Concrete Grinding And Polishing
Concrete is becoming the ultimate high demand no-wax flooring material. Thanks to recent advances in polishing equipment and techniques, contractors are now grinding concrete floor surfaces, whether new or old, to a high gloss finish that never requires waxes or coatings.
Concrete grinding enhances the superior durability and performances of concrete, therefore more retail, warehouse, and office facilities are opting for polished concrete flooring as an alternative to marble, granite, tile, linoleum or coated concrete . Even homeowners are attracted by the appeal of these smooth, high-lustre floors, which can be stained to replicate the look of polished stone.
Heavy-duty polishing machines equipped with progressively finer grits of diamond-impregnated segments or disks (akin to sandpaper) are used to gradually grind down surfaces to the desired degree of shine and smoothness. Power Industrial Flooring uses only the best machines available. HTC is a well-known manufacturer of grinding and polishing machines, tools and accessories.
Benefits of Polished Concrete
During the polishing process an internal impregnating sealer is applied. The sealer sinks into the concrete and is invisible to the naked eye. It not only protects the concrete from the inside out, it also hardens and densifies the concrete. This eliminates the need for a topical coating, which reduces maintenance significantly (versus if you had a coating on it).
Waxing the surface would be defeating the purpose of a fully polished floor. The concrete floor is already shiny; therefore there is no need to apply anything onto the floor that would then need maintenance.
Ease of maintenance is the key reason why many warehouses and retail facilities are opting for polished concrete. Polished floors are easy to clean and require only occasional damp mopping. They are extremely tolerant of heavy forklift and foot traffic. They eliminate the need for messy waxes or coatings, as well as the associated labour, time and expenses of application. Furthermore, the glossy surface resist the marks of forklift trucks tires and staining from oil and chemical spills.
The high reflectivity of polished concrete is another important benefit, especially for office buildings, hotels, restaurants and other public facilities which need to project a bright , clean professional image. Polished concrete is a particularly good alternative for homeowners and businesses which cannot afford marble or granite floors, but want the same brilliant, mirror-like finish.
Options with Polished Concrete
There is a wide variety of options available as far as colour of the concrete and stone exposure are concerned.
- Coloured aggregate can be added to the concrete mix or “seeded” into the top layer of the
mix. The polishing process will reveal the aggregate.
- Glass can be “seeded” into the mix. The polishing process will reveal the glass pieces .
- Nails, bolts, computer chips or any other objects can be seeded into the mix and the polished
- Inlays of company logos create an extraordinary result.
- Any of these options can be combined or made into a pattern.
Applications of Polished Concrete
Polishing is a multi-step process; therefore customers can choose the level of sheen, from satin to highgloss that meets their maintenance and aesthetic requirements. This versatility makes polished concrete an ideal flooring material for a variety of applications:
- Large warehouses and warehouse outlets
- Retail stores
- Hotel and restaurants
- Office Buildings
- Auto showrooms
- Private residences
Maintaining the Shine
Although minimal effort and expense is required to keep polished concrete shiny, some regular care is necessary. A basic maintenance program of occasional dusting to remove grit and damp mopping with a neutral cleaner to enhance the shine is recommended. Some manufacturers sell special cleaners and conditioners for polished concrete that not only clean the surface, but also leave behind a dirt-resistant film. These products can be applied with a mop or auto scrubber and do not require buffing.
With basic cleaning, polished concrete should keep its luster for years. Eventually though , the shine may dull, especially in high traffic areas. Fortunately, it is easy to restore the gleam. Sometimes simply buffing the floor with a commercial polishing compound will do the trick. Should more touch-up be necessary, the floors can be lightly repolished with a fine-grit abrasive.
Is Polished Concrete Slippery? Polished Concrete Flooring
Kept clean and dry, polished concrete floors are generally no slicker that plain concrete surfaces and they tend to be less slippery that waxed linoleum or polished marble. Public facilities which need to provide extra protection against slip-and-fall accidents can treat polished floors with anti-slip conditioners. There products contain special additives designed to improve traction and make wet surfaces safer. It must be re-applied periodically, but can simple be mopped on during routine cleaning.
The Logical Choice
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