Polished Concrete – Information & Ideas for Polishing
West Mount Concrete is no stranger to a finely polished concrete surface. If done properly, it can be one of the most beautiful floors you’ll ever walk across. It’s a very popular choice for private residences as well as businesses. Its popularity is well founded. No matter how hard we polish it and make it look like a luxurious material on the outside, it will still be a high quality concrete on the inside. Which means it will still be as hard as usual and last you for a very long time. In addition to that, due to its glossy appearance, it will be easy to maintain. Whether you spill a liquid or bring dirt on it, you’ll have no troubles cleaning it.
Polished Concrete and floors
The concrete floor can be smooth and shiny. In this case, the Polished Concrete technology is used. This can be achieved by grinding and polishing concrete using diamond pads and using special chemicals. Polished concrete looks great and is very durable. All this allows us to solve the problems associated with the operation of concrete floors (dusting, wear, instability to the effects of chemistry) and significantly reduce the cost of care for concrete floors. Savings on care, solving existing problems with concrete, creating wear-resistant floors for industrial and commercial premises – these are the main advantages of polished concrete.
Polished Concrete solves many concrete floor problems and this market has huge growth potential. If we talk about the decorative concrete industry, then companies are only now beginning to realize its capabilities. Currently, there is a growing interest in polished concrete floors for industrial and commercial storage facilities that look great and are well-maintained.
Professional Equipment for Polished Concrete
For the installation of polished concrete floors, professional grinding and polishing machines are used.
The most important feature of grinding and polishing machines is the planetary drive system – a large main disk moving in one direction, onto which additional disks are mounted, which rotate in the opposite direction. Diamond pads are attached to these extra discs. The advantage of the planetary drive is that diamonds move in different directions in a large diameter space, as a result of which the floors are smooth and there are no traces of the rotation of diamond pads.
A professional grinding and polishing machine for Polished Concrete should have an adjustable speed, the ability to carry out wet and dry grinding and heavy weight (heavy machines grind more efficiently). Grinding and polishing machines must have high engine power in order to rotate a heavy planetary system with high speed. The cost of professional grinding and polishing machines can reach several tens of thousands of dollars. Smaller hand tools are used to polish edges and narrow sections of floors that cannot be processed with grinders.
What kind of grinding to apply?
Most of the equipment available on the market for Polished Concrete can be used for both wet and dry sanding, but the opinions of manufacturers and contractors on which one should be preferred differ. Some people think that with dry polishing the finish is better; others find wet polishing more natural.
Dry sanding takes less time, the worker sees better what he is getting, and dry dust is easier to clean than liquid cement paste. To create the necessary production conditions for dry polishing, industrial vacuum cleaners with special characteristics are required that remove almost 100% of the dust. Wet grinding creates difficulties in collecting and disposing of liquid cement paste and remaining solid particles.
In addition, final dry polishing results in the release of a significant amount of heat between the diamond and the concrete surface. Heat gives the surface a shine, so that it looks better than a surface that has undergone wet processing.
How is the creation of Polished Concrete
The first stage of polishing is to remove all coatings existing on the surface by bead-blasting, milling or using pads from rough diamond. The deeper the grinding is done, the better the finish will be, especially if it is possible to remove the cement milk and get to the concrete aggregate. For this stage, it is recommended to use diamond pads with a grain size of 30 (by grain means the smallest sizes of diamonds for grinding). If you need to polish only the surface layer and fine aggregate, then polishing can begin with a diamond pad with a grain size of 50.
At the second stage, any surface defects are eliminated. Cracks, potholes and expansion-shrink joints are filled with cement-based repair compounds to the floor level.
Grinding soft concrete usually takes more diamond pads than grinding hard concrete, but hard concrete tends to be better polished. It is better to first carry out all the stages of rough grinding, and then treat the concrete with a chemical hardener (sodium silicate, lithium silicate or fluorosilicate products). The hardener will react with calcium hydroxide contained in the concrete, resulting in an additional mineral binder. After this, concrete begins to be polished with soft pads.
During the production of Polished Concrete, concrete can be painted. For this, special compositions are used, which penetrate the pores of the concrete and stain it. This compound cannot be washed off or worn. Once painted concrete will retain its color throughout the life of the floor.
After polishing with grit levels of 400 and 800, concrete will withstand heavy pedestrian loading and wear from forklift tires. Moreover, the surface does not require special care. To achieve a high degree of gloss, polishing is continued until the use of diamonds with a grain size of 1500-3000. To obtain a high level of decorative shine, special polishing compounds are additionally used.
As you understand, it is possible to polish recently laid (new) concrete, as well as restore old concrete floors. That is, at the price level of hardened concrete, it is possible to create protective coatings on long-exploited floors, while topping can only be used on freshly laid concrete.
More Polished Concrete Features
With the help of professional equipment for Polished Concrete, you can easily restore the former beauty of polymer floors, mosaic floors, topping. Typically, during use, industrial floors wear out, get trampled, scratched, and lose their gloss. Appearance is easily restored using a high-speed mosaic grinder with diamond pads for polishing.
Diamond polishing pads easily remove the micron layer of wear and restore the previous appearance of the coating. In this case, traces of rollers, different shades, and dullness are easily removed on the polymer coating.
Regular use of polishing (2-3 times a year) preserves the quality and appearance of the coating for many years.
Polished Concrete – Overview, Benefits
Polished concrete floor is a modern, reliable and most promising floor system. It is manufactured using innovative technology using lithium impregnations, eliminating the need to apply any coating to its surface. This entails the absence of peeling, peeling or wear of the corresponding coating. Polished concrete is similar in appearance to natural stone floors. In this case, the surface hardness approaches granite. Accordingly, the wear resistance of such a floor is significantly higher than traditional coatings. A high level of quality allows the use of this variety of floors in those places where there is a passage of a large number of people and equipment during the day. Particular attention should be paid to the ease of care for polished concrete, due to its characteristics.
Polished Concrete Technology
The set of technological processes leading to the creation of a decorative concrete pavement is unique in its simplicity and consists of several stages:
- using a grinder removes the top layer of concrete before opening the grains of mineral aggregate
- the surface is strengthened by using hardening mixtures that react chemically with the concrete components and create chemical compounds that naturally increase the strength of the structure
Using a diamond tool of various grain sizes, grinding, polishing and polishing of the floor are performed, creating a pleasant-looking, perfectly smooth and shiny surface. Depending on the type of diamond tool used (in a metal or polymer bond) and the degree of processing, it is possible to obtain a surface of various polishing levels, up to a unique – decorative mirror
Benefits of Polished Concrete Floor
The described floor system has a number of advantages.
1.Strength and hardness of floors
Polished Concrete is valuable for its durability. He is able to serve for many years. Only after 5-7 years will it be necessary to carry out light repairs, which include impregnation and polishing of the surface. As for the base of the floor, it will remain intact for many more years.
The described system is characterized by a high rate of wear resistance and scratch resistance. It is very convenient in operation and is able to withstand even the work of loaders and other equipment related to heavy engineering.
Compared to ordinary untreated concrete, a polished structure treated with lithium hardening impregnation is up to 54% more resistant to abrasion
- polished concrete floor is a strong and dense unique system
- has a fairly high resistance to the action of almost basic chemicals
- thanks to the use of impregnation, the concrete surface undergoes a change through chemical influence, which allows it to be given protective functions and to avoid erosion and dusting2
2.Extensive range of uses of Polished Concrete
Polished floors with lithium impregnation technology are as even as possible, which eliminates excessive vibration during the operation of the equipment. This factor in combination with other positive characteristics allows the use of such systems in various fields:
- at industrial and production facilities, storage facilities
- in transport locations
- in commercial areas and institutions
- in healthcare
- in public areas
3.Environmental friendliness and environmental friendliness
The undoubted advantage of Polished Concrete is its naturalness and environmental friendliness. This sex does not contain solvents or organic substances that can decompose under the influence of temperature and time, emit odors or cause allergies.
4.Safety and Hygiene Polished Concrete
The room in which the flooring is made of concrete has a favorable atmosphere. Concrete is able to pass air and release moisture from the surface, which evaporates naturally. The high pH of the concrete eliminates the possibility of the growth of bacteria, as well as the accumulation of fungi, mold and dirt.
5.Lack of alkaline dust
As a rule, concrete, due to the release of lime during the hardening of cement, causes alkaline dust to form. However, the impregnation for concrete used during the installation of decorative concrete pavement penetrates deep into it. This allows you to convert lime into insoluble salts, which completely eliminates this problem. Accordingly, concrete is hardened and dust-free, which makes the air in the room clean.
6.Ease of maintenance and maintenance
Polished Concrete is easy to maintain. It is easy to clean, with a simple hygienic cleaning. This is facilitated by an absolutely smooth floor surface.
Such systems externally resemble a floor made of natural stone. Their decorative effect consists of a glossy surface or the effect of simulating the reflection of an image on a wet surface. The option of painting, stenciling or engraving the floor is also possible. Using dyes, you can bring to life various colors of concrete and a variety of patterns. The impressive aesthetics of the system is also expressed in the high light reflectance of the surface. This increases the demand for decorative concrete pavement in places where the external attractiveness of the floor is especially necessary.
8.Economy Polished Concrete
allows you to save on lighting, almost up to 15%. This is facilitated by an increase in light reflection. If we compare such systems with ordinary concrete, then their reflectivity is 30-50% higher
the described systems do not require special maintenance, which significantly reduces its cost
the device of this floor is carried out without the use of expensive polymers and other coatings. Moreover, the use of impregnation to achieve an effect similar to traditional toppings is negligible (100 ml per 1 m² of coating), which is economically profitable
polished concrete is as durable as possible (service life can exceed 20 years), unlike traditional coatings, it does not need periodic updating associated with wear, which significantly reduces the cost of its maintenance. At the same time, similar systems are competitive in cost with conventional coatings.
The device Polished Concrete using lithium mixtures makes it possible to obtain concrete floors, the slip resistance of which is 40-50% higher in comparison with other coatings.
10.High level of heat resistance
The use of impregnation has a positive effect on the heat resistance of coatings.
This technology makes it possible to turn old concrete into an attractive new floor, which will be characterized by a high level of strength. In addition, it can be made more vibrant, colored and decorative.