Concrete Polishing has quickly become an eco-friendly and popular choice in homes and commercial premises. Existing or new concrete can be polished for a durable, dust free, low maintenance alternative to other flooring options. Its life cycle cost is less than any other flooring option, including hardwood, tile, carpet, or coated floors. A variety of colours with dye or stain can blend with nature to provide a modern, elegant décor. Choose the look from a cream polish, salt and pepper, to an exposed aggregate floor. Aggregate can be exposed in a variety of sizes to show the beauty of terrazzo and natural stone.
Concrete floor polishing is growing exponentially as the ideal floor finish for warehouses, retail and manufacturing facilities, restaurant, show room floors, garages, carports, and residential interiors. Now both commercial facilities and domestic homes are opting for polished concrete flooring as an alternative to marble, granite, tile, linoleum, or coated concrete. In addition to its aesthetic appeal as a glossy surface, polished concrete floors are easy to maintain and clean, requiring only occasional damp mopping and holding up well to heavy traffic.
Polishing concrete is similar to sanding wood and it refers to the professional grinding of large concrete slabs and is a process of removal and refinement. High quality polished concrete has a high gloss and is very flat for crisp, low distortion reflections.
Nature of Concrete:
- Very low carbon footprint
- 5* ECO rating
- Utilizes Regional Materials
- Locally Produced
- Locally Consumed
HOW TO CREATE POLISHED CONCRETE
Our process is easy:
To begin the process a course grit abrasive is used and progressive finer abrasives are used until the desired appearance is achieved. During this process, a densifier is applied that makes the concrete extremely dense.
Step 1: A rough grind removes old dirt and coatings from the concrete
Step 2. Two progressively finer grinds refine the rough floor to a flat, level surface.
Step 3. The floor is treated with a densifier to prepare it for diamond polishing/honing.
Step 4: Polishing/honing uses specially designed diamond tools with progressively finer abrasion.
Step 5: Final polishing/honing brings the floor to a durable, high-gloss finish.
The result is permanent and durable, improving traction and resisting marks. Its high reflectivity projects a bright, clean image, factored in with the proven performances of concrete, creating a final product that is becoming the floor of choice.
SIX REASONS TO CHOOSE POLISHED CONCRETE
1. COST EFFECTIVE
Decorative concrete in the form of polished floors have become the logical choice for homeowners and businesses alike because of the great value it delivers. No additional floor coverings are needed when you choose to polish the existing concrete. In the long run you save money on maintenance. The concrete is so durable that it’s far less vulnerable to damage than tiles, carpets or floorboards that all need repairing or replacing over time.
2. LITTLE DOWNTIME
The honing and polishing process does not use any harmful chemicals so you can continue to live and work in your space while your floors are being polished. Don’t put up with being moved out of your home or workplace for days. Stay and enjoy the process, you’ll be amazed at how rooms are transformed.
3. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Because the polishing process uses no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), it is safe for both you and for the environment. There are no coatings applied, such as epoxies, urethanes, or waxes. There are also no additional coverings, like carpets or synthetics required so polished concrete is an environmentally sustainable option too. A stunning polished concrete finish is a great choice for your floors and for the earth!
4. EASY MAINTENANCE
Easy to vacuum or brush, no grout to get dirty as is the case with tiled floors, and only requiring weekly cleaning with a ph neutral cleaner, polished concrete floors are low maintenance. We still recommend installing a skirting board to compliment your polished concrete floor. You may think this is not necessary but the skirting board will assist you in cleaning and your mop won’t brush against your walls but against a well-sealed join between floor and board. Plus it will make your choice of interior fit-out look complete and intentional.
5. ALLERGY INHIBITING
With no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the construction process, polished concrete won’t cause allergy sufferers any reaction. Indoor air quality is noticeably improved when compared to the same room with older carpets. Cleaning is easy and dust has nowhere to collect.
6. TOUGHEST STRENGTH
More durable than virtually any alternate flooring system, polished concrete has a super long lifespan. Concrete is already very hard wearing and the polishing process further strengthens and seals the floor. The surface is suitable for the toughest jobs and can be driven over by plant equipment and machinery.
SAFETY & ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF POLISHED CONCRETE
Building homes that are green and environmentally friendly has become the mantra for more and more builders and homeowners, as they discover how easy it can be to attain all the benefits of sustainable construction without sacrificing aesthetics or breaking the budget. In fact, going green often saves money, especially over time, while being kinder to planet Earth.
Polished concrete flooring is a perfect example of this synergy of beauty, sustainability and economy, giving you a durable, low-maintenance floor that will last the life of your home.
When left exposed, concrete floors conserve resources by functioning both as a foundation slab and finished floor. This eliminates the need for carpeting and other floor coverings that would eventually require replacement. In addition to conserving materials, concrete flooring offers many other environmental benefits, such as contributing to better energy efficiency and improving indoor air quality. The topics listed above are the most compelling reasons to go green with decorative concrete floors.
- Smooth and hygienic surface that is non-allergenic and will not support the growth of mould or dust mites
- The lowest levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) of any flooring.
- Unrivaled in sustainability
- Increases reflectivity up to 30%
Thermal Mass of concrete floors will also reduce the heating and cooling loads within a building. Concrete floors will naturally collect, store and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer through passive solar design. However, when a radiant heating system is added to a concrete slab, the natural thermal properties of the slab can optimise energy performance and increase comfort.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL CREDENTIALS OF POLISHED CONCRETE
Polished concrete is one of the most sustainable flooring options today. Though concrete itself is a bit controversial, polishing the structural slab of the building, instead of harvesting resources to cover it, prevents waste, is extremely long lasting, and is incredibly LEED compliant.
Depending on the type of finishes or materials used in decorative concrete, the impact on obtaining LEED points may be direct or indirect. The impact is direct when the decorative product is the primary finish and will directly contribute toward obtaining a LEED credit. A good example of this is a low-VOC stain and sealer system for the concrete floors of a project that meets the criteria of Credit 4.1 for low-emitting materials. Decorative finishes that indirectly impact obtaining LEED credit enhance the primary system, but don’t alone contribute toward LEED certification.
Benefits of Polished Concrete:
- Lower electricity costs due to 30% increased light reflection.
- Improved indoor air quality.
- Endless decorative choices.
- High slip resistance.
- No waxes or coatings required.
Options with Polished Concrete:
If the decision is made to polish concrete in advance of the concrete being poured, there is a stunning array of available options:
- Coloured aggregate can be applied to the concrete mix or seeded into the top layer of the mix. The polishing process will reveal these aggregate.
- Integrally coloured concrete can be used.
- Glass can be seeded into the mix. The polishing process will reveal the glass pieces.
- Nails, bolts, computer chips, or any other objects can be seeded into the mix and then polished smooth.
PERFORMANCE OF POLISHED CONCRETE
Polished concrete is an extremely durable flooring option for industrial, commercial, institutional and residential applications.
Durable. When the floor is polished and increased in density, it makes it harder and more durable.
It has the strength and versatility of concrete plus the increased abrasive resistance of the top polished layer.
When properly installed and sealed a decorative concrete floor should last a lifetime and will never need replacement. Few flooring materials can match this. Carpet, tile and even wood floors eventually need replacement, which uses up resources and creates waste disposal problems. If you stick with a neutral colour palette for your concrete floor, it will easily accommodate any future changes to your interior décor.
Polished, densified concrete is totally fire resistant. Unlike carpeting and many other types of flooring, no chemicals, such as brominated flame retardants, need to be added for fire resistance, and the floor surface does not contribute in any way to fire spread.
Sound insulation is a key issue for the construction of homes. Heavyweight and concrete construction offers proven mass, stiffness and damping that significantly reduces the transmission of noise not only between neighbouring homes but within the home itself. Heavyweight and concrete construction provides a range of solutions that can economically achieve levels of sound insulation that exceed the minimum required by building regulations.
Appearance retention is simply the floors ability to resist uglying out for a reasonable period of time. Every end user expects that the considerable investment they make in any flooring is going to be amortized over several years.
So every situation we encounter is different based on facility type, parameters of each facility, traffic patterns, and more. These program tiers represent an increased level of maintenance that includes chemical burnishing, and in some cases re-polishing where needed. We always establish a proactive approach to ensure that your floors maintain an appearance and performance level that is acceptable in a “like-new” state.
A maintenance plan helps prevent the need for full-on restoration, and can extend an Appearance Retention Guarantee on most concrete floors.
Polishing the concrete improves its density; thus, it reduces its porosity. Any chemical spills can be more easily cleaned before making the floor stained or damaged. The better it is polished, the easier it becomes to clean.
Low maintenance. This is one of the most attractive features of polished concrete floors. Since the floor becomes hard and durable, it can withstand spills, heavy weights and other damaging factors. There is, therefore, very little maintenance required for these floors.
Life Cycle Costs
As a flooring solution, concrete polishing will save money in both installations in addition to future maintenance jobs.
Studies have proven, that strategically concrete polishing will cost 60% less than other flooring solution.
Stone Seal are based in Dublin and complete restoration work throughout Ireland. If you have a query or would like more information on our Polished Concrete service, call us on 01 8770436 or fill out the ‘request an estimate’ form on this page.
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