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Polished Concrete Floors

Updated on February 18, 2008

Polished Concrete is a stunning alternative to marble or granite tile and costs less than good carpet or a wood floor.

You may even have seen something similar on your local home improvement store floor. What we are speaking of here though is a mirror -like finish that is stylish, durable and better yet, cost-effective. This process requires only simple and inexpensive methods to maintain and doesn't require rewaxing or recoating as used in other methods, thus saving you time and money in the long term.

The concrete is polished through a series of progressive steps using abrasives and diamonds to create a floor with the look and feel of polished stone. If you don't like the color of your grey concrete it can be changed to just about any color in the rainbow. The look of the floor when colored (dyed) will be a somewhat uniform color as opposed to the mottled varegated look of an acid stained concrete floor.

Benefits: 1.Creates a no or low maintenance floor solution (0ccasional damp mop using a neutral cleaner)

2.Fork lift tire marks and dusting of the floor are eliminated or greatly reduced

3.Reduces and/or eliminates penetrating by oil, water and other substances

4.Meets or exceeds normal slip resistant standards Increases ambient lighting thus reducing your lighting costs

5.Creates a denser surface and therefore your floor will be more abrasion resistant-lasts longer, this is especially helpful in warehouse and industrail situations

Polished concrete is fast becoming the flooring solution of choice for Big Box stores and home improvement centers across North America. It has been estimated that this industry will have steady growth in excess of 20% per year for the next 5-10 years. The reason for this is the longevity of the product and low ongoing maintenance costs. Compared to most all other flooring options polished concrete is comparable to just slightly higher in installation costs and 70-80% lower in on-going maintenacne costs.

Couple that with the fact that polished concrete reflects light like no other floor and you can see why this will cut down on energy costs when store and home lights do not have to be kept on so brightly. It also makes for a safer environment when increased lighting is available.

Polished concrete floors are very durable however; they are not impervious to scratches, chips, or staining. This is a finished floor system and must be treated as such.

Walk off floor mats are recommended at entrances to help alleviate the problem of salts being introduced to the surface. A stain resist product will be applied to the surface which helps protect against water and oil based stains.

There are two types of spills/stains that you should be aware of:

Reactive Spills - These are acidic spills (like orange juice) that will etch the surface of the floor if not cleaned in a timely manner.

Penetrating Spills (like red wine or oil) actually attach to the concrete pores and leave a dark or colored spot. Again, this can be minimized if cleaned up in a timely fashion.

Polished concrete floors have no sealers or waxes. For best results a maintenance schedule should be followed:

Polished concrete floors should be cleaned using a neutral ph cleaner.

Application of cleaner can be with a mop or auto scrubber (use only white non abrasive pad) Allow floor to dry and dry buff with white non abrasive pad.

Cleaning schedules will vary depending on traffic. In very high traffic areas, like a home improvement, hardware or grocery store the floor should be cleaned every night. In other applications, such as an office, a schedule of twice per week should be sufficient.

In a home once a week should be enough. A simple dust mopping is all that is required.

For more examples and pictures visit Concrete Designs & Resurfacing

Studio G
Studio G
RAS Systems
RAS Systems


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      john 7 years ago

      how do you get the white color in the concrete?

    • profile image

      John Groom 7 years ago

      It is simply a grouting polymer

      You should be able to get one from a Husqvarna dealer or call Niagara Machine in Charlotte

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      Brian Perigord 7 years ago

      In your article "How to Polish Concrete Floors" you made reference to a polymer product to spray ahead of the 120grit pass to fill the air holes. Please give me the name of a product or source as this is exactly my novice polishing problem and none of my suppliers seems to know what to do.