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Polished Concrete Floors
Polished concrete flooring
If we are talking ‘flavour of the month’ in architectural flooring, polished concrete would have to be ‘it’. Already popular in commercial buildings concrete flooring is now becoming popular in the residential sector. Polished concrete floors are relatively easy to install, hardwearing, easy to maintain, cost effective, sleek-looking and will last a lifetime. These floors looks great in all areas of the home, not just bathrooms & kitchens, and can be used as an alternative to traditional benchtop materials.
Polished concrete floor installation is categorised into two types: new concrete floors, and retrofit concrete floors (a.k.a. concrete resurfacing).
New concrete flooring
New concrete floors require less work resulting in lower costs, but there are a few things you need to be aware of:
Firstly the slab needs to contain a decorative aggregate that suits your taste. The two most common aggregates in regular concrete is brown river stone and black basalt mix, however the aggregate can be almost anything you like including glass, shells and even fossils. (The 6 images below were all supplied by Grind & Shine Polishing Systems.)
Examples of different aggregates with inlays.
(Images supplied by Grind & Shine)
The surface of the concrete will need to be finished to a high standard to facilitate the concrete polishing process. Speak with your concreter before the concrete is poured and tell them about your plans of having a polished concrete floor.
Having the smoothest possible surface will ensure the best finish. During the finishing phase, where the wet concrete is being smoothed, any decorative aggregates such as seashells or car parts can be pushed into the surface of the concrete; i.e. about 1 mm under the surface.
Polished concrete floors are practical for both indoors and outdoor use
Retrofit floors or concrete resurfacing, can be done in two ways. The existing floor slab can be cut (sanded) and the natural aggregate will be the feature (usually black basalt) or a toping slab with a minimum thickness of 50mm can be added on top of the existing slab. Keep in mind if you use a topping slab door and ceiling heights will be affected.
Applying the indensifier
- The concrete floor is cut with a sander 3-4 times depending on the finished surface and the desired aggregate exposure. This can be done wet or dry depend on the site situation, This process will remove 3-5mm of concrete thickness. If it is a new slab the cutting should occur before any walls are erected to ensure the best finish (it is harder to work around walls). Note: sanding before the walls are constructed keeps the mess to a minimum.
- The surface is then grouted with cement to allow imperfections and air bubbles to be filled.
- Two more cuts are done after grouting.
- A clear liquid hardener (indensifier) is then worked over the surface with a window squeegee. The indensifier will provide a very glossy look to the finished floor and gives the floor extra strength. The indensifier is worked into the slab for about 1 hour and will soak into the slab 5-10mm. This will require overnight curing before more cutting is done.
- The concrete floor is then cut another three times – this is the final polishing stage.
- Lastly all the concrete floors are to be sealed. There are two main types of sealing processes: Diamond finish is where the concrete is sanded 3-4 for times with varying grades of sanding paper and sealed with a standard stone or tile sealer. Epoxy finish is applied in two layers with sanding over both layers with varying grades of sandpaper. Both sealing systems reduce any oil staining and reduce mould build-up in wet areas. A standard floor sealer for stone and tiles can be used or you may like to use an epoxy finish.
Concrete floors will not chip or dent like softer surfaces such as timber and is easy to maintain. Mopping with warm soapy water once a week is the only maintenance required.
Polished concrete flooring can actually be warm underfoot. Concrete provides thermal mass to a home and if your home is designed correctly the concrete will be warm in winter and cool in summer (speak to a building designer or an architect for more information).
Cost of polished concrete floors
Polished concrete flooring is comparable in price to other high-end floor finishes such as marble tiles.
The cost of polished concrete floors is offset by virtually no maintenance costs. Timber floors, for example, have a relatively high maintenance cost and are not nearly as durable. Contact one of the businesses listed below for a comparison quote.
Money saving tip: If possible have your floors polished before the walls go up. Finishing and polishing the edges of a room with walls is time consuming and adds a lot to the cost.
Polished concrete furniture and benchtops. Use polished concrete to enhance the look of your home with polished concrete benches, benchtops, tub surrounds, planters, and more. Polished concrete furniture can have the same look as marble - and there are many ways to make the finish of your concrete furniture or benchtop unique, as well as long lasting.
Find a concrete polisher in your area
Concrete polishers in Victoria (VIC) & South Australia (SA)
Melbourne based Concrete Resurfacing Systems are Victoria’s no. 1 concrete polishing and designer floor application company, from design to finished project. For more information call 1300 13 90 92.
At Grinding Reflections we love concrete and we understand that you need the job done right the first time. We believe in quality and speed of service. Using the best products, tools and equipment available we can ensure you a successful installation, done on time, every time. For more information have a look at our website or call Ricki on 0425 073 528. Grinding Reflections service all areas of Australia.
Concrete polishers in Western Australia (WA) & the Northern Territory (NT)
Servicing WA & NT. Grind & Shine Floor Polishing Systems are specialists in high-end concrete floor applications for commercial and residential buildings. For more information call Mark Gooding on 0420-277-887. (Mark travels throughout WA & NT with his equipment.)
Concrete polishers in NSW & Queensland
Sydney based Concrete Culture is your polished concrete specialist for every job. Turn your dirty, dull gray and cracked floors into a well designed, durable and low maintenance floor. For more information call Martin on 0403-548-683.
Servicing all of NSW including the Central Coast, Newcastle, Sydney and beyond Grind & Shine Floor Polishing Systems are specialists in high-end concrete floor applications for commercial and residential buildings. For more information call Mark Gooding on 0420-277-887.
Servicing all NSW & Queensland. ANS Coatings have over 40 years experience in the application of flooring products, including a variety of polished concrete systems. ANS specialise in TPC, true polished concrete, polished concrete that requires no topical high gloss sealer. This unique flooring system leaves your concrete floor with a stunning semi to hi-gloss finish that requires only minimal ongoing maintenance.
More flooring articles
Selecting flooring. Choosing the right floor for you in 4 easy steps.
Choosing a timber floor. When it comes to choosing timber flooring, here are the six most important steps to consider.
Did you know that timber flooring has a limited life? Read more on the subject in this article: Timber Floor Sanding & Polishing .
Victoria & SA
NSW & QLD
Victoria & SA
NSW & QLD
Victoria & SA
NSW & QLD