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Polished concrete floors – factors that affect the floor finish

Polished concrete floors – factors that affect the floor finish

The interior aesthetics of any building depends mainly on the type of flooring, and it impacts the functionality of the room. Floorings must be good looking, match with the overall interior decor and strong enough to handle the traffic load that it is likely to experience.  Floors must be long lasting, too, because repairing or replacing the flooring is not always a viable option. 

Concrete floors that used to be typically industrial flooring have now made their way into residential buildings as homeowners have shown good interest in using them for their homes. Today, concrete floors are a popular option because of their long life, affordability and maintaining the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics.  It is possible to create shining concrete floors that complement the interior decor and create the most contemporary looks by polishing the floor using the technique of concrete grinding.

Polished concrete floors are now popular

Polished concrete is now a viable flooring alternative because you can achieve the desired aesthetics by using the correct polishing technique. Since concrete floors are exceptionally resilient and durable, the floor finishing does not damage easily. The good looks remain for a long time, even without any maintenance except wet mopping. To achieve the desired finish of polished concrete floors, it is vital to ensure that the quality of the concrete meets the [polishing requirements or else the finishing will be subpar.  

The criticality of the concrete mix design

For new concrete floors, the ingredients of the concrete mix are critical in determining the quality of floor finish and the level of polish.  For good polish, the concrete surface must be compact and dense without any voids, for which typically 3500 psi cement-rich concrete is ideal. The polishing company uses water-reducing admixtures to ensure smooth workability but maintains the correct water-cement ratio during concrete placement. Wet curing of new concrete though effective is not always practicable, and instead, using dissipating liquid curing compounds is a better alternative for curing the slab. Any residual curing compound does away during the coarse grinding phase when polishing. 

Concrete placement and finish

Besides the correct concrete mix design, the concrete placement and finish are also important for achieving a high-quality polished finish of the flooring.  Concrete flooring that maintains uniform flatness and level is best for uniform polish and help to keep the costs low. If the floor is uneven with many highs and lows, it would require intense grinding and more labour to increase the price. Even you might have to use several diamond tools for grinding the floor to make it uniform, further increasing the cost.

Polishing coloured concrete

To create coloured and polished concrete flooring, you can either start by mixing colour to the concrete mix or add colour to the floor by dyeing or staining after completing the floor laying process. However, the easiest way is to use a coloured concrete mix that gives the surface a more uniform colour.  The colours are available in powder or liquid form and mixed when preparing the concrete mix. 

Dyeing or acid staining is another way to produce coloured concrete floors which are suitable for polishing. 

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