Polishing concrete creates the most durable finish of all decorative concrete. It's most commonly used for industrial floors, but is becoming increasingly popular for commercial, retail, and even residential floors.
|Machine used for concrete polishing process on large floors.||Concrete floor that has been polished and colored with acid stains.|
Concrete polishing is a process similar to finishing wood. With wood, you start with coarse grit sand paper and work your way down to fine grit sand paper until you reach the desired smoothness. Polishing concrete, however, involves diamond impregnated wheels, discs, and pads used in a series from coarse grit to fine grit. The result is a super smooth, high shine floor.
As surface layers are shaved off, aggregates in the mix are revealed. Depending on how deep the grinding goes, the finished floor will expose the sands and even some of the larger pea-sized aggregates, with variations throughout the entire floor.
During the process, densifiers or hardeners can be applied to strengthen the cement matrix between the aggregates. They react with free lime which creates a gel. The gel eventually hardens, filling in pores and capillaries in the concrete. This further increases the concrete's strength, density, and impermeability.
The biggest attraction of polished concrete is the idea of having a floor that requires little or no maintenance. Polishing takes away the need for any top coatings, sealers, or waxes. Dusting is eliminated and clean up from spills and debri is a cinch.
Polished concrete doesn't have to be boring gray. Color can be added using acid stains and concrete dyes. This is done before fine polishing while stains and dyes can still penetrate. Incorporating multiple colors and patterns can turn a polished floor into a unique work of art.
The superior durability and maintenance free finish achieved by polishing concrete is unparalleled. It's is quickly becoming a desirable alternative to marble, tile, granite, and any other flooring.