As the technology and techniques available to us in how we produce and treat concrete have grown, so too has the range of concrete that you can buy for your home or have installed within your office. The process of polishing concrete is one such technique that has improved over the years to produce a finished article that resembles something of much higher cost.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the process used to give polished concrete its attractive and glossy appearance.
Sanding and Grinding
Similar to the way in which you would sand down a piece of wood, concrete surfaces are smoothed down and polished with the use of high-power tools which have abrasive discs attached to them.
The idea is to remove all of the pits, blemishes, marks and stains that are present within the surface. Once complete, another set of grindings discs are used which progressively remove imperfections within a concrete surface until a smooth and shiny finish is left.
To polish an existing concrete floor, you must:
- Evaluate the condition and quality of the concrete finish. Large chunks of broken concrete are undesirable and will need to be repaired before polishing can begin. The hardness of the concrete also needs to be checked to ensure that it satisfies the minimum hardness requirements to be successfully polished.
- Any existing sealants and coatings will first need to be removed. Any surface cracks will need to be filled and then grinded down to match the rest of the surface.
- The floor can then be sanded down with the use of a preliminary grinding disc which prepares the concrete surface for the smoothing process. These abrasive discs contain small diamonds which assist in the sanding process due to them being harder than concrete.
- Once sanded to a satisfactory level, the final surface smoothing process can begin which employs the use of ever finer abrasive discs which serve to remove any final superficial imperfections and provide that desirable glossy look.
Post Polishing Treatment
Once the grinding and sanding process has been completed, it is always recommended that the concrete surface is densified to protect it further and ensure longevity. The densifying process specifically protects a polished solid concrete floor against water penetration and staining, useful for areas that will see high levels of foot traffic.
Densifying involves the use of a chemical based liquid hardener which is applied uniformly across the concrete floor. This chemical solution bonds to the floor, and once dry, won’t be visible.
Locate a Concrete Polishing Specialist
The number of companies offering concrete polishing services across Australia has expanded rapidly since the 1990’s. Perth polished concrete can be procured from several different suppliers based in Perth who serve the surrounding districts. The costs will vary depending on whether a new floor is installed or whether an existing floor is being treated, as well as the type of aggregate installed. What you will find is that the costs are comparable to the installation of a high quality hard wood floor.
Polished concrete floors make a great alternative to a coat of resin or a layer of vinyl so give it some consideration the next time you’re refurbishing.