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Can all concrete be polished and if so,what are some of the Benefits to polished floor

Can All Concrete Be Polished?

 

Almost any concrete floor can be polished as long as the floor is structurally sound. There are a few exceptions for both new and existing floors.

New Floors
At least 28 days must pass before freshly poured concrete can be polished. This ensures that the concrete has had enough time to cure and harden before polishing begins. Although there is no special concrete mix design required for a concrete floor that will be polished, some facilities will specify that the concrete be installed as smooth as possible to minimize polishing steps.

Existing Floors
For a floor that is already in place, it is best to discuss with an experienced contractor if your floor is a suitable candidate for polishing. Usually, some surface preparation is required for removing dirt, grease, coatings, or blemishes. Types of floors that are not good candidates for polishing include those that are wavy, need extensive patching, or are extremely porous.

 

Benefits of Polished Concrete

 

Lower Lifetime Cost


One of the benefits of polished concrete is less maintenance cost. In high traffic areas especially, such as schools, hallways and corridors hold up better and last longer with polished concrete. Not only are polished concrete floors easy to clean, requiring only occasional damp mopping, they can resist scuff marks and tire marks. They also eliminate the need for messy waxes or coatings as well as the associated labor, time, and expense to apply them. Its dense surface also inhibits stains from oils or liquids. Polished concrete has a longer lifespan than materials such as vinyl composite tile (VCT) or upgraded stone tile. Polished concrete only needs to be refinished once every five to ten years. In addition, the downtime required the polishing process is minimal, and service or traffic on the surface can start almost immediately.

 

Aesthetics


People typically compare polished concrete’s cost and its appearance to other materials. Knowing polished concrete is a viable, economical and long-lasting option, the next most important question is what does it look like. Enhanced Concrete Coatings describes polished concrete as “shiny, beautiful and striking.” By smoothing and exposing the aggregate in the concrete, polishing provides a design that has a natural stone appeal and appears expensive and elegant.

It’s important when choosing polished concrete to also understand that polishing can expose some of the concrete’s imperfections. “You have to be comfortable with the theme of the concrete. It is NOT perfect. Polishing can produce rustic-looking results, and imperfections will show. The floor has to fit the character of the space. Some of these imperfections may include cracks already existing in the floor, uncovering different types of concrete in places or uneven concrete. “These imperfections can be improved, but they will be reflected in the final product. Some people call this organic where you see the natural qualities of the concrete. You can see areas of coarser aggregate and unevenness of veins and aggregate.” This is often one of the most appealing characteristics for people who want a natural and still functional look.

 

Ambient Lighting Increases


The high light reflectivity of polished concrete is another important benefit, especially for office buildings, hotels, restaurants, and other public facilities that want to project a bright, clean, professional image. "Some customers simply want a look that's unique, that polishing can give. Concrete a higher degree of shine, similar to polished marble or granite, than can be achieved with a high-gloss coating. This means greater visibility and fewer overhead lights required in buildings with polished floors. Read about why light reflection is such a big deal in polished concrete floors.

 

Environmentally Friendly


Polished concrete contains no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which makes it an environmentally friendly surface. There are no coatings applied, such as epoxies, urethanes, or waxes. There is no slurry or hazardous waste.

 

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Lawrence Clark
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March 13, 2017
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