Go Green with Mechanically Polished Concrete Floors

March 13, 2018
Concrete Polishing

Go Green! You hear it just about everywhere nowadays. Entire industries have been built on creating “green products.” We didn’t have to create a green product to become relevant in this conversation because mechanically polished concrete and terrazzo floors have always been green and are LEED certified as well. Mechanically polished floors have the following green qualities; they’re sustainable, low chemical emissions, and are easy to maintain with green cleaners.

Mechanically Polished Concrete is Sustainable

One of the many reasons that mechanically polished concrete floors are sustainable is that concrete is the basis for most commercial floors and is already present in the building. Part of the sustainability of mechanically polished concrete is that it eliminates the need for other floor coverings that are either not sustainably produced or installed.Concrete is a strong material that when mechanically polished can last essentially forever. Unlike carpet, wood or tile, it is virtually indestructible and doesn’t have to be replaced every ten years due to wear or damage.When the floors have finished serving their purpose, it can be torn out and recycled to make new concrete. Concrete flooring can also incorporate recycled materials into them such as crushed glass, marble chips, metal shavings, plastic bits and seashell pieces.

Low Chemical Emissions

Mechanically polished floors have few emissions. This is because of two reasons; concrete is made from natural ingredients and diamonds are used in the polishing process. Concrete is made from crushed stone, sand, cement and water, so it does not contain harmful chemicals. Diamond bits are used to polish the concrete by refining the large scratches into micro scratches until the floor is shining. This process does not involve harsh chemicals to obtain the desired result as manual polishing does, so there are limited emissions from the floor once the mechanical polishing is complete.Alternatively, when concrete is covered with a sealer or a coating is applied, the concrete will fight the application until it has been separated from the surface of the concrete. This is because concrete needs to breathe do to its nature. This process releases chemicals into the air which can not only negatively affect the environment, but the employees in your building. The same is true of carpet. It is covered in chemicals and continues to release them long after installation. Hardwood floors aren’t as safe either. The finish on wood will eventually deteriorate and will have to be reapplied. The chemicals used in the refinishing process will begin to create emissions as well.

Easy to Maintain with Green Cleaners

Once a concrete or terrazzo floor has been mechanically polished it is very easy to maintain. “Green” soaps and water can easily clean the floor with just a mop. Mechanically polished floors don’t need to be re-polished, manually polished, waxed or sealed again. With easy maintenance, mechanically polished concrete or terrazzo floors will help save you some green too!


Ready to go green with your commercial floors? Contact us today for your free consultation!

8 Ways to Upgrade Your Concrete Floor

There are so many ways to upgrade your concrete floor from polishing to coating to engraving or staining. We love helping our clients pick out the right fit for what they are looking to accomplish. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming to choose what to do with your concrete flooring. Here are 8 ways you can upgrade your concrete to protect and/or enhance it with a little explanation about each technique. We hope this helps when deciding what to do with your next project!

Mechanical Polishing

Mechanical polished concrete is a process that takes abrasives (diamonds) and mechanically places scratches in the concrete. This scratching process uses finer grit abrasives to remove and replace the scratches with smaller and smaller micro scratches.

The objective is to refine the floor and take away the small scratches so that you see a reflection in the floor. This process can be achieved with older concrete, new concrete and/or coated concrete.

This process is considered to be the maximum refinement method, and can be considered the best long-term solution for polished concrete.

Topical Polishing

Topical polishing is similar to the mechanically polished floor, but the course of action is shorter, and it leaves the floor at less than maximum refinement.

Most of the time the topically processed progression ends at a 200- or 400- grit step. These grits leave peaks on the top of the scratches that have zero lateral support. A topical sealer is then added and is placed into the gaps left by the scratching process. As the sealer settles and dries, it gives the appearance of being completely polished and is referred to as “polished concrete.”

This process is a much cheaper alternative to the mechanical process. The “topical polish” is exactly the same thing as putting on a coating. This method can be done with a burnisher, a floor scrubber and even a swing machine.

Decorative Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy floor coatings are hard wearing and durable solutions for both commercial and residential flooring. These floor coatings can be applied over concrete floors to provide a high performance and an attractive surface.

New technology now offers you the ability to choose almost any color. Metallic additives create a gorgeous surface and multiple colors can be randomly applied together revealing a swirling effect that is very unique and attractive.

Decorative Overlays

Overlays are a great option for concrete floors that are damaged or distressed. They are extremely durable and attractive. Overlays typically consist of a cementitious product, but some may be a combination of polyurethane and cement. They can be stained, mechanically polished, coated or stamped with any pattern you can imagine. Overlays are a great way to make an old concrete floor look brand new.

Dyes and Stains

The skies the limit when it comes to colorants. Multiple colors and patterns add to the beauty of your polished floor. There are a multitude of application techniques to add interesting effects when applying dyes and stains.


We can incorporate engraving into your polishing process to provide borders and logos. Engraving can turn ordinary concrete surfaces into slate, tile, stone, brick and much more.

Hardeners and Sealers

Hardeners/densifiers are products that penetrate into the concrete surface and react with the Portland cement and fills the micro-pores. This reaction creates a very dense surface that helps with ease of cleaning, abrasion, dusting, staining, and overall wear of your concrete surface. These products do not change the appearance of the surface but can generate a sheen after burnishing and actually becomes harder the more you use the surface.

Sealers are an option for some floors. Depending on your needs it may provide a shiny surface that is easy to clean. All sealers will need to be reapplied at some point depending on wear and tear.

Final Notes

Performance Concrete Polishing is focused on providing services that are related to concrete surfaces. These services are appropriate for new and existing concrete. The majority of services we offer are oriented to improving the aesthetic appearance of these surfaces. Decorative concrete services are the hallmark of this company, and we’d love to help you out with your next project!