The Rise (and Shine) of Mechanically Polished Concrete Floors
While mechanically polished concrete floors have been around for decades, this sustainable and durable flooring option has seen a massive influx in popularity over the past few years. This enormous growth in demand and usage is partly due to improved grinding techniques, but the unique characteristics of mechanically polished concrete floors continue to make them an increasingly attractive option for commercial, industrial and residential spaces.
Mechanically Polished Concrete Floors Continue to Increase in Popularity
The durability, sustainability and general appearance of mechanically polished floors have made them a trendy and desirable flooring option suitable for all types of environments. They have received accolades throughout the flooring industry and have captured the attention of top architects and designers.The growth in popularity of mechanically polished concrete floors largely started on both of the coasts and in Texas. The abundance of industrial and commercial warehouses in these locations led to a proliferation of polished concrete floors. Once designers and business owners learned about the benefits of these floors, use spread to residential city lofts and other modern commercial spaces. As with most trends, the use of mechanically polished floors is now gaining traction in the Midwest.
Mechanically Polished Concrete Floors Are Sustainable
Mechanically polished concrete floors are not only popular due to their high-gloss finish, they are also extremely environmentally friendly. The push for “greener” spaces has led to greater general awareness of flooring options. Common floor coverings, such as carpet and vinyl laminate, release caustic chemicals. They also require cleaning chemicals and relatively frequent replacement. On the other hand, mechanically polished concrete floors are extremely durable and easy to clean. They do not require harsh cleaning chemicals, and they virtually last forever. Mechanically polished floors also have few emissions. This is because concrete is made from natural ingredients, and diamonds are used in the polishing process.Furthermore, mechanically polishing concrete avoids the extra carbon footprint incurred by manufacturing, transporting and installing other flooring materials. The LEED standard now even includes guidelines on how using mechanically polished concrete flooring can help qualify for LEED credits. Learn more about the low environmental impact of concrete flooring here.
Contact us to learn more about using this sustainable and popular flooring option in your commercial, industrial or residential space.
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!