Polished concrete floors can be found in many commercial buildings including warehouses, storage facilities, restaurants, repair garages, office buildings, and retail stores. There are good reasons for this widespread use. Here are five ways polished concrete creates an excellent work surface:
Concrete polishing systems include treatment of the concrete’s surface with a concrete filler. This filler contains resins that seal the concrete. As a result, spills, whether they come from food, motor oil, acids, or chemical solvents, cannot penetrate the sealed surface. Instead, they will pool on top of the surface.
This seal not only preserves the appearance of the polished concrete floor, but allows for easy clean-up. Most substances can be easily wiped from the sealed concrete surface without leaving behind any stains or residues. For stubborn spills, such as dried paint, the concrete floor can be re-polished to remove the surface blemish.
Smooth, dry surfaces have more surface tension than rough surfaces. This is the reason you hear squeaking on basketball courts. The smooth polished wood surface gives a basketball player’s shoes the grip they need to keep the player from slipping and sliding across the court.
Polished concrete floors work the same way. Polished concrete provides a high amount of surface tension to grip your employees’ shoes to prevent slips and falls. Moreover, polished concrete releases this surface tension easily as your employees walk on it. This is different from a rough surface that may grip your employees’ shoes, but also create a tripping hazard when it does not readily release them.
The benefits of a polished work surface are even more profound on tires, such as carts and forklifts. The polished surface provides the grip needed to operate the vehicle safely, but does not wear the tires the way a rough surface would. This means the polished surface could save you the time and cost of replacing tires as frequently as would be required for a rough concrete surface.
Concrete is a sustainable and environmentally friendly building material. Concrete structures can last over 100 years, thereby extending the time for replacement far beyond a wood or metal structure.
When polishing concrete, a water based pore filler is used. This means that the unused pore filler has little to no environmental impact when it is disposed of. Moreover, the pore filler does not release toxic fumes or vapors when it is applied. This creates a sustainable polished concrete floor that is safe for installers as well as the employees who will use the work surface every day.
Stronger and Harder
Polished concrete is stronger and harder than most other flooring options, including unpolished concrete. The concrete pore filler reinforces the surface of the concrete so that it is less prone to cracking and chipping.
From an engineering perspective, concrete is strong against compression forces, but weak against tension forces. However, the resins in the pore filler resist tensile forces that tend to pull concrete apart. By combining the tensile strength of the resins with the compression strength of the concrete, the treated concrete floor is much stronger than an untreated floor.
Cheap and Easy to Maintain
Commercial buildings exist to make money. Any money you spend on maintenance can and will reduce the profitability of the commercial building. This is not to say that you should skimp on the necessary maintenance. However, the prudent commercial building owner will avoid any unnecessary maintenance.
Wood flooring, tiles, and carpet have a short lifespan and, when damaged, must be replaced. Extensive damage, or preparing commercial space for a new tenant, may require wholesale replacement of the entire floor covering. Even if your tenant turnover is relatively low, this can be an expensive prospect.
Polished concrete, on the other hand, is both easy and inexpensive to maintain. Whether you need to repair a damaged floor or touch up the entire floor for a new tenant, you do not need to replace anything. Rather, you use a concrete crack repair kit to fix any deep damage, then re-polish the floor. After one or two passes with a resin diamond abrasive or metal bond diamond abrasive pad, the floor will look like new.
Polished concrete floors make excellent work surfaces due to their durability, sustainability, and low cost to install and maintain.