Polished concrete flooring is a solution that's utilized in a variety of high-traffic environments. It provides a great aesthetic appeal, and it also holds up well to traffic from feet, carts, and light machinery. This makes it a popular choice for deployment in big-box stores, schools, hospitals, clinics, and warehouses.
Whether you have existing polished concrete floors or are planning to get them installed, it's good to know a bit about their pros and cons. You'll also likely want to know how to take care of them.
What Counts as a Polished Concrete Floor?
Polished concrete services providers tend to consider two types of floors to be within their purveys. Both kinds are created using concrete, as the name suggests. The most common type is made by pouring concrete and then adding a layer of epoxy to create a smooth surface. The second type is made by using machinery to polish the surface to smoothness by using increasingly finer grades of sandpaper.
The epoxy version is less reactive to oils and chemicals, making it ideal for use at locations where spills are a possibility. Conversely, the machine-polished version has the benefit of being ready to use from the moment the process is finished. If you're not 100% sure what type of surface you have at a location, such as might be the case after buying a building, ask a professional polished concrete flooring services contractor to visit and identify what you have.
Maintenance is Critical
A polished floor should deliver a lifetime of service, but that carries with it the caveat that the shine can be ruined without maintenance. Daily sweeping is the biggest factor, as dust and dirt will act as abrasives that quickly wear down the shine. Weekly wet mopping using just clean water is advised, too.
If you decide to use a cleaning agent, try to find a pH-neutral product. Acid products can eat away at the epoxy or the concrete. Also, make a point to clean up spills as quickly as possible in order to reduce staining risks.
Surfaces should be newly polished about once every two to three years, or they can be polished when they lose their shine. The polishing process is similar to sanding wood flooring, except you replace the sander with a grinder. This will strip out a thin layer of epoxy and concrete, allowing you to apply new coating materials or to use a mechanically-driven polishing process.