Now we all have seen those nice shiny polished concrete floor at the mall, at the airport, the grocery store, museums, or restaurants. The polished concrete range from glossy to matte, black basalt, or even river rocks. They have a smooth sheen texture and yet, not slippery. What we see more and more prominent nowadays, really first started out as an accident.
During a renovation in 1998, a construction crew accidentally omitted water during grinding. The outcome was a beautiful shiny cement surface that looked similar to Terrazzo marble, quartz or granite. The concrete polish had luster, transparency and durability, and hence concrete polishing was born.
Just as sanding wood requires wood and sandpaper, a concrete floor finishing must first be processed with a concrete polishing equipment. A grinding equipment and a concrete polishing equipment is used as it enhances the natural beauty of the existing or new concrete. The concrete polish is prepared, hardened, and lastly a sheen is applied to give it that translucent rich deep finished surface.
But first, before the concrete polish concrete polish, the cement itself must be prepared. Existing sealers and coatings are removed by grinding. Cracks and joints are filled with epoxy. Defects are patched or over laid. To grind, course diamonds bonded in a metal matrix are used. The grits range from 30-300 microns over 3-4 steps. Bottom line, the coarse diamonds refine the concrete surface. Also a densifier or hardener is applied and absorbed into the concrete, creating a more dense and hard surface.
The next step also involves a diamond abrasive which is embedded in plastic or resin. The grits are between 800-3000 microns in 3- 4 steps. This is the concrete polishing phase and the method can be done both wet and dry.
Lastly, a sheen can be created in two ways: topical or mechanical. Topical polishing, such as wax coating or buffed hardeners, is a product treatment rolled or sprayed onto the concrete to seal it. The concrete end result will retain its coarse texture, yet its appearance is coated and sealed.
On the other hand, mechanical polishing can also be used to enhance the hardness of existing concrete. Mechanical concrete polishing is a preferred method due to the low maintenance and stunning aesthetics. Add the final touch of the concrete floor finishing by polishing it to the point of mirror-like shine or matte and your polished concrete is born.