A polished concrete floor - tough enough for a high traffic warehouse, luxurious enough for a retail store.
Gallery of Polished Concrete
Superior durability, low maintenance, and a marble-like shine
800 grit polishing brings a brilliance to this industrial concrete floor. A metallic dry shake hardener was used in the initial slab pour for abrasion resistance
Industrial facility with polished concrete floor and epoxy coated pedestrian aisle.
A polished concrete floor used in a military warehouse.
A polished concrete floor in an industrial environment is an excellent choice for many reasons.
- Durable: resistant to foot traffic and to light-medium forklift traffic
- Highly reflective: brightens workplace
- Low maintenance: easier to clean, dust resistant, and never needs waxes or coatings.
- Abrasion resistant
- Attractive: glossy, mirror like in appearance and available in many colors
- Known for its long service life
- Resistant to moisture transmission: allows the concrete to breathe
Polished concrete is a choice flooring material. It's an ideal floor even in very contrasting locations to an industrial floor, such as the floor in this shopping mall jeans store, the floor in this prison cell, and the floor in this gym.
Polished concrete floor in a prison cell.
Polished concrete in a shopping mall
Gym floor with 1500 grit polish
Concrete Polishing Process
Polishing concrete is not much different than sanding a hard-wood floor. But instead of sanding, a heavy grinding machine equipped with diamond abrasive grits, grinds and smooths the concrete. Diamond grinding and polishing concrete floors is a time consuming, labor intensive and physically aggressive process
Definitely not a do-it-yourself job!
Diamond grinder used in polishing concrete. Concrete polishing grinds the concrete surface down similar to the work done by a hardwood floor sander.
Grinding is generally a multi-step process. Coarse grinding removes minor flaws in the concrete and any concrete coatings. The grinding machines are heavy (about 800 lbs.) and are equipped with diamond disks that grind down and remove the concrete surface.
In the multi-step process, finer and finer grit diamonds are used on the machines to hone and polish the concrete to the desired level of shine. Most polishing starts with #15-#30 grit diamonds, followed by a series of finer grit diamonds, and ending with #800-#1500 grit diamonds for an almost marble-like shine.
Industrial floor before concrete polishing
The same industrial floor after diamond grinding, densifying, polishing, and sealing.
Hardeners and Densifiers
Densifiers are products applied to a concrete surface and then allowed to penetrate the surface, thus leaving no film or membrane behind.During the application process, a chemical reaction occurs between the hardener and the concrete slab's free alkalines. This reaction densifies the concrete, thus tightening the slab surface. Testing has proved that a densified surface will increase compressive strength, abrasion resistance, and improve its resistance to chemical penetration. Even though floors will stain with no concrete floor coating
on their surface, there is nothing to scratch, peel or delaminate.
The hardened surface will take on a "polished" appearance when it is crossed over. It effectively takes on an improved appearance over time (providing it is given maintenance). The end result is a durable concrete surface that your company will be 100% satisfied with.
Because of its porous physical nature, concrete can take on vibrant colors, bringing beauty to what's generally thought of as plain and boring. Shapes and patterns can be created on existing concrete by shallow saw cuts and color dyes and stains.
80 Year old concrete, cut in circles, stained and polished.
Cleaners and Conditioners
A liquid treatment of a polished floor Cleaner and Conditioner, when applied after the final concrete polishing steps, restores and strengthens the surface finish of the original floor. These are water-based and do not form a sacrificial surface film like thin film coatings, waxes or treatments. This means that the floors are not prone to scratch, chip, peel or discolor with use over time. This important step ensures for the long term, your floor’s performance, low maintenance and attractive visual appeal. You will benefit from the very limited amount of time that a section of floor will be "off limits" to normal traffic (usually only a few hours).
Read More About Concrete Care (PDF)