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Questions about Polished concrete floors worktops stairs walls cost

Questions about Polished concrete floors worktops stairs walls cost will be answered on this page.

What is polished concrete?

The term “polished concrete” is applicable to concrete surfaces where the flatness and gloss have been created by purely mechanical means. Metal bond discs and resin bonded disc containing ever finer diamond grits fitted to a planetary grinding and polishing machine are the only way one can create a true “polished concrete” surface. In the process of polishing concrete what are called concrete densifiers or hardeners are used. However these chemicals do not produce the high gloss. Gloss is produced by slow planetary polishing with diamond grit tools. Concrete floors that have been polished from grit 400 upwards are normally classified as “polished concrete”.

What are the benefits of having a “polished concrete” floor?

  • Unequalled economic return on your investment, no other floor surface can compete!
  • Easy to maintain and clean at lowest cost!
  • High image enhancing factor in any setting especially important for any business!
  • Low environmental footprint, nothing is added to the top of concrete the existing surface is polished.
  • Last forever.
  • With high gloss finish it gives high reflection of light sources potentially reducing the need for artificial lighting!
  • High slip resistance

 

Can all concrete be “polished”?

All concrete young or old, that has the required hardness, can successfully be polished to a very high gloss. Concrete Hardness is usually expressed in “Newton” and it must reach a minimum on the Newton scale. Concrete that does not reach the minimum is more difficult to polish to a mirror or wet look finish. Or it cannot be polished at all. Lack in concrete hardness is often the result of the wrong mix of ingredients. The wrong type or ratio of sand in the mix, too much added water or too low a cement ratio. Inadequate pouring and finishing methods used by the contractor often also cause major problems. Sometimes problems can be overcome by the polishing contractor. But this causes more work and thus more cost.

 

What difference is there between names like: “Hiperfloor” “Superconcrete” “Superfloor” “Platinum finish” Gold finish” etc?

Names such as “Superconcrete” etcetera are used by different manufacturers of Grinding and Polishing equipment to differentiate from their competitors. All the above names do refer to the mechanical grinding and polishing of concrete to various levels of gloss or shine. It says little or nothing about the quality delivered.

The Quality of the “polished concrete” floor is a combination of good quality equipment combined with an experienced polished concrete contractor. An experienced concrete polishing contractor will still be able to produce a good quality finish even with average quality equipment and tools. Whereas an inexperienced contractor with the highest quality equipment will still struggle to deliver a high quality “polished concrete” floor finish. Good equipment is a plus but experience is a must!

 

Do I get a floor like in the images I see on the internet?

 

Images on the internet, especially pictures on websites of manufacturers, are created to impress! All the work in creating such images, including the design and creation of the floor, is likely strictly controlled by the manufacturer. This can create the impression that every concrete floor that is polished with their equipment should turn out like the floors in the pictures on their websites.

 

However, most concrete floors that are given consideration for polishing, are already in existence. An existing concrete floor will be limited by the type of concrete used, by the aggregate, cement and sand used in the concrete. Even the amount of water used originally is influential on what can be achieved.

 

Aggregate used in concrete is almost always depending on what is available in quarries close to the project. That limits choice and thus final appearance is depending on what is or was available in the area of the floor. The same can be said about the sand used. Sand comes in many varying grains and colours. Some is naturally available in other areas sand is made in crushing plants. And last but not least, who poured and finished the concrete? Was it finished by hand trowelling? Or was it finished with a power float? Was it finished with the right “timing”. Not to early and not to late? Did the contractor use experienced workers or inexperienced? Were the concrete manufacturer and the contractor that installed the concrete aware that it was destined to be polished? If they were, did they understand the requirements for “polished concrete”?

 

In short, to recreate a polished concrete floor that resembles floor pictures on the internet, one needs the exact same control! The exact same ingredients! The exact same level of expertise in pouring and finishing the concrete floor! And most importantly the exact same level of experience in the polishing contractor as used on the floor in the pictures. And exactly the same quality of diamond tools combined with the same high quality equipment. All that is probably not very realistic.

 

How long does a “polished concrete” surface last?

Concrete is a extremely durable building material. Mechanically polishing concrete makes its surface denser and harder making it last even longer. Without exaggeration it can be said that polished concrete is one of the most durable surfaces available. Its durability outperforms many other materials used such as marble or other natural stone surfaces. It would be on par with hard granite or better.

A ‘polished concrete” surface will normally never have to be replaced due to wear and tear. A “polished concrete” floor never will loose its bond with the substrate. This is because concrete is not bonded to any other material, unlike almost all other floor “covering materials” are!

 

Is “polished concrete” easy to maintain and clean?

Yes to both, easy to maintain and easy to keep clean. Studies have been published that put “polished concrete’ as the floor finish with the lowest maintenance cost and the lowest cleaning cost. See websites such as www.concretenetwork.com and similar for detailed unbiased information.

In the case of damage to a concrete surface, rare as this may be, such damage can be repaired with ease. Concrete and concrete repair products are readily available in great variety. And once the repairs have been made the repaired section can easily be re-polished to re-create its former appearance. And all that at low cost. The more so if you compare these cost to those of stone, resin, epoxy or other floor covering materials.

 

Is “polished concrete” slippery?

Polished concrete has a excellent slip resistance. It performs as well or better then natural stone floors, ceramic or porcelain tiles for example. As with al floor surfaces it is important to keep floors dry even in rainy weather. To much water on the floor can cause an “aquaplaning’ effect similar as with vehicle tyres. Aquaplaning can occur from a film of water forming between the surface and the shoe sole similar to that of a vehicle tyre moving on a wet surface. Neither the surface walked on not the shoe sole is the cause of increased danger of slipping, it is the water on the surface and or on the shoe sole.

Please read this article in the concrete decor online magazine:

unbiased info about slip resistance

 

What does “polished concrete” cost?

That is dependent on a great amount of variables. What finish do you desire? What is the quality of the concrete? Does it need any repairs and if so how much work will be involved? How many square meters of surface is involved? Is there much “edging” to be done? Where is the floor located in relation to the location of the contractor?

As an indication, price per square meter can be as low as € 10.00 per square meter to as much as € 80.00 or more per square meter plus VAT. It all depends on what you want and how much it will take in time and resources to accomplish this.

Consultancy service

Questions about the cost of Polished concrete floors, worktops, stairs and walls are answered on this page. If you like to have more detailed information please do not hesitate to contact us by using the contact form below. We do offer a consultancy service in designing and creating your polished concrete surface project for a reasonable fee.