The high gloss finish concrete floor polishing creates is a major attraction to today’s developers. Besides appearance, the attraction is compounded by the fact that polished floors usually don’t need to be waxed or coated. The protective finish for polished concrete makes polished floors more durable than non-polished floors.
From this reduced need for maintenance, polished floors save the owner of the building money and time. Seeing as concrete structures have the potential to exist for up to 100 years, the savings can continue for generations!
Which floors can be polished?
All concrete floors with sufficient structural integrity can be polished. A newly constructed floor requires to have been in place for at least 28 days for polishing to take place.
If you know beforehand that you are going to polish your concrete, you should have a smooth finish on the concrete. Such a finish will help you reduce the amount of time and materials you use when polishing.
Existing floors pose some unique challenges for polishing. After being used over time, they gather dirt, grease, and other impurities. To polish them, you need to remove the dirt and may need to perform invisible concrete crack repair.
If the floor is too soft, it will be difficult for you to polish it. A floor is considered too soft to polish if it has a comprehensive strength of less than C25 (25MPA). Such floors wear out the resin diamond abrasives used to polish them and require a lot more sealant or water-based pore filler to cover the porous sections.
Application of this sealant is a bit like working to achieve invisible concrete crack repair on the entire floor. In some instances, it is necessary to add substantial amounts of concrete densifier.
All these additions require time and money. To avoid these challenges, a concrete floor set for polishing should meet the necessary standards for polishing during construction.
Now that you know which concrete floors you can polish, let’s take a look at the different floor design options available.
Staining gives your floor a polished appearance that is unlike the opaque look that comes with painting. This finish is referred to as staining because the process infuses different shades of color into the floor. Staining may pose a challenge for cracked floors. This is because it makes it difficult to attain a truly invisible concrete floor repair since the hue of the polish is uneven.
Unlike staining which allows subtle nuances, dyed concrete uses more vibrant colors. True concrete dyes are not made to withstand UV rays. This means that dyes are most suitable for polishing concrete floors inside.
Manufacturers have started using the word “dye” to refer to pigments that can be used for exterior floors. Although the pigments are not true dyes, the term is used for the benefit of the manufacturer. These pigments come in vibrant colors and they are UV stable.
Sometimes a person may prefer to use the ordinary color of concrete. When this option is preferred, the floor is thoroughly polished gray. This option is usually preferred when the owner wants an industrial finish. In most cases, the owner also wants to draw attention to what is in the room, such as vehicles or furniture in a showroom. Invisible concrete crack repair is easy to do on such floors as you can simply use plain gray filler to do the repair.
Patterned and Scored
Besides dyeing, polished concrete can be customized through engraving. This process creates an intricately detailed concrete floor. The patterns are usually etched into the concrete with special tools.
These patterns on the polished concrete floors cannot be erased, as they are carved in the concrete. This method of polishing, therefore, ensures that you have a sustainable polished concrete floor for long-term use.
As observed earlier, some concrete floors, such as soft floors, are difficult to polish. To circumvent this problem, you might want to use a polished concrete overlay. These overlays are usually easy to install and they are wallet-friendly. Polished overlay is, in a sense, the ultimate invisible concrete crack repair; whatever color filler you use to repair cracks, it becomes invisible once the overlay is put in place.