Every industry has its challenges. Polished concrete flooring myths are a persistent challenge in our line of work. People believe they can install the flooring themselves, that it’s hard to clean, or even that it should only be used in warehouses.
None of these things are true—and there are plenty of other myths that need to be busted. This article is our effort to set the record straight; read on!
Myth 1: Polished Concrete Is Slippery
Thinking that polished floors are slippery is natural; most surfaces with the shine and polish of a concrete floor are slippery.
Truth be told, if polished concrete were nothing but concrete that had been polished down, it might be slippery, but the process is more complicated than that. The slipperiness of polished concrete depends on a few factors, including:
- The finish (from low gloss, which is less slippery, to very high gloss, which is more slippery)
Depending on the finish, polished concrete can be significantly more slip-resistant than most other flooring options, all while retaining its polish.
Myth 2: Polished Concrete Is Only Suitable for Industrial Spaces
This myth is born from old trends; concrete was typically used in industrial spaces and deemed unsuitable for homes, retail spaces, and other commercial spaces.
Fortunately, this myth is dying out as more businesses choose to use polished concrete because of its durability, ease of maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. Industrial has become its own design trend, and everyone from retail store owners to restaurant owners has started using polished concrete. Supermarkets, retail stores, Apple Stores, and more have taken up the trend; polished concrete floors are in.
Myth 3: Polished Concrete Is Expensive
The origin of this myth is easy to explain; polished concrete floors are more expensive than certain flooring systems, and they’re definitely more expensive than unpolished concrete floors.
That’s all true—in the short term.
Long-term, polished concrete floors are one of the most economical flooring options available. They are incredibly low maintenance; which means you’ll have to spend less on labour and cleaning supplies. They’re also incredibly durable, and that means you’ll need to repair and refinish them less often, if at all.
Polished concrete is less expensive than most common flooring systems such as hardwood, tile or carpet.
Polished concrete floors are also slip-resistant, which decreases the risk of liability claims. Best of all, they’re functional and aesthetic; a better-looking floor can lead to more customers, and that can mean more sales. In the end, installing a polished concrete floor can actually be profitable.
Myth 4: Polished Concrete Is Cold and Uncomfortable
Polished concrete can be cold, especially when compared to wood floors or carpet; that’s not a myth.
With that said, polished concrete floors are typically no colder than tile floors, and with proper insulation, they can actually be quite comfortable. There are some other techniques you can use to increase the comfort of polished concrete flooring, too. Exposure to sunlight will help warm them. Concrete will help keep your establishment warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The use of darker colours on concrete floor can also decrease the perception of cold.
By combining the right techniques, your polished concrete floor can actually make for a more comfortable environment. You can also install underfloor heating to help keep things as warm or cool as you like.
Myth 5: Polished Concrete Is High-Maintenance
The origins of this myth are hard to explain—we’re not entirely sure why people believe polished concrete floors are high-maintenance. The myth may come from how carefully you need to install polished concrete flooring or how often you need to seal unpolished concrete floors.
The reality is the exact opposite of the myth; polished concrete floors are one of the easiest flooring systems to maintain. You need to sweep them with a soft broom regularly to avoid scratches from debris, and you should use a damp mop occasionally, but that’s about it. You don’t even need harsh cleaners (in fact, you want to actively avoid them). Maintenance couldn’t be easier!
Myth 6: Limited Design Options With Polished Concrete
This myth is entirely understandable. The common conception of polished concrete flooring is that it looks like concrete but polished. You’re getting grey or a different shade of grey—not the most customizable thing in the world, or so the myth would have you believe.
The reality is quite different. Polished concrete can be coloured and patterned to suit your needs, matching the branding of your commercial space. We can even add aggregates to give your polished concrete floor a terrazzo-like appearance; the possibilities are almost endless!
Myth 7: Polished Concrete Is a DIY Project
Out of all the myths on the list, this one is the worst. It goes something like this: All you have to do to get polished concrete is rent a diamond disc grinder and discs, start grinding away at your existing concrete flooring, and like that, you’ll have a polished concrete floor!
There is so much wrong with this myth that we could write an entire article on it. By polishing concrete flooring on your own, you:
- Will end up with a less beautiful floor
- Will end up with a less durable floor
- Risk hurting yourself
- Risk damaging your floors
- Risk spending more money on the rental for the tools than you would having the flooring installed professionally
Don’t polish your own concrete. Call the professionals.
Myth 8: Polished Concrete Is Uncomfortably Loud
This isn’t so much of a myth as it is a misconception. Polished concrete can indeed amplify noise in a room; it’s a hard surface, so sounds can bounce off of it. This doesn’t, however, make polished concrete flooring uncomfortably loud.
Indeed, polished concrete isn’t substantially louder than many other forms of flooring—though it may be louder than carpet or some other types of flooring. The best ways to reduce the amplification of polished concrete are:
- Install wall or ceiling material that help absorb sound
- Using soft furniture and other soft fixtures to dampen sound
- Moving things around in your space to decrease the echo effect
Most business owners won’t need to worry about any of this—the amplification effect of polished concrete flooring is rarely so bad that you need to make adjustments.
The myths about polished concrete are, at best, inaccurate and, at worst, completely unfounded or dangerous.
Polished concrete flooring is one of the most versatile, durable, low-maintenance, customizable flooring options on the market today. You can use polished concrete in almost any setting, and its durability and ease of maintenance make it one of the most affordable flooring options. By staying informed of what’s true and what’s myth, you can make a better decision about what flooring type works best for your business.
Think polished concrete floors might suit your needs? Call TCF West today.