Understanding Your Concrete Flooring Solutions

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Polished Concrete is a relatively new idea that was born out of traditional stone and terrazzo polishing technology. Since coming to market, many manufacturers have produced chemical, topical-based products that can also produce a polished concrete look. The scope of work associated with these products ranges from a densifier and mechanical polish, to a topical polish with a burnishing step to provide a sheen. It is important that clients and owners wishing to use polished concrete flooring in their buildings understand which scope of work will be completed in their facilty, as the longevity, abrasion resistance, and environmental benefits can vary based on the product and process.

Polished Concrete is a relatively new idea that was born out of traditional stone and terrazzo polishing technology. Since coming to market, many manufacturers have produced chemical, topical-based products that can also produce a polished concrete look. The scope of work associated with these products ranges from a densifier and mechanical polish, to a topical polish with a burnishing step to provide a sheen. It is important that clients and owners wishing to use polished concrete flooring in their buildings understand which scope of work will be completed in their facilty, as the longevity, abrasion resistance, and environmental benefits can vary based on the product and process.

Typically, a topical polish will utilize a hardener, wax, or other solids-rich product to be applied to the top of the concrete floor then burnished to the sheen desired. Depending on the product used, this floor may provide the benefits of added abrasion resistance, less maintenance, and no VOC’s as does mechanical polished concrete.

Mechanical polishing will almost always begin with a series of metal bond diamond grinding steps, a densifier applied to harden the floor, and then completed with a series of resin bonded diamond polishing steps to polish the concrete itself. The fundamental difference between a topical and mechanical polish is that with a mechanical polish, it is the concrete itself providing the shine (similar to a polished granite surface), not a product on top of the concrete.

Why Choose Polished Concrete over VCT?

VCT has long been enjoyed by retailers seeking a cheap tiling option for their floors. However, though the installation of VCT can be very affordable, the life cycle is relatively short, and the maintenance of waxing, stripping, and cleaning the floors outweighs its benefits. Polished concrete vastly reduces the amount of maintenance necessary, and does not require the use of any wax system to maintain.

Why Choose Polished Concrete over Epoxy or Mortar Systems?

Many industries utilize the protection epoxy and mortar systems offer their floors, especially in factories, warehouses, and similar facility types. These systems can be very affordable, but require frequent re-application every year to three years and plants must be shut down in order to install them so they may correctly dry and cure. Polished concrete offers the same abrasion resistance, durable surface protection of these coating systems, but has a much longer life cycle. Polished concrete systems also do not require plant shutdowns for their installation when the dry-polish process is used.

Why Choose Polished Concrete over Sustainable Hardwood or Recycled Fibered Carpets?

Sustainable flooring has come a long way in the last five years, and consumers now have a vast choice in color, texture, and material choices for their cork, bamboo, or carpet fiber flooring. However, with even the most sustainable of flooring choices, the materials used to produce them are harvested, transported, and then installed on the jobsite. When they wear out, these materials end up in landfills only to be replaced by additional harvested, transported, and installed materials. Using bare concrete flooring and polished concrete floors does not require any such harvesting. Concrete slabs are a part of construction, and can be beautiful flooring options. The durability and stain resistance of polished concrete floors is unsurpassed in the market, and when a repolish is finally desired, it is done at a fraction of the cost with almost zero waste. Only a very small percentage of the concrete surface is removed, so there is little landfill waste.

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