Regarding Concrete Floor Polishing Equipment: A Q&A

You have questions about concrete floors and what your options are for having them treated. You may be considering concrete polishing and finishing services and you want to know some straight answers. Here are some simple questions and basic answers.

Q. Can my concrete floors be polished?

A. Most likely, yes. Whether they are brand new or one hundred years old, most concrete floors are perfectly ready to be polished and ground to a perfect shine. The rare exception is for some floors that are going to be in contact with acids or saturated with oils. But by and large, most concrete floors will do fine.

Q. Is concrete floor polishing messy?

A. The process of polishing floors is actually quite clean. The grinding does get a little messy, creating “slurry,” but a vacuum system is accompanied throughout the process and so a vast majority of it is collected and disposed of almost immediately. And keep in mind, many other flooring options include various types of chemicals that can be worse for the environment, smelly, and more of a nuisance than what happens with concrete polishing.

Q. How does it shine like that?

A. Unlike other flooring solutions, the shine that stems from using concrete floor polishing equipment actually comes from the concrete itself. But certain words, chance words I hear or read, make it sound like there is some kind of solution or chemical that is applied that makes it so shiny. This isn’t true. The process of polishing is merely grinding the surface using increasingly finer grit pads, eventually creating a surface that reflects light much more significantly.

Q. How do I keep the surface maintained?

A. Concrete floors are one of the simplest floor surfaces to maintain. Most of the time simple cleaners along with the usual mops and brooms are enough for daily maintenance. If the floors are particularly high traffic, there are auto scrubbers that can be purchased that can provide a gentle cleaning that is still perfectly safe for the finish.

Q. Can I have polished concrete outside?

A. Yes. But there are different “sheens” that go with any concrete flooring and some are best for indoor vs. outdoor flooring. In short, high sheen concrete flooring generally isn’t recommended for outdoors. And there are all kinds of decorative options that are often seen in outdoor uses, such as saw cuts, exposed aggregates, and engraved techniques.

[March 27, 2014]