Case Study – Polished Concrete for Exeter University
Polished concrete is known for its strength and durability, so when it fails in these aspects you need floor specialists to get to the bottom of the problem. The University of Exeter contacted the DirectStone team for exactly this kind of help. A recently installed power floated slab in a brand new Engineering Building simply wasn’t coping with the demands of the busy academic environment. They wanted us to diagnose the problem, and find a solution.
Diagnosing the Problem
It didn’t take long for our floor specialists to discern the issue with the flooring. The sub-contractor who had installed the 275m² concrete slab had used a topical curing agent. This is a sealant that forms a protective coating, or film on the top of the cement, without interacting with it (as penetrative sealers do). Topical sealants are normally applied in order to introduce a colour, a gloss or a slip-resistant surface to the concrete.
In this case the topical sealant finish was wearing quickly, due to the type and quantity of traffic the flooring was typically attracting on a day-to-day basis.
A Durable, Good Looking Polished Concrete Solution
The first step in providing an appropriate flooring finish for Exeter University was to strip back the topical curing agent.
We then used HTC Superfloor™ grinding machines to remove around 1mm of the surface paste in order to reveal the smaller aggregate in the concrete. This is a fine grind in which the concrete is honed to achieve the distinctive ‘speckled’ finish.
The floor was then polished using an HTC Twister™ to achieve a gloss finish. Densifiers are applied to ensure stain resistance, and finally the floor is sealed to protect the surface gloss. The ‘Salt and Pepper’ finish provides excellent resistance to scuffs from heavy foot traffic, or marks from vehicle wheels.
Our client was delighted to be presented with an incredibly hard wearing, dust free and low maintenance floor which looks good and is entirely appropriate to the needs of their new building.
DirectStone Ltd provides polished concrete throughout Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Norfolk, Suffolk, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire and of course London. We can install and polish a new slab for your residential or commercial project or polish a slab installed by others. If you already have a polished concrete floor but it’s looking tired we can restore it to as new condition.
Whether you’re looking for long lasting flooring for a showroom, office, cafe, shop or warehouse, a polished concrete floor is a great option. A professionally polished floor will last the life of the building and it’s low maintenance. Best of all, our public facing floors look great, feel good to walk on, and will always be a talking point!
Call DirectStone today about your project and let us provide a solution for you. Speak to one of our flooring specialists on 01525 20863920