Polished Concrete Floors Explained
Few Tips for selecting a suitable polished concrete style & installation requirements.
How do you determine what is the most suitable polished concrete floors method?
What should be recommended to my Architect, Builder & polishing contractor to assist in achieving my goals to high industry standards?
Polished Concrete Floors & Finishing Standards
When considering concrete polishing, the 7 key points below are recommend for those interested in these applications. Do please take these recommendations into consideration when selecting a concrete polishing process, contractor and scope of works.
- What is my desired result and look?
- Can the finish be re-furbished with minimal disruption and cost?
- How do I expect my polished concrete flooring to perform?
- Do I have the ability to maintain my chosen finish?
- What type of environment is it to be, is it new concrete or a refurbishment application?
- Ensure there is a specification clearly detailing the process in its entirety.
- Clear understanding of maintenance requirements and warranties.
Use of the construction slab to be the floor finish offers genuine savings. Applied coatings and floor coverings require minimum floor tolerances and installations standards which add surface rectification and preparation costs. These requirements are quite often excluded and usually become an additional cost. Removal of existing coatings and floor coverings then require adhesive removal preparing the concrete surface. Further is cost added which usually blows out the original budget. Larger the facility floor, the more attractive the saving will be over a 6 to 8 year cycle. Floor coatings have their key application areas for sure, but when concrete floor coating for topical polished concrete is called up, those coatings will cost a heck of a lot more in the long term. We can guide you through what is most appropriate for your requirements, simply get in touch via the form on this page or follow the jump below.
Defining the Quality of Polished Concrete Floors
What It Is
Mechanically polished concrete floors when done correctly, are an ecological concrete floor treatment improving the concrete wear surface. There are many benefits mechanical polished concrete floors provide compared to film coat sealers. Mechanically refined polished concrete floors is a total grinding and polishing process that utilise purpose designed diamonds bonded in metal and resin compounds.
Specially blended concrete hardeners and impregnating sealers to level, densify than seal the concrete floor surface from the inside out. Mechanical polished concrete floors can be done using wet and dry methods though full dry polishing method has an edge and is also an environmentally responsible approach.
The whole mechanical reined process and subsequent silicate treatments structurally changes the concrete wear zone transforming it into an extremely hard, easy on the eye surface that is smooth to super smooth including exceptional resistances to abrasion. Simply being a process that has zero top coatings applied, the mechanically polished concrete will not fade, have problems with coatings peeling or having a yellow look from UV light effect over time. Concrete floor polishing equipment is far from equal.
Truly polished concrete floors are crafted with many refinement steps to achieve ongoing gloss retention. Achieving a visually glossy surface can be manipulated by unethical measures in the industry that leave a floor looking fantastic today, though looked aged in a relatively short time.
Ensuring your home of facilities mechanically polished concrete floors are as the contractor committed to, can be tested for the quality of refinement Protect your investment and have an independent scientific testing method to hold the concrete polishing contractor accountable. Further consultation and technical information can be provided.
What It Is Not
Polished concrete floors with top coat sealers in most cases are passed off as “Polished Concrete”. This adds further confusion when topical coatings like urethane’s, acrylics or epoxies are widely used to protect or enhance concrete floors. Polished concrete is more about a look then a method these days. Coatings are promoted for polished concrete floors and contractors are applying them as part of their process. Generally speaking, concrete top coat sealers and coatings do the same job of protecting the porous concrete surface. Coatings have a place to fit in with budgets or something shorter term, though the resistance to marking, peeling, chipping or general performance varies.
If you happen to choose a clear coated finishes make sure you know the name and type as this will help you out with a compatible sealer for future maintenance top coats. Coated finishes are put into 2 categories; grind & seal for external and honed & sealed for internal areas and come under the topical polished concrete floors category. All these coatings perform differently and some are not even designed to be used on concrete. During and after the application of these coatings they need to be buffed with a high speed buffer for the shine to be produced and regular buffing to keep the shine along with maintenance top-up coats.
Unfortunately, to many coating applications go bad. This may be an environment or applicator issue or a combination of both. The most common problems are, moisture and alkalinity which are easily tested for. Moisture test is an elimination process to ensure the concrete surface, regardless of age meets the Australian Standards for coatings to concrete substrates. A simple PH test for alkaline levels is recommended where moisture testing is beyond the acceptable margins.
All in all, honed & sealed polished concrete is still an awesome look, however lacks the long term durability of mechanical polished concrete floors such as our in house Designed Polished Concrete and Husqvarna HiPERFLOOR™.
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