Long-term readers of the blog will know that we’re a qualified concrete polishing company. What they might not know is what exactly that means; what is polished concrete, what is the process for polishing concrete, and why is it a good solution for many businesses? Today, we’ll elucidate all of these points, and you’ll see all of the benefits of polished concrete flooring systems. Let’s dive in!
To understand polished concrete, you first need to understand some of the qualities of unpolished concrete. Concrete is a mix of Portland cement, aggregate (rocks, gravel, sand, etc.) and water. This mix of components yields a very durable, but very porous material and one that can be a bit rough. There’s a lot of reasons for this; the aggregates are spaced apart, so while concrete is porous, it’s not hyper-permeable, and the loose configuration of the aggregates in the concrete lends to its rough texture. For many structures, this is fine; we’re not worried about how smooth the surface of a concrete building is, say, and porousness isn’t as big an issue when water isn’t prone to accumulating in a particular spot. With floors, smoothness is important, as are aesthetics (raw concrete isn’t always the most pleasing to the eye); we also want to reduce porousness, as water can pool on floors.
Polished concrete is the solution to all of these problems. When concrete is polished, it is ground down using finer and finer grinding tools until the surface is incredibly smooth. During the grinding process, a hardener, known as a concrete densifier, is used to fill in pores and make the concrete more impermeable. The result is a smooth surface that is not prone to causing dust, making its texture both more walkable and more friendly to folks with allergies. It’s this “mechanical process” that is ‘sealing’ the floor; as opposed to applying a coating. You might wonder how concrete is ground down, considering how tough the stuff is; the answer is with diamonds! When the polishing is complete; optional sealers can be applied as well to give the polished concrete a wide variety of useful properties, most of which you can learn about by reading through other blog posts.
One of the greatest advantages of polished concrete is its eco-friendliness. You might have old concrete floors that don’t look as nice as you’d like; that very same concrete floor, in good repair, can be polished to look absolutely incredible, with new colours and a smooth surface. Reclaimed concrete can also be used to create polished concrete floors, for added green benefits. Anytime we can recycle or reuse old materials, we’re doing the environment a favour, and given that concrete is the most consumed material other than water, it’s in our best interests to find ways to preserve and elevate concrete.
There are so many different ways to use polished concrete in your building, if you’re thinking of doing a redesign it’s well worth your time to look at polishing. Durable, endlessly customizable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective; polished concrete truly is a designer’s dream.