If you’re considering installing polished concrete in your home or office, you’ve probably wondered what it involves. Read on to learn more about the process, materials used, environmental impact, and cost. This type of flooring has a few advantages, and you’ll never need to strip your floor again.
There are many types of polished concrete floors. The process begins with the removal of existing floor coverings and coatings. Next, a metal-bonded diamond grinds and smooths the surface. Next, a chemical hardener is applied, resulting in a denser and more durable surface. Lastly, a higher-grit diamond tool is used to polish the floor.
Once the floor is prepared correctly, the abrasive material is applied, followed by the densifier. The floor is then allowed to dry until the desired hardness. After the floor is ready, it may need grouting. New OSHA regulations encourage the use of wet refinement systems. Commercial concrete polishing can be either dry or wet depending on the desired look. Once the concrete slab is opened, a densifier is applied. This is dependent on the hydration level of the slab. Densifiers include sodium, lithium, magnesium fluorosilicate, colloidal silica, and potassium.
When it comes to polished concrete, you can choose between a matte, mirror, or shiny finish. The types of polishing materials depend on what you want to achieve. Aggregates are coarse or medium-grained particulate materials such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, geosynthetics, and recycled concrete. Different types of concrete polishing methods use varying percentages of aggregates to create extra sheen and exposure levels.
If you’ve sanded a piece of wood, you can imagine the process used in concrete polishing. A high-end polishing machine uses diamond-segmented abrasives to grind down concrete surfaces to various levels of smoothness and shine. The final result is a mirror-like glossy surface. Decorative touches, such as molding or motifs, can also be applied.
Unlike carpeting or laminate flooring, polished concrete floors won’t emit harmful VOCs. And since concrete itself is recyclable, it won’t contribute to the landfill. Furthermore, they won’t need to be replaced as often. This means fewer resources and less expense spent on maintenance and packaging. And because polished concrete is such a durable material, it should outlast its owners. Moreover, this type of flooring is highly energy efficient.
Another positive impact of polished concrete floors is that they’re recyclable. Concrete is made from limestone, the most abundant mineral on earth. Decorative concrete floors can also incorporate crushed glass or recycled products. These materials have the added benefit of reducing the carbon footprint of a room, which is beneficial for the environment. Additionally, polished concrete floors are durable enough to last for decades. This makes them an excellent choice for commercial buildings as well.
Aside from aesthetic benefits, concrete polishing also has an economic advantage. Concrete polishing can be done for less money than installing hardwood or tile flooring. This process also requires minimal removal of surface material, making it an excellent option for homes with limited funds. Furthermore, concrete polishing can help you save money on cleaning costs, as it does not require extra materials during construction.
Whether you’re planning to do it yourself or hire a contractor, there are a few things to consider. First, you need to know the level of expertise of the contractor. Although you can save money by hiring a contractor experienced in concrete polishing, you should still look for past customer reviews and proof of insurance. Skilled concrete will have the proper tools and equipment for the job. However, the process of concrete polishing is not for everyone.