Polished concrete gives your space a high-luster finish that’s easy to maintain. They’re ideal for a modern, industrial aesthetic. However, if you have plain concrete floors, you may not know whether or not you can polish concrete. Perhaps you think that your only option for glossy floors is to have a floor coating installed.
Beautiful and durable as floor coatings are, you don’t need them in order to give your dull, drab concrete a makeover. You can indeed polish concrete. Here is what you need to know about why this is a great option, how to do it, and a great product to use.
Concrete floors on their own give your place an industrial look. However, there are some issues with them. They can be stained by spilled beverages, oil, gasoline, and more. They can generate dust. Plus, they’re not very reflective, which can affect the safety of your space.
Polished concrete is a sustainable option. This is because it is low-maintenance, with no need to wax. They can also minimize dust generation and allergen issues. Since they are reflective, this means that they provide ambient lighting, which can help you see, something that is especially important in workplaces.
You can both DIY polished concrete and hire a professional to come out and do the job for you. As with most home improvement jobs that involve equipment and chemicals, this job is best left to professionals for your safety and to ensure that it’s done correctly.
Many people compare polishing concrete to sanding wood. This is because in order to get that polish, you need to grind the surface of your concrete down. This is to eliminate any stains and blemishes and to smooth out the floor.
There are two different ways to polish concrete: dry polishing and wet polishing.
This is what most professionals and DIYers do in order to polish concrete. This involves using machines with dust-containment systems like specialized HEPA vacuums in order to prevent air contamination.
This is when people use water in order to control the amount of dust grinding generates. It also cools the diamond discs, which minimizes friction. This works for large areas. It does create slurry, which people must ensure is cleaned away in the proper manner.
There are several essential steps involved in the concrete polishing process. The condition of your concrete plays a role here. New concrete needs time to cure before you can polish it while existing concrete needs to have any surface damage addressed first. Professionals know how to assess the concrete in order to do the job correctly, as no two jobs are the same.
Generally, some of the steps involved in concrete polishing include:
Some people combine wet and dry polishing in their work, while others prefer one method over the other. The space can affect which option would work best.
Your concrete floor may not be suitable for polishing if it has a lot of waves, is not flat, needs a lot of patching, or is very porous. If this is the case, concrete polishing contractors will go over your options with you.
When you polish concrete, it’s an extensive process. If you are DIYing it, it can be both expensive and dangerous, as you need to rent equipment and learn how to contain the dust. Professionals undergo extensive training to know what is needed to polish concrete and how to do so safely.
However, there’s an easier way to get those shiny floors you’ve had your heart set on. Stone Edge Surfaces has a PolishSet Self-Leveler. It is a polishable concrete overlay that can be applied and sealed for a beautiful finish. When used with our ColorSet method, the PolishSet Self-Leveler can look like epoxy.It can also accept aggregate, shell, colored glass, and more, to give you the terrazzo effect.
This product is currently in beta testing and is not yet available. We demoed it at Concrete World. Keep an eye out for its release, and when it does, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.