Polished Concrete is a method by which a polished concrete floor is first manually polished, then ground, honed, and finally polished using bonded in extras. It’s then polished again with every subsequent cut to obtain a defined final finish. Polished concrete may be used as a floor or as part of landscaping. Some people use polished concrete for patios. Because polished concrete can be honed, stained, or even painted, it can also be used as a complementary material to stone, brick, ceramic tile and other materials that might be used in the place of concrete such as pavers, brick, stone, glass, slate, tile, sand, gravel, mulch, bark, wood and other naturally occurring materials. This gives the polished concrete a more natural, authentic look.
Polished concrete floors are relatively new, and some manufacturers like https://www.concretemiamipro.com are experimenting with different concrete finishes. Most polishes provide an extra barrier between the floor and decayed wood, but not all. When choosing a polished concrete flooring system, you must pick one that fits your style and needs. There are many options to consider. You can select from:
Epoxy Coating – This is not a finish; rather, it’s an add-on to any existing concrete slab. If your existing slab is in good condition, epoxy coating can add years of life. The cost-effective resin coating will protect against staining, cracking and gouging. The coating itself can also be mixed to match the color of your polished floors.
Compressed Aggregates – These include polystyrene beads, polyurethane resins or other aggregates that are injected into the ground. These aggregate materials aren’t as strong as those used for polishing. They form a smooth surface by compressing under the weight of the soil. Once the concrete is dried and cracked, these beads grow cracks until they are no longer smooth. This is a great way to restore cracked or peeling polished concrete surfaces without the expense of concrete replacement.
Aggregates can create an uneven surface depending on the amount of crack build-up that occurs. If your existing flooring is damaged, cracked or peeling, then the product may not do a good job matching the original material. In addition, depending on the manufacturer, some aggregates may only provide a low-density, low-sheen finish. It is best to contact a professional flooring installer regarding the pros and cons of using aggregates, depending on your situation.
Diamond Blade Resurfacing – This process involves injecting an acid-based solution into the base material to etch the surface. Diamond blades cut rough edges, depressions, and other imperfections to create a smooth diamond-shaped imprint. It is best for industrial flooring where foot traffic is high. However, if you need a polished concrete slab for residential purposes, this is not recommended. It can etch the surface, but it will be far less noticeable with the amount of foot traffic. Also, it is important to make sure the aid is coming from an acid source; most decorative acid products contain chlorine which can etch or discolors even the toughest polished concrete.
Biobased Coatings – These come in either siliconized polyester or phenolic polyurethane coatings. Both are environmentally friendly and provide a low-oxide coating that mimics natural oils found in human skin. However, the coating needs to be diluted before application, as the higher the concentration, the harder it is to apply. It is also recommended for high-traffic areas, as the extra coating provides a non-slip barrier for walking on. Depending on the manufacturer, some biobased coatings only come as a powder, while others must be applied with a brush.
The above are just a few of the many different ways flooring professionals are using polished concrete floors in commercial and residential settings. While there are no concrete substitutes, these natural stone alternatives can mimic the look and feel of real stone flooring. They are low maintenance, have a long lifespan, and offer an unlimited number of options for designing and styling the finished surface. The best part is they are now more affordable than ever! Make sure to ask your flooring professional about these new coatings when they are performing the installation, as this could be the determining factor for your flooring needs.