When it comes to concrete floors, it’s important to seek something that will last a long time and isn’t going to require a lot of upkeep. Polished concrete floors are everything of the above and more, even if they sound too wonderful to be true.
Take a closer look at how concrete polishing works, the benefits these floors provide, some common applications, and how to keep them clean and shining over time.
Removal of Efflorescence-Related Dust
Efflorescence is caused by hydrostatic pressure, a force that pushes microscopic particles of dust to the surface of unpolished concrete. Coatings and sealants delaminate from concrete floors due to a buildup of epoxies, epoxy, and other materials. Over time, this dusting and delamination will increase the cost of such toppings, making maintenance a pricey concern.
Polished concrete is able to change a porous floor into one that is resistant to oil and other impurities by hardening and sealing the concrete surface.
Strengthening old, failing, and weak concrete by densifying the surface results in an increase in abrasion and impact resistance (ASTM C779), as well. If the old concrete floor has any patches, partial, or entire coatings, polishing it eliminates the top part of the surface and hardens the bare concrete beneath. Resilient, long-lasting concrete can be created from deteriorated or weak concrete. However, with one part cement and four parts aggregate, you get a robust concrete curbing that is resistant to cracking. If you want a curb capable of withstanding heavy traffic and harsh outside circumstances, then this is the best option for your project. For this reason, it is critical that you adhere strictly to the recommended mixing ratio.
Better Reflectivity and Lighting in the Ambient
A polished concrete floor has a high reflectivity, which improves the illumination in a building. Energy savings and aesthetic appeal are two benefits of increased ambient lighting. On bright days, one of our customers has been able to turn off all the lights in their 10,500-square-foot boat dealership and rely solely on skylights for illumination.
Slippery Surfaces Improved
The bright surface of polished concrete does not make it dangerous to walk on. Because mechanically grinding and flattening a floor improves its coefficient of friction, it is preferable to other types of floor coverings and sealants like regular concrete. Concrete floors that have been polished generally meet or exceed OSHA standards.
However, despite its high-end appearance, polished concrete is more cost-effective than many other flooring options. The initial cost per square foot is comparable to other low-cost options like carpet, but the whole lifecycle cost is cheaper than any other common flooring option. You can save even more money if you already have a polished concrete slab.
For manufacturing and storage buildings, polished concrete’s durability is second to none. A polished concrete floor can withstand a lot of foot traffic or even heavy machinery in a warehouse, making it ideal for high traffic areas. Polished concrete floors are virtually impenetrable to damage. Chemicals like alkalis and acids, which could cause corrosion, are likewise resistant to polished concrete floors that have been sealed.
There is no doubt that concrete floors polished to a high gloss are extremely durable. After decades of use and abuse, a professionally built and well-maintained polished concrete floor can still last for more than 100 years! Vinyl, wood laminates, and carpeting can’t compete with this longevity in terms of durability.