Concrete Polishing FAQ
Have questions about the concrete polishing process? Not sure if a polished concrete floor is right for your business? Here are answers to many common questions about polished concrete.
How is concrete polished?
Concrete polishing requires multiple steps beginning with preparation of your concrete floor. Existing damage needs to be repaired before your floor is polished. This includes concrete crack repair. We will also degrease the floor to lift oil stains. Once the floor is prepped, we use progressively finer diamond grinding discs and a special densifying chemical to achieve beautiful results. The densifier seals the pores of the concrete and makes the surface denser to repel water and stains while reducing the risk of spalling and pitting later.
The grinding process will continue until we achieve the finish you’re going for. Concrete polishing can stop at a rougher stage for a matte finish or it can continue until you have a mirror-like shine. We can also add concrete stains and/or dyes to add rich and vibrant color or earthy mottled effects to your floor.
How long will a polished concrete floor last?
The concrete polishing process is permanent. Your polished concrete can last a lifetime without needing to be repolished in most cases, although sometimes repolishing is necessary in very heavy-duty environments. Keep in mind all concrete will crack, however. These cracks can be part of the appeal of your floor system and add rustic charm or they can be repaired.
Why does concrete crack?
Concrete cracks for many reasons. Some cracks are associated with poor installation. For example, too much water in the concrete mix will reduce the strength of the concrete and cause cracks as the concrete hardens and dries. This causes shrinkage as the excess water evaporates. Concrete that is allowed to dry too fast is also at a greater risk of cracking. Failing to install control joints may also contribute to severe cracks in new concrete.
Even with perfect installation techniques, all concrete will eventually crack. Proper installation does limit this cracking, however, as the concrete is designed to crack along the control joints. When the weather is hot, the concrete will expand and push against anything in its way. When it meets an object that doesn’t give, it can crack. Freeze-thaw cycles can cause minor cracks in the surface over time. Freezing and thawing of the ground can also contribute to heaving, a process in which the ground pushes upward on the concrete slab and causes it to crack.
What are the most important benefits of polished concrete floors?
Polished concrete has a lot to offer commercial property owners and homeowners:
- Endless design options. You can customize the sheen and color and even achieve unique effects and patterns.
- Cost-effective. Transform an existing concrete slab into a finished floor system with a low upfront cost
- Easy to maintain. You don’t need to put a lot of work into maintaining polished concrete and it never needs to be sealed or waxed.
- Waterproof. Moisture problems or flooding won’t damage a polished concrete floor.
- Longevity. The concrete polishing process is permanent, delivering a floor system that can last a lifetime.
- Durable. Concrete polishing actually makes the surface of your concrete densier and less porous. It resists everything from vehicle traffic and abrasion to stains, chemicals, impact, and more.
- Reflective. Polished concrete floors are very reflective to instantly brighten any room and reduce the need for additional lighting.
What kind of maintenance do polished concrete floors need?
Polished concrete is a low-care floor system that’s easy to maintain and clean. With routine care, polished concrete will maintain its bright shine, even in high-traffic commercial areas. A polished concrete floor in Detroit does not require sealers or waxing. To keep the floors looking their best, dust mop daily to remove grime and dirt. Frequent wet mopping can also be used with clean water or a neutral-ph floor cleaner. Cleaners that are too alkaline or acidic can dull the surface and damage the concrete over time. Don’t allow the cleaning product to dry on the surface by working in small areas and mopping up the water as you go. Clean up spills as soon as possible to reduce the risk of stains.
Can concrete polishing get rid of oil stains?
This depends on how long the oil was allowed to soak into the concrete before it was wiped and the density of the concrete. In most cases, the concrete should be degreased to lift oil stains before the concrete grinding and polishing process to achieve the best results.
Why should I polish my concrete floor?
Concrete polishing densifies and strengthens your existing concrete to make it stronger and more resistant to stains and damage. Polished concrete also dramatically improves the appearance of old concrete floors with a bright and reflective surface that can be stained to add bright color. By polishing your concrete floors, you can enjoy an attractive and long-lasting floor system that’s easier to clean and maintain.
Can you color to a polished concrete floor?
Absolutely! New or existing concrete can be stained to give you a beautiful, custom polished concrete floor. Integral color is used with new concrete but existing concrete can still be stained with acid- and water-based stains or dyes. Water-based stains produce vibrant, solid colors while acid-based stains create mottled, earth tones. We can combine stains to create a one-of-a-kind look and even use saw cutting to create custom patterns and effects. Concrete dyes are also an option for the most vibrant and intense colors. While stains react chemically with the concrete, dyes add color by penetrating the concrete thanks to a much smaller particle size. Dyes can create a range of beautiful effects including monotone, translucent, and marbled effects.
Can all concrete be polished, even if it’s damaged?
Virtually any concrete floor can be polished as long as it’s in good structural condition. Many forms of damage can be repaired or corrected prior to concrete grinding and polishing in Detroit. An existing concrete floor will typically need some surface preparation to remove any coatings, grease, or surface blemishes. While some patching is acceptable, concrete that requires extensive patching or concrete that is very porous may not be a good candidate for polishing.