensive-looking tile that looks like it comes from a villa of someone rich might not be that at all.
Polished concrete is becoming the flooring of choice, not only in commercial buildings, but in private homes as well.
People have discovered the glossy no-maintenance benefits of polished concrete are a great alternative to other more expensive types of flooring.
Not only can concrete be polished to a high gloss, but it may be stained or dyed to look like other materials; Venetian marble, assorted types of tile, terrazzo, or a variety of other much more expensive products.
Polished concrete floors may also be etched or stenciled with a plethora of designs, limited only by the designer’s imagination. They may be emblazoned with company logos, crests, or a coat-of-arms in a permanent display of company or family fealty.
The 5 reasons for polished concrete floors
Concrete is typically a hard and durable material, but just like most building materials, it needs to be maintained in order to last long. One of the major ways concrete is worn out is through heavy traffic.
In as much as it is built to withstand traffic, unavoidable occurrences like gradual ground shifts, over time, start to crack concrete and weaken it. One of the ways to ensure that concrete is not completely spoiled is by polishing it; this is a sure way to prevent or undo some of the damage caused by traffic.
Here is five key reasons to get polished concrete for your floor surface:
Polishing removes stains
Another reason people polish their concrete floor is that it gets rid of stains. It may be necessary however to check for cracks before proceeding with polishing, but this depends on its age and how much traffic it has had.
Filling up cracks in concrete is quite simple; just enlarge the crack a little, about ½ inch; after cleaning away any concrete debris, pour concrete into the cracks and let it dry completely. Here is a guide on how to fix them.
One thing to note here is that even thought polishing removes stains, it does it on the layer that is grinded. Deep stains are always harder to remove. Also if there are lots of cracks fixed, those will show a little as well. One might consider resurfacing with a really damaged concrete floor and polishing that.
Polishing protects concrete from cracking
This is truer when there is heavy traffic. Many times a simple scratch will be overlooked and in a short time, it will have turned into a nasty crack that calls for extensive repairs.
Now there are many reasons concrete crack. One could be rusting of rebar, other heaving of the ground. With those kind of situations, surface fix might not help.
Polishing will protect the concrete from the side it’s applied to. It’s good to remember that.
Polished concrete has a new look
This is of course the major reason for polished concrete. To maintain the beauty of polished concrete regular cleaning is important. Your concrete will be rebuffed to look shiny and as good as new
In a sense old polished concrete is a new floor surface. It’s not any different from putting tiles on the concrete or new carpet. If you polish your new slab, it is going to look good just as well.
It is obvious that polished concrete floors are better looking than those that are neglected. Richly colored and shiny floors are a major component of home décor. No one wants to live in a house with ugly floors; so, if one has a limited budget, polished concrete floors are an option.
It is also a good way to counterbalance the porous nature of the concrete. When it’s polished, it won’t get easily dirty like nonpolished concrete.
Polished concrete is stylish
Polished concrete does not have to be a dull gray color; it comes in many colors. Polished concrete can also be in tile form. Polished concrete tiles can be arranged just like any other tiles.
There is also marbled polished concrete. The good thing about the different options in polished concrete is that they are all affordable as the base material isn’t expensive. The labor costs of course, but if you do it yourself there are endless possibilities.
Polishing of concrete
So there are lots of reasons to get polished concrete floors for your residence. How is the process done to achieve all this?
The polishing of concrete is accomplished with varying grits of abrasives until the desired gloss is achieved. The polishing process leaves a very dense, stable, and durable floor that is very attractive.
This flooring will stand up to forklift traffic in a warehouse and heavy foot traffic in office building entries and corridors. It leaves a stain-free floor in residences, warehouses, and offices.
Another plus is that a polished concrete floor is very sanitary and will not harbor any molds, mildews or other biological or insect infestation.
Polished concrete may be the ultimate no-wax flooring. Once polished, the sheen will remain for a long time.
Maintenance is relatively simple; just a dusting with a dry dust mop or wet mopping with a mild solvent followed by clean water is usually all that is required to clean the floor. Commercial floor cleaning machines may also be used.
Any dulling of the sheen is usually from contaminants, not wear, and there are a variety of cleansers that may be used to restore the gloss. These are easily applied with a mop, buffer, or commercial cleaning machine.
Eventually, the gloss may begin to fade in high traffic areas, but this may be successfully reversed by buffing with a commercial buffer using a polishing compound. When some wear does begin to show, the floor may be polished anew by using a very fine grit material on a commercial buffer.
The polished concrete floor may never need replacement, unlike other types of flooring; carpeting, hardwood, tile, linoleum, natural stone, laminates, and other materials that all may stain and wear out.
If you have read this far, you might have noticed there is lots of good points about polished concrete. Personally, I don’t think it’s necessarily better than tiles or something else, it just gives a good option for those who maybe don’t want to invest that much into floors.
There is also the benefit that polished concrete floors can be done to residences that have carpets that are put on top of concrete floors. If the old carpet starts to annoy you, you can consider this as an option.
A well-done polished concrete is also easy to keep clean if it’s sealed as well. Not much will penetrate that surface and it might be a good option for those who like to keep things neat and clean.