A polished concrete floor is a thing of beauty. Left its natural colour, it’s slick and futuristic. With added colours, textures, pictures and patterns, a polished concrete floor can become anything you want it to be.
Glossy, Satin or Matte?
Let’s start with the most basic type of variation: the reflectiveness of the finish. Concrete is naturally a pleasant light grey. Polished and left matte, it has a subtle beauty, calm and simple. With a satin finish, it looks richer and more sophisticated. With a glossy finish, it’s sleek, highly reflective and ultra-modern.
Adding Colour and Texture
Next, consider the addition of colour and textural effects. A solid colour can tone the floor up or down. Use a medium or dark neutral colour to coordinate with other natural materials. Or, you can use any colour or combination of colours, bright or subdued, to work with your architectural or decorating concept. A polished concrete floor can be pop art green or antiqued red, speckled brown or bright white.
Patterns and Images
Finally, a polished concrete floor, if it’s a new installation or a new topping, can be impregnated with patterns and images. Imagine a terrazzo effect, an art deco pattern, or an embellished version of your company logo. There is no limit to what you can do.
Polished concrete floors have become more and more popular in the past few decades. Is it because of their beauty? Their versatility? No doubt both play a role. However, the fact is that polished concrete floors are the simplest solution for creating an attractive floor finish on a concrete slab, and in design, the simplest solution is often the best.
A Logical Choice
Polished concrete floors project a no-nonsense, professional image. In polished concrete, form follows function. The structure of the floor is enhanced to act as the finished surface, as well. It’s an efficient and sensible choice.
A Beautiful Choice
However, don’t think for a minute that polished concrete floors have to be plain or boring. They can be impregnated with colours, patterns and images. A polished concrete floor can display your company logo in all its glory, right inside (or outside) your main entrance. It can mimic the appearance of a complex tile mosaic or a terrazzo surface. Because concrete is a natural material, it will never look cheap or second rate when it’s been properly finished and polished. Your customers will be immediately impressed by the appearance of your floors, but they’ll also know that they were a good business decision, the kind that they can expect from your company.
Why have polished concrete floors become so popular in the last 20 years? It’s partly because there are so many ways to create an attractive and durable surface with polished concrete. However, it’s also because of the monetary and environmental value of the technique.
Polished concrete floors are a good value
Anyone looking to renovate or remodel an existing home or commercial building – or construct a new one – is going to be concerned with cost. The fact is, it’s cheaper in both the short term and the long term to put a little extra work into a durable material that’s part of the building structure, rather than adding another layer on top of it. You pay for the labour once. Maintenance is simple and inexpressive, and the polished concrete floor may well last as long as the building itself. There are no replacement costs.
Polished concrete floors are a sustainable solution
Concrete, although it’s an all-natural material, does have a considerable environmental cost. However, concrete slabs need to be built whether or not they’re used as the final floor surface. The fact is, the best way to save energy and resources is to conserve them. With polished concrete, you don’t need carpeting, tile or wood. The energy that would have been used extracting, manufacturing and transporting the floor finish is saved.
Polished concrete is a popular floor surface for industrial, commercial and even residential applications. Its most fundamental benefit is simplicity. In buildings with a structural concrete floor or a concrete slab on grade, polished concrete is a way to make the floor’s structure serve double duty as a finish material. That means that additional materials such as wood, tile, vinyl or carpeting are not needed. The elimination of the extra materials saves money and eliminates the energy use and emissions associated with extracting, manufacturing and transporting the materials.
Polished concrete floors offer a variety of design options. Polishing plain, grey concrete gives it a luminous high-tech look. However, it is also possible to add colour and texture to polished concrete floors. They can mimic terrazzo, stone and tile, or they can have a look all their own. It’s possible to incorporate patterns and pictures into polished concrete. When a concrete floor or topping is installed specifically for polishing, then creative aggregates, such as decorative stone pieces or bits of metal, can be added.
Polished concrete is also long lasting and easy to maintain. Compared to the alternatives, it’s a low cost option in the long term.
Concrete is a common structural material for the floors of all kinds of buildings, especially large and multi-storey buildings. It’s becoming very common for polished concrete to be included as the final floor surface in the original specification for new buildings. This allows the concrete slab to be topped off with a dense layer that includes a decorative aggregate like granite, marble, glass or metal, a colorant, or an integral pattern or texture. A new concrete floor can be designed to incorporate any of the options in polished concrete.
However, what about all of the existing concrete slabs that up until now, were covered with carpet, vinyl, tile or wood, or that were left rough looking? Yes, even older, imperfect concrete floors can be ground and polished to a fine finish. The process of grinding and polishing the concrete will improve the appearance of the surface, and some types of polished concrete finishes are actually improved by natural imperfections. Alternatively, the floor can be topped with a new layer of concrete that will leave it just as perfect looking and just as adaptable as a brand new floor.
Polished concrete is a stunning, durable and stylish option for both new and existing concrete slabs.
You’ll be impressed by the effects that can be achieved by treating and polishing an ordinary concrete slab. A polished concrete floor can be cool and futuristic or warm and organic. It can be simple or ornate. It can bring out the natural beauty in concrete, or it can imitate stone, tile or terrazzo.
Of course, a polished concrete floor is a durable and practical choice for warehouses, industrial facilities and large retail operations. However, it can also be a great choice for an office, a smaller shop or even a luxury home. Click over to our gallery to see the full range of effects that we can create starting with an ordinary concrete floor. Best of all, every one of these floors is easy to maintain and can last for as long as the building it’s in.
A polished concrete floor surface can be created on an existing concrete slab, on a retrofitted concrete topping, or on a concrete surface in a newly constructed building. When a new slab or topping is installed with a polished finish in mind, colorants or decorative aggregates may be incorporated into the wet concrete. When an existing slab in used, the design options are slightly more limited.
The first step in polishing a concrete floor is to grind it with diamond-gritted discs. Sometimes, this is followed by the application a thin coating of grout, which will fill bubbles and cracks in the surface.
After several more rounds of polishing, the floor is treated with a densifier, also referred to as a hardener. The densifier may be a high solids lithium silicate, a sodium silicate or a potassium silicate. It will make the polished surface more durable and more resistant to stains.
Finally, the floor is sanded with very fine quality diamond pads, to give it a rich, even tone and texture. The polishing process generally consists of four to eight iterations, depending on the process needed for the slab being polished and on the planned appearance of the final result. For example, a matt surface might require with a 100 grit finish, while a high gloss finish might require 3000 grit and considerably more work. Concrete polishing can be done with either a wet or dry surface.
Frank will be happy to answer your questions, whether you know you’re looking for a concrete polishing contractor, or if you’re just considering polished concrete as one of several options. He can help you decide whether polished concrete is the right option for your floor, and he can help you choose the technique and finish that will meet your aesthetic and functional requirements. If you do choose polished concrete, then the CRC can deliver exactly the polished concrete surface you’re looking for on time and on budget.
Polished concrete floors are becoming more and more popular in new buildings because of their beauty, practicality and durability. Many people are already familiar with the luminous, high tech appearance of plain polished concrete. It gives an efficient, futuristic look to any workplace or facility. However, polished concrete offers design options far beyond glossy grey. Its ability to take on a variety of colours, patterns and aggregates makes it a perfect choice for many decorating schemes.
With warm toned colorants, polished concrete can take on an organic appearance that harmonises with other natural materials like wood and bamboo. Polished concrete can mimic stone, tile and terrazzo. With special aggregates, it can feature specks of stone, glass and metal. The cracks in an existing, imperfect concrete floor can be design elements. Finally, colorants can be used to create beautiful patterns and pictures, from corporate logos to mosaics.
With warm or cool tones, a plain or decorated surface, and a matte or glossy finish, the appearance of a polished concrete floor is limited only by the designer’s imagination.
With polished concrete growing in popularity, more contractors than ever are looking for work in concrete polishing. However few companies can match the expertise that Frank, the director of Melbourne’s Concrete Rejuvenating Company (CRC), has acquired over almost two decades of experience. Frank has created polished concrete floors of every type for clients in every sector. He trains his employees personally, and they benefit from his knowledge
CRC is a well established company that specialises in concrete grinding and concrete polishing. Because working with concrete floor is their primary – and only – business, CRC will always have the best and most up to date equipment and techniques at their disposal. Rather than trying to persuade you to choose a floor surface from a limited number of options, CRC will be focused on creating exactly the floor surface you want and need.