What is Polished Concrete?

Polished concrete is becoming more and more popular… but what is it?

The Answer…

‘Polished concrete is a superior interior design option for surfaces that leaves other options in the shade.’

The Polished Concrete Story

Although polished concrete has been around for quite some time, it is still relatively unknown, or misunderstood here in the UK, with very few providers able to offer high quality finished surfaces.

Compare that to the USA, where polished concrete has almost become a mainstream interior design option. It’s pretty popular in Australia too.

Seeing is Believing!

For people that have never seen a polished concrete surface, there is a real ‘Wow! Factor’ in seeing one with your own eyes.

 

With polished concrete floors there is an instinctive expectation to slip or slide, that quickly turns to surprise as the floor provides genuine grip underfoot.

What can you expect from a polished concrete floor?

  • Seamless beauty
  • Choice of finishes* – whilst remaining unique every time
  • Safe non-slip surface – even on the shiniest of finishes
  • Low maintenance
  • Environmentally-friendly finish
  • Long-lifespan
  • Solutions for different budgets

How is the Polished Concrete Effect Achieved?

 

True polished concrete is referred to as mechanically diamond processed concrete. This is where the surface is honed using progressively finer diamond abrasives, along with the treatment of grouts (excluding cream finishes) and chemical densifiers during the process, which will give added stain resistance, wear resistance, reduced dusting and a much better all-round finish. The surface is then polished using diamond abrasives until the desired gloss level is met, the floor is then sealed. There is, however, so much more to polished concrete than this, every slab is different and a different approach needs to taken accordingly.

This process is not to be confused with a grind and seal (topical finish) where the surface is ground, scratches removed and then sealed using a topical sealer/guard coat to manipulate the look of a true mechanical polished concrete floor, the shine is created through the sealer, not honed using diamonds and so will require a lot more maintenance. Mechanically processed concrete is incomparable to the ‘grind and seal’ approach in durability and aesthetics.

The way the styles are achieved depends on the level of surface removed, for example, with a cream finish (surface finish) none of the surface is removed as we are solely polishing what is there. For a salt and pepper floor, the top (1mm) is removed to expose the fine sands and aggregates. For a full aggregate finish, the slab is heavily ground to expose a larger area of the stones. (no-one can guarantee the aggregate exposure).

*Note: Your choice of finishes can be influenced by many factors including whether or not you conduct any planning before your concrete is installed. To learn more about how you can influence the outcome of your polished concrete floor, read our blog post: 50 Shades of Grey.