Concrete Polishing – Will It Work For You?
There is a lot of confusion about what exactly is concrete polishing and can the process be applied to all floors. The answer is not a simple yes or no. A better question might be, is polished concrete appropriate for my floor? The answer depends on the condition of your floor and what exactly you want.
Most professionals in the industry refer to a polished concrete floor as one that has been mechanically ground starting with coarse blades with numerous steps using finer and finer blades until the desired shine is achieved.
Halfway through the process a liquid densifier is added serving to tighten the pores in the surface, providing increased surface area to polish. Results can be a matte finish up to a high gloss. Coloring can be achieved by adding dyes and frequently a stain guard or wax coat will be applied and burnished with high speed buffers. This process melts the wax sealer into the tiny air holes in the floor.
However not every floor will be the same. If the floor has large cracks or damaged areas, the patch repair will show. Sometimes it looks fine, sometimes not.
Concrete Polishing Options
The photo above shows a Perry Ellis retail floor in Glendale California. Originally, the requirement called for concrete polishing of the existing floor. Once the floor was ground, the aggregate that showed was not appropriate for the design of the store, nor was the color and the overall look. So in this case, polished concrete was not the right choice.
However there are options. Pentimento, one of our overlays, was installed with the appropriate color and polished appearance. Pentimento has a natural polished appearance achieved by burnishing the surface with a steel trowel. The results are predictable whereas concrete polishing is not.
Another solution is application of our Param self leveling concrete which can be polished. The equipment, blades and process is different and lighter than the heavy polishers used on existing concrete. The self leveler has it’s own unique look while providing a functional remedy. When preexisting floors are damaged, uneven or have height issues with floor vents, doorways or adjacent flooring, the self leveler can be installed from 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
Does Concrete Polishing Work On All Floors – Summary
The simple answer is yes, but it depends on what you want. Your existing concrete can be ground and polished if that is what you want. Pentimento can be applied over pre existing concrete at 1/8th inch thick or Param Self Leveling can be applied from 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. Each option is in the polished concrete family with their own set of features and benefits.
The options for function, design and price are as varied as any flooring type like carpet, tile or hardwood. The best way to determine what you want is to contact us and discuss the size of the existing area, the type of facility, condition, budget and design. We have many options including epoxies which may be appropriate.
Contact us to discuss your project and we’ll review the options and appropriate installers. The photos below show floors with different finishes. Which one do you want?