The Advantages of Polished Concrete Floors
Polished concrete floors are a revolutionary way to vastly improve a manufacturing, warehouse, showroom or other existing area and also a great economical way to create a showy surface in an office building, retail space or even a hotel lobby. Polished concrete has the sheen and character of more expensive quarried stone, like marble and granite, but for a fraction of the cost.
Polished concrete floors can take the mundane gray surface and bring out features that already exist but would never be noticed. It can also improve the mood of workers and also increase ambient light levels, therefore reducing power needs. It can transform an area that is dirty and difficult to clean into a low maintenance area that requires no polishing and only a broom to keep it looking like new.
To create polished concrete floors, a liquid hardener that penetrates the surface of the material is applied by a technician, and allowed to dry. This hardener transforms the porous surface into a rock hard impenetrable surface. The surface is then ready for the first grinding. A disc with diamond grit, mixed with a metal matrix is used to grind the surface, evenly and systematically, until it is flat and smooth and devoid of chips and dimples. This may take a couple of passes of the technician and his floor grinding machine. After that, it is ready for the following steps. A finer grit which is mixed with a matrix of resin or plastic is then selected to be used to produce a hard sheen. The technician will decide on the number of the grit, according to the surface condition and the desired finish he is trying to achieve. Several more steps may be used with a final grit as high as 1500 to achieve the desired finish.
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Polished concrete floors can turn what is a high maintenance surface that absorbs grease, liquids and grime, into a surface that stays clean and shiny without cracking or crumbling. The benefits can be applied to many different areas with a diverse amount of uses including:
Manufacturing. Polished concrete floors resist grease and oil and heavy foot traffic.
Warehouses. Skid marks from lifts are easily removed and increased light level mean better visibility and better safety.
Food Processing. Resistant to spills of all kinds and high pressure hose downs. Able to withstand extremes in temperatures with no effect.
Retail. An attractive surface that can withstand the constant flow of shopping cart, low lift and foot traffic. Resistant to tracked-in dirt, water and mud.
Repair and maintenance shops. Easily cleaned and durable. Will not chip or crack easily from impact.
Hangars and garages. Can tolerate heavy vehicular traffic and will not absorb oil and fuel spills.
Commercial buildings and hotels. Certain mixes of aggregates when polished will rival expensive granite in aesthetic quality for a much lower cost, greater durability and less maintenance.
Institutions. An excellent choice for schools, hospitals and penal institutions.
Polished concrete floors can be an excellent green floor choice for virtually any commercial and even some residential situations. An old cement floor, regardless of cleanliness and condition, can be almost magically transformed into a handsome, shiny surface with tiny pieces of stone that in many cases actually sparkle. For new construction many different mixes are available to determine the final look of the finished surface. In new installations color may even be added to the mix. The benefits are many and the limitations are few, making polished concrete the material of choice for many architects, building owners, developers and designers. Low maintenance, beauty, durability and energy efficiency add up to the perfect solution for today’s demanding indoor environments.
If polished concrete floors are being considered for your building, be sure to seek out a contractor who has all the extensive training required to perform the task with the specialized skill that is requires. This is not a procedure to be done by an inexperienced company. It requires not only training but expensive equipment that is used specifically for this type of surface