How we get our gleaming concrete floors polished finish
If you think of concrete as grey and industrial, you will be surprised to learn that as a contender for a flooring option in a home, that it is increasing in popularity.
Sustainable, durable and hygienically clean, polished concrete floors look anything but grey, bland or industrial (unless you want the industrial look…?)
Visually appealing with a high sheen, they are quick and easy to keep clean. Although they are often touted as ‘maintenance-free’ this is not quite the case.
To maintain the shine and the polish, you need to spend some time on keeping the shine.
This is how we suggest you keep your concrete floors looking polished… because it is how we do it:
#1 Regular maintenance or cleaning
Understanding how concrete reacts to abrasive dirt, people constantly walking on it, things being dragged across it etc., all help in ensuring basic daily or frequent tasks are carried out. Regularly sweeping and mopping your floor will help.
- Walk-off and on mats that will trap a large amount of dust and dirt – great at exterior doors
- Clean up spills as soon as possible to prevent staining and etching
- Sweep every day
- Use a pH neutral clean with a bucket of warm water and a mop
Doing these four this on a regular basis will ensure that your floor remains looking shiny and fabulous for as long as possible. However, with use the floor will begin to dull and when this happens, move on to step 2.
#2 Mechanical maintenance
You may not have diamond-impregnated pads hanging around to fit a large industrial type polishing machine but a reputable concrete flooring company will.
This is one way by which we look to heighten the shine on a polished concrete floor. The pads for auto-scrubbing machines, as they are sometimes known, come in all shapes and sizes. They can be a synthetic pad, or can be made from natural hair fibres sprayed with diamond powders. Some pads are used dry but others will need to be dampened before use. These will give the high, sheen polish of a newly laid concrete floor.
#3 Chemical cleaning and maintenance
Thirdly, understanding chemistry also means that you can prolong the life of a concrete floor by hardening the surface – this contributes to its robustness at being able to withstand all kinds of uses as well as durability.
Commonly known as conditioners, these chemicals contain and array of mineral compounds such as silicates, calcium and potassium that all work together with various other substances and elements already present in the concrete to give this outermost layer of protection.
The action that dulls the shine of a concrete floor is abrasion. This is the process whereby two materials rub against each other, which invariably leads to at least one of the materials becoming worn. In the case of concrete floors, it may be that they are not so much damaged but the process of abrasion causes the top polished layer to be worn away.
If you decide to use these conditioners or chemicals yourself, you will need to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. It is important to note that many of these conditioners are sold in a concentrated form, meaning they will need to be diluted with water. This is done to save on delivery chargers mainly, but is also helpful for those companies who chemically polish concrete floors as part of their service to customers.
Is it only new concrete floor that can be polished?
Many people think that in order to gain the high gloss finish that the floor needs to be new or relatively freshly laid. This is not the case – any structurally sound concrete floor can be polished.
With new floors, we suggest they are in place for 28 days before polishing as this allows for curing – the process of concrete ‘drying’ or letting go of its moisture. The smoother the floor, the less likely it will need to be re-polished on a regular basis as regular cleaning, as highlighted above, will keep the shine.
Decorative concrete floors, those that have a pattern etched in to them tend to be more porous thus, polishing is not always as routine.
Polished concrete floors are perfect in so many ways – a bright, shiny surface that will make a room feel bigger and better still, you have this shininess without the floor being slippery.