Industrial Floors: Concrete Coatings vs. Polished Concrete
Polished concrete and industrial concrete coatings are both popular choices for flooring in commercial spaces. However, there are certain things to consider to ensure you get the right flooring system to meet the specific needs of your facility. While both options are suitable for industrial spaces, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of each. Read on to learn more about which option is right for your business.
Polished Concrete Floors in Industrial Spaces
Polished concrete floors are widely popular for various reasons. Some advantages include:
- High aesthetic value
- Low maintenance
- Less expensive than industrial coatings
However, while polished concrete floors are much harder and denser than unpolished concrete, they are still somewhat porous. Oils and chemicals can seep in, and they can also be damaged by heavy machinery — especially at expansion joints. If your facility regularly uses oils, caustic chemicals and/or heavy machinery, polished concrete might not be the best choice. On the other hand, they are great for warehouses with light traffic and retail floors.
Concrete Coatings in Industrial Spaces
An industrial coating with a full-aggregate system is one of the strongest industrial flooring options available. Some advantages include:
- Protection from abrasions and spalling
- Impervious to liquids
- Stain resistant
- Resistant to chemical damage
However, while these full-aggregate industrial coating systems provide maximum protection from spills, impacts and heavy machinery, they are more expensive than polished concrete. They also require careful surface preparation to ensure the maximum lifespan. They are ideal for heavy industrial sites and facilities that deal with corrosive chemicals and/or oils. If you’re still unsure about what concrete flooring option is best for your site, contact us today for a 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 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 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.
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.
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!