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  • Writer's pictureJeffrey Smedley

The Process of a Polished Concrete Floors

Updated: May 31

Polished concrete floors offer a number of benefits, including:

  1. Durability: Concrete is a strong and durable material that can withstand heavy foot traffic and machinery. Polished concrete floors are even more durable due to the added layer of protection from the polishing process.

  2. Low maintenance: Once sealed and polished, concrete floors require little maintenance. They are easy to clean and do not require waxing or other treatments.

  3. Cost-effective: Polished concrete floors are often less expensive than other flooring options, such as tile or hardwood.

  4. Aesthetically pleasing: Polished concrete floors can be stained or dyed to create a variety of designs and color schemes. This can create an attractive and unique look for a space.

  5. Energy efficiency: Polished concrete floors can help to reduce energy costs by reflecting light and maintaining a cool temperature in a building.

  6. Environmentally friendly: Concrete is a sustainable and renewable material, and the polishing process can be done with minimal water and chemicals.

Polished concrete floors are popular due to their low maintenance and ease of cleaning. Polishing involves honing or rough cutting of the substrate followed by grout or apply a thin film of epoxy grout to help create an even palette and consistent sheen.

"Rough Cut" of the Polished Concrete Floor

concrete grinding

Every polished concrete floor starts out with the current palette, as concrete is installed it must be troweled in place. This process causes the aggregate to settle creating a softer top surface. The rough cut removes this "cream" exposing the surface to be polished. This process alone will create a harder or more dense surface. This is achieved by using metal diamond segments on the grinding equipment. The depth or extent of the rough cut is determined by the hardness of the slab and the coarseness of the diamond segments. The concrete polishing process is one where going from rough to high sheen is achieved through multiple passes with the grinding unit using ever finer diamond segments. Once this phase is complete we wash and vacuum the substrate to remove any laitance that would ultimately cause clouding in our finished polished concrete.

Grout Coating of The Polished Floor

polish grout coat

Once all of the rough cutting is complete, we then follow up with a very thin-bodied epoxy grout coat that dries very quickly, thereafter we begin to cut off the surface grout leaving an even porosity and filling any small voids that may hinder the high sheen we want to achieve.

Apply Densifier to the Concrete Substrate

We then apply a saturating formulation called a densifier this will ensure good hardness at the surface as well as an even palette, for the subsequent honing. This polishing process involves the use of resin diamond segments as opposed to the previously utilize metal segments. This change in tooling is ideal as it begins to bring out the sheen without removing a lot of the existing now rough-cut concrete polish. This process is what creates the concrete resurfacing that ultimately will give us a new and bright look for many years to come.

Apply Gard to Impregnate The Wax Look

polished concrete

Once the specified sheen is achieved we then apply a coating of lithium Gard creating both a sealed, but and finish also high sheen. These Gard products typically dry quickly allowing us to commence the finish phase of the concrete polish by using a high-speed and lightweight grinder referred to as the burnisher. This equipment spins at a high rate to create a shine that will be both dense and extremely shiny for future service.

The Success of a Concrete Polishing Project Is In The Details

As in most construction projects the "magic" is in the attention to detail. Meaning the use of a vacuum system that is equipped with the appropriate CFM to minimize any airborne dust. Washing the substrate after the rough cut allows for a nice even clear sheen. Then finally high-speed polishing is done at the right velocity and consistency throughout. In closing, we have a passion for our flooring systems, none more than polishing, give us a call today to see how we can walk you through the concrete polishing process and maybe even offer you a price quote for your consideration.

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