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Polished concrete is one of the most durable and versatile options for commercial and industrial flooring. The process transforms ordinary, dull, gray concrete into a resilient, reflective surface. Businesses frequently use concrete polishing for brighter space, a nonporous surface, easy cleaning, and even creativity. Logos and other floor designs can be added with color stains, saw cuts, or embedding objects into the concrete prior to polishing. Using specially designed polishers and careful procedures, Painters USA can produce the ideal polished concrete floor for any commercial or industrial setting.
What is concrete polishing?
Concrete polishing is the process of creating a reflective, finished gloss appearance on a normally dull concrete surface. Aside from giving concrete an intense shine, this process makes the concrete as dense and hard as possible. The procedure is relatively affordable, and has low maintenance compared to many other types of flooring.
How concrete floor polishing works
The process of concrete polishing involves prepping, grinding, hardening, and polishing your concrete floor. At Painters USA, we recommend that you select a provider who has experience because, if not done precisely right, your finished floor will have noticeable flaws.
Step 1: Prepping
The first step to your new industrial polished concrete floors involves sealing cracks with an epoxy or other semi-rigid filler, and removing any existing coatings.
Step 2: Grinding
Next, the concrete floor needs to be ground with several levels of an abrasive to remove stains and blemishes. There are several methods of grinding. Painters USA can do abrasive blasting, a versatile industrial cleaning technique that can smooth rough surfaces or roughen smooth surfaces. Another method we use is sandblasting with highly-pressurized sand for cleaning and smoothing.
Step 3: Hardening
At this point, a chemical hardener is applied to increase the concrete’s density and help provide extra protection from water and staining. Hard concrete also means a better polish in your end result.
Step 4: Polishing
The new surface is polished with diamond polishing equipment for varying degrees of shine. There are two forms of polishing:
- Wet polishing uses water to cool diamond abrasives and eliminate grinding dust. Water reduces friction and acts as a lubricant, which increases the polish’s lifetime. That said, the clean up is messy and must be collected and disposed in an environmental-friendly manner.
- Dry polishing is more common, as it saves water. Dry polishers are hooked up to dust-containment systems that vacuum up the mess as you polish. Another benefit of dry polishing is that it's less messy and time intensive than wet polishing.
Benefits of polished concrete floors
Easy to clean and maintain
Polished concrete resists chemicals, oils and other contaminants to prevent staining and microbial growth. In addition, it eliminates efflorescence caused by tiny dust particles that get pushed up to the surface through hydrostatic pressure. Easy maintenance means lower maintenance expenses and less down time.
Polished concrete is bright and reflective, contributing to a more pleasant atmosphere. Polished concrete can also be etched or stained for an infinite variety of visual effects. In commercial settings where you want a brilliant, mirror-like finish but can’t afford options like marble or granite, polished concrete is an economical alternative.
Extremely durable and safe
Polished concrete saves money on maintenance because it retains its superior qualities over regular concrete floors, which wear and chip over time. Professionally installed and maintained, polished concrete flooring can last 20 years or more. And while it seems like they would be dangerously slick, polished concrete floors often exceed OSHA floor standards as the process increases friction. For extra safety, anti-slip conditioners can be added.
Useful in both indoor and outdoor applications, consider polished concrete for lobbies, production floors, warehouses, corridors, patios and any area that requires durability and performance and would benefit from added reflectivity and aesthetic appeal.
Concrete and LEED
For LEED categories like recycled content and optimal energy performance, concrete can contribute to LEED credits. For LEED for Operations and Maintenance (O+M) purposes, polishing allows you to maintain existing concrete floors while enhancing operations and reducing energy and natural resource consumption. In addition, polished concrete typically contains no volatile organic compounds or VOCs.
Concrete polishing vs concrete staining
Although concrete staining and concrete polishing are both ways to spruce up concrete flooring, they differ in terms of implementation and maintenance. Concrete stains can come in an array of colors, and are often used to create patterns with stencils or marbling techniques. Staining is less expensive upfront than polishing, but it requires more upkeep. Staining is prone to scratching, especially in high-traffic areas, which eventually leads to discoloration.
For the best of both worlds, you can do both staining and then polishing. Acid staining burns color into concrete, so etching in the pre-polishing stage is unnecessary. Other stain products involve mechanical grinding before you polish. You can protect semi-transparent stains, acetone dye stains, or infusion acid stains by applying a clear coating on top.
Choose an experienced professional, as it’s important to know the best polishing and staining methods. Otherwise you’ll be stuck with unwanted consequences like visible imperfections. With decades of experience, you can rely on the ethics and expertise of Painters USA to steer you in the right direction for your concrete flooring needs.
Talk to a concrete polishing expert
Along with extensive concrete polishing experience, Painters USA offers many other benefits to our commercial and industrial clients:
- Familiarity with the latest in concrete polishing products and techniques.
- National account support and nationwide coverage, with single point of contact.
- On-site project managers oversee work performed by our own trained employees, with no oversight required on your part.
- Commitment to personal, friendly service and high customer satisfaction.
- Woman-owned and WBENC certified for possible tax advantages and vendor diversity.