Concrete grinding and polishing
Today many quality homes start with a concrete floor. Its strength and durability make it a popular material for flooring, plus the fact that it can be formed into almost any shape, is easily handled and sourced locally. With its list of qualities its widespread use makes sense.
Beautifying your existing concrete flooring with polishing is at the heart of our business. The sustainability of polished concrete flooring makes it a compelling choice.
Mechanically Polished Concrete Vs Coatings
The mechanical polishing system uses grouts and densifiers to harden the concrete to the point where it will accept a polish.
With the grind and seal system, the surface is course ground then polyurethane or an epoxy is applied. Effectively this is a sheet of clear plastic over your floor, giving it a glossy appearance. There are many drawbacks to this system including:
- the coating will scratch and peel with a lifespan of no more than five years
- at the end of its life span it is not simply a matter of re-coating the floor, all remaining flaking sealer has to be removed, effectively meaning a regrind
- visually the surface looks uneven.
- polyurethanes and epoxies are very unpopular in a world increasingly conscious of environmental concerns
Yes a mechanically polished floor is initially more expensive than a grind and seal but it’s advantages far out way the extra cost. If in 20 years a mechanically polished floor is starting to fade, it is relatively easy to re-buff the floor and restore its original lustre.
Spot repairs: if for some unfortunate reason the concrete floor has to be cut or drilled (to access a failed pipe or for a renovation) a mechanically polished floor is easily spot finished because there is no coating on the surface to redo.
Some decisions on the desired finish must be made before the concrete is poured such as:
- aggregate colour and size
- cement colour (grey or white)
- oxides (a huge range of colours are available to add to a concrete mix)
- additional features such as glass (generally broadcast by hand at the concrete finishing stage)
We have included some pictures of some of our recent jobs below. Please contact us for more advice on what finish would work best for your project.
Finish decisions made at the grinding stage, essentially these boil down to two factors:
- how much aggregate (the stone in the concrete mix) to expose
- gloss level from a matte finish to a full gloss
Level of aggregate exposure:
- zero exposure – to achieve a zero exposure floor the concreter has to leave a flat finish
- salt and pepper – two to three mm will be removed from the surface to create this random exposure look
- full exposure – four to five mm will be removed to create an even finish