For a floor finish that is durable, attractive and easy to maintain, consider concrete polished floors. There are a range of finishes available that will offer varying degrees of polish, so you may choose how matte or glossy you would like the floor to be. This is often the more cost effective long term floor solution on the market for commercial applications.
Almost any structurally sound concrete floor, whether new or old, can be polished. … The first thing to understand is that concrete is not a uniform product! Each job will present different conditions and challenges that may require you to modify your normal procedures. Polished concrete is a concrete floor that has been chemically treated and ground down to a smooth, shiny surface with progressively finer diamonds.
The following tips will ensure you have the best outcome when considering arranging for a polished concrete floor:
1. Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail.
- Existing floors typically require some surface preparation prior to polishing to remove dirt, grease, coatings or blemishes. Bear in mind though that floors that are wavy, need extensive patching or are extremely porous may not be good candidates for polishing.
- In fact, getting the substrate preparation right is a critical aspect of any polished concrete project, as if the concrete is not up to the task at hand then the finish will never achieve the desired aesthetics or functionality.
2. Grinding is normally the preferred process to achieve this.
- Why is grinding the best method to prep a surface you ask? Well, grinding enables you to remove old floor coverings such as paint, carpet adhesive and self-levelling compounds while simultaneously levelling out the underlying concrete surface and creating the ideal surface for further treatment of your floor – all in one action!
3. Wherever possible during a refurbishment, it is better to retain the substrate instead of destroying it along with the previous floor coating.
- Doing this means that you avoid the need remove tile and grout carefully to use a self-levelling compound and incur unnecessary material costs in the form of extra coverings to fill out irregularities, which are both expensive and time-consuming.
4. What is the surface like that you are starting with is it a new pour or old?
- If it’s an old pour, the polisher has no control over where or how deep the stone is distributed. Old cement will look different from newer cement, so additional and repairs will always look different and need to be blended.
- If it’s a new pour don’t add hardeners and Fiberglas that will make the desired finish harder to achieve.
5. You cannot always grind away what you don’t like, and you cannot keep grinding until what you image may be below the surface appears.
- Every finished polished floor looks different due to the nature of the pour Proper floor grinding and polishing require a large grinder with weight! If you contractor shows up with handheld your polishing is not going to look good!
6. Polishing does not hide anything so patches, past coatings and grouts may all shadow through.
- We even find cigarette butts that the cement applicators through in the wet mix and trowel under.
7. End users do not always fully understand what they have as a final product.
- We often get called to repair projects that the low bidder did not complete all the fine diamond steps and did not get the desired finish. We often see floor specified as 3000 grit that have only seen 400 grit diamonds.
- Did you want a Mirror finish 16000 or 3000 grit or a Home depot 400 grit (salt & pepper finish)?
When in doubt about the best course of action, consult with our team for recommendations on how best to proceed.
Sentinel Polymers Better Work program ensures that we have the crews, the training, and the years of critical experience to provide you with the right solution for your unique needs!