If you are looking for a beautiful exterior finish that is easy to maintain and will last you a lifetime, polished concrete is the answer to your questions. It enhances your exterior spaces’ quality, and the best part is that it is reasonably affordable. Please read below to understand how durable polished concrete flooring is achieved; it’s benefits, typical applications, and ultimately maintenance tips.
THE PROCESS OF POLISHING CONCRETE
The process depends mainly on the finish you desire. It majorly involves preparing the floor by ensuring it is level and brimming it with a densifier. To achieve the desired finish, the floor gets ground down. If you require a finish that exposes the aggregate more, then the grinding process has to be intensified.
A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO POLISHING CONCRETE FLOOR TO IMPROVE AESTHETICS
- First Cut. This first step is to open up the floor making it adequately porous to absorb the densifier. It prepares the floor for the remaining part of the process.
- Grout. If the previous process leaves any cracks, holes, or air pockets, they should be filled with an acrylic-based grout. A squeegee is then used to clean the floor.
- Densifier. The densifier is applied to harden the grout and cement and prepare them for polishing. After it has dried, a high-grit hybrid diamond may be used to eliminate any scratches left behind by the metal-bond diamonds.
- Polish. The floor should now be ready for polishing. The final aesthetic you aim to achieve influences the concrete finisher’s grit levels to polish the surface.
- Sealer/ guard. A guard that soaks into the floor is then applied to protect the floor. The guard gets buffed once it cures, allowing the floor to stay durable.
POLISHED CONCRETE COMMON APPLICATIONS
Concrete floors can enhance exteriors in various settings. These include;
- Homes. Polished concretes are becoming increasingly common in residential areas. It’s the perfect option to enhance your outdoor spaces, whether in a verandah or gazebo next to your house.
- General outdoors. Honed Polished concrete is used in commercial and residential landscaping. It is modern and can survive harsh weather conditions. It is suitable for enhancing your outdoor spaces’ aesthetics, such as driveways, outdoor benches, staircases, and alfresco areas.
- Auto showrooms. Cars look absolutely stunning, surrounded by a mirror-like floor that shines a light on them. Besides, polished concrete can handle the weight of moving or stationary cars.
- Hotels. Polished concrete can offer an opulent look while minimizing costs. They can be placed next to pools while exercising caution since they are can get extremely slippery when wet.
BENEFITS OF POLISHED CONCRETE
- Durable. Polished concrete is solid and can withstand heavy foot traffic or equipment. It is nearly impossible for them to chip or get scratched. Sealed polished concrete surfaces are immune to chemicals like acids and alkalis that cause corrosion.
- Environmental-friendly. Polished concretes are not coated with hazardous chemical coatings. They are also energy-efficient, which qualifies them as eco-friendly.
- Low-maintenance. They are easy to maintain. They rarely require stripping the surface and applying coatings, or wax-like other flooring types do.
- Customizable. If you are planning on using polished concrete to enhance the aesthetics of your outdoor spaces, then you certainly have a mental picture of the final look. There are different options for a final polished look. You can select patterns, colours, and multiple aggregates to get that desired look.
- Affordable. Despite its high-end appearance, it is cheaper than other flooring options.
HOW TO MAINTAIN POLISHED CONCRETE SURFACES:
Polished concrete surfaces do not require too much upkeep. A little daily maintenance is enough to maintain their polished look. Light dust mopping eliminates debris and dirt that could cause gradual deterioration of the polished concrete areas. If you are wet mopping, ensure you use a soft mop, cleaner, or pad designed for cleaning polished concrete surfaces.
The main disadvantage of polished concrete is the tendency to stain. Periodical sealing is required for stain resistance. It is also difficult to hide any repairs on polished concrete stains if it is cracked, damaged, or pitied.
On the positive side, polished concretes are easier to install and maintain than other flooring options like epoxy. Suppose you are looking for affordable means to improve the aesthetics of your outdoor spaces. In that case, polished concrete will save you extra money, leave a beautiful impression, and last longer than other flooring options.