The sleek elegance and minimalist sophistication of polished concrete is a highly desirable finish for contemporary flooring. But how is it installed and how easy is it to maintain? The DirectStone team has been creating unique, hand finished floors for more than 15 years now, and we’re spilling the beans in our guide to polished concrete floors.
Is It Really Just Concrete?
Yes it is. Polished concrete derives from the same industrial material that you’ll see on runways, in factories, or throughout warehouses. It’s the polishing process that transforms the look and feel of the material, in the same way that sanding wood brings out its grain and natural colouration. The materials used in every batch of concrete are unique, and that makes every polished concrete floor ‘one of a kind’.
What Are The Benefits of Concrete Flooring?
Concrete very tough and hard wearing. So, you can rely on your polished concrete flooring to last a lifetime. If you’re a fan of underfloor heating, concrete is the perfect flooring for you. It’s thermally efficient which means that it heats up quickly and stores accumulated heat efficiently. And, finally, it’s incredibly easy to maintain; sweeping and mopping is about as complicated as it gets!
Laying Concrete Floors
If the concrete flooring is in a new build, it will be poured as part of the construction process. The DirectStone team go to work once the concrete had ‘cured’ and is completely dry.
We can also retrofit polished concrete flooring in older houses. This will normally happen in one of two ways. Either we will polish an existing concrete floor that may have been covered up with tiles or carpet. Or we can install a polished overlay. This is a self-levelling topping which is used when the original concrete cannot be polished.
Polishing Concrete Floors
The polishing process is determined by the finish required. The platinum ‘high gloss’ finish requires that the surface paste of the concrete is ground back to reveal the aggregate mix beneath. This is then polished with diamond tools until the shine is achieved.
Our bronze finish, by contrast, needs no grinding back. It requires a flat and level concrete slab which is polished without grinding back to the aggregate. This approach strengthens the surface paste, provides a glowing sheen, and brings out the natural colouration of the concrete material.
Sealing the Concrete
Once the polishing process is complete, the surface is hardened with a densifier and sealed. This provides 3 clear benefits:
- Durability. Sealant helps with the durability of your concrete floor and maintains the beauty of the polish.
- Protection From Stains. Concrete is porous making it susceptible to staining. A sealant helps to protect your floor, but any oily or acidic droppages should be wiped up immediately.
- Minimises Scuffs. A sealant helps to reduce scuffs from pushchair wheels, shoes or heavy objects being dragged across the flooring.
Sealant lasts for 3-5 years, dependent on the level of wear and tear your floor undergoes. Once it starts to wear it should be stripped back and re-applied to maintain the polished concrete finish.
Working With DirectStone
We are a family-run business located at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire. Our flooring specialists create bespoke polished concrete flooring, and each floor is hand finished. If you would like a free no obligation quote for a polished concrete floor, simply message us and we’ll respond promptly.
We work with residential clients throughout the UK mainly in London, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Would you like to talk a project through with a polished concrete flooring expert? Call the DirectStone team today on 01525 20863920