How can I actually get a polished concrete floor? What do I need to know?
The flooring of your home (or commercial premises) is important. It not only provides warmth, but colour and texture to a space.
But, the ‘state’ of your flooring can also be indicative of your home in general, or so people feel. Imagine if you entered a restaurant, for example, and was greeted by the sight of an old carpet, with stains and sticky patches that gave the interior a rather unpleasant odour – would you eat there?
In our homes, the same is true – everything is on the floor and lands on the floor, from muddy footprints to spilled food. Our children play on the floor, they lounge about it, they sit on it and, in the case of young families, they learnt to crawl and walk on it.
As much as you can, you sweep, vacuum and clean the fibres of carpets and rugs, as well as the other floor coverings in your home but, are they withstanding this constant daily ‘abuse’ of people, feet, life and cleaning?
And with the expense of some of these floor coverings, you would expect them to last much longer, and in a much more robust way… but there is an answer in terms of both performance and cost. A polished concrete floor can cost a lot less than many other materials, and last a lot longer too – performing better, looking glossy and new for a long time!
How do you get a polished concrete floor?
Hugely popular, a polished concrete floor looks simply stunning, a unique installation at your home or business that is also hard wearing and low maintenance; there are not many premium floor surfaces that perform so well, for such little cost.
But, isn’t all concrete grey and dull?
No, concrete has an amazing ability, with the right processes, to shine in full gloss glory in a home or business for a long time, but getting your hands on a polished concrete floor will be one of two scenarios: you are either creating a new floor in a newly built property or extension, or you are laying a concrete floor on an existing floor.
A new floor
When laying a new concrete floor, the option is quite simple and straightforward – unless you have the skills and equipment, it is always advised to bring in the services of a professional concrete floor company.
Once the under layers of your new floor are laid – the insulation and under floor heating, for example – concrete of around 100mm in thickness is poured over the top. The floor needs to be well laid, flat and smooth, with all the marks left by tools and gauges, along with tamp marks and ripples are removed.
Covering an existing floor
This is also possible but just like a new floor, the foundation of the new concrete floor needs to be prepared and ready for the pouring of concrete on top. In this scenario, the top layer of concrete may be slightly thinner but still as robust. You need to be aware, however, that pouring concrete on top on timber floors is not possible. In this case, it is always best when laying concrete over an existing floor that you seek specialist services.
How is concrete actually polished?
Once the concrete is laid and thoroughly dry, a top layer of a chemical densifier is added and this is then polished, with increasingly finer grinding tools. In most cases, these grinding pads will have fine diamond particles encrusted in them, creating a buffed and glossy look to your concrete floor.
Already have a concrete floor? Does it need a revamp?
Many homes and businesses already have concrete floors but they may be hidden away under only flooring coverings such as linoleum or carpet, as well as years of grime and dirt.
If you do have an ‘old’ concrete floor, this is a find! You will also be pleased to know that polishing it back to its former glory is not something that will take endless hours, or a pot full of cash.
Once clean, the chemical densifier can be added and one again, ground and buffed to create an amazingly beautiful floor, that is robust, sturdy and incredibly strong.
The quality of concrete dictates everything!
However, what can happen is that everyone thinks they have the ability to create glossy concrete floors but, you must remember that the quality of the concrete will dictate the overall finish of the polished floor. In this sense, hiring a reputable company, proficient and specialist in pouring and buffing concrete floors is the best way forward…