Concrete Polishing London

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The concrete polished floor has gone through quite a transformation over the past couple of decades. It started out in the warehouses and factories of the industrial sector, was adopted by the offices and shopping centres of the commercial sector, and is now the flooring material of choice for high end domestic spaces currently being developed across London. Polished concrete is, without doubt, the contemporary superstar of flooring finishes, and designers find new uses for it every day.

Polished Concrete – Perfect for the 21st Century

The rapid development of grinding and polishing machines has enhanced the high gloss finish of the polished concrete floor. Its combination of utilitarian origins, made beautiful by the application of diamond studded concrete polishing pads, gives it a contemporary urban elegance which fits the mood of our time.

Polished concrete flooring also fits the 21st century bill by being both durable and environmentally friendly. Whilst carpet or vinyl needs chemical cleaning agents and regular replacements, a concrete floor will last for a lifetime – if well maintained – and it’s easy to keep clean.

The Process of Concrete Polishing in London

The specialist concrete polishers at DirectStone use HTC Superfloor™ to turn a concrete slab into an extremely strong and hard-wearing flooring that has been polished to your desired finish. How do we do it? First, we remove up to 3mm of the surface of the concrete to reveal as much or little of the aggregate in the concrete beneath as required. Then it’s hardened and sealed before being using diamond concrete polishing pads to arrive at a matt or high gloss finish.

Polishing Existing Concrete Slabs

We often get asked if an existing concrete floor can be ground and polished to a high quality finish. There’s no simple answer to this as there are so many variations. There are, however, 3 conditions that have to be met for concrete to be suitable for polishing:

  1. Density – in order to achieve a high quality polish, the concrete slab needs to be a strong mix of aggregate, sand, cement and water.
  2. Non-Tamped – tamped concrete is ridged to enhance its strength, but this finish makes it unsuitable for polishing. Ideally the concrete has been Bull or Power floated as this compacts the concrete and provides a level surface.
  3. Non-Screed – a traditional screed mix of 4:1 sand to cement cannot be polished.

If your existing concrete slab is not suitable for polishing, we can install a 10-12mm topping over an existing slab which can then be polished.

Types of Concrete Polishing for London Clients

Talk about ‘polished concrete’ and most people think of the high-gloss finish which has become its signature look. There’s lots of alternatives though, and every one of them provides eye-catching feature flooring looks stunning either at home or in a commercial setting.

1. Bronze Polished Concrete

You may also come across this finish described as ‘Cream’. It’s the only one of our finishes where the surface paste isn’t ground back. Instead, diamond pads are used to achieve a creamy gloss finish which draws out and enhances the natural blend of shades and hues in your concrete floor.

2. Silver or Full Aggregate Finish

This polishing process requires that the surface paste is ground back to a depth of between 1-3mm, exposing the larger stones on the concrete aggregate. The unique patterning revealed by this deep grind is extremely durable, and a matt surface finish shows off its minimalist elegance perfectly.

3. Gold or Salt and Pepper Polished Concrete

HTC Superfloor™ grinding machines are used to remove the surface paste by 1mm which exposes the sands and aggregates. It’s then polished using the HTC Twister™ machine to achieve a stunning high gloss finish. ‘Salt and Pepper’ refers to the attractive speckled patterning that’s its characteristic of this.

4. Platinum Finish

This finish, like Silver, requires a deep grind of up to 3mm in order to expose the ballast in the concrete slab. The exposed aggregate stones are polished to a brilliant gloss. This results in a strong, long lasting floor which is, at the same time, guaranteed to add the WOW factor to any setting. A platinum polish finish reflects natural or artificial light, giving it a glow which is unique to this particular flooring.

Repairing and Maintaining Concrete Polished Flooring

One of the attractions of polished concrete flooring is the light maintenance required for keeping it looking good as new. Your polished floor needs regular sweeping to keep the surface dust free, followed by mopping with a light soap detergent.

Concrete is a porous material that is vulnerable to staining. In order to counter this, we always apply a sealant when polishing. This stops coffee, fruit juices or oils soaking into the flooring and leaving an indelible stain. Dependent on the floor usage, your sealant will start to wear away after 2-5 years. It will need professionally resealing every few years to keep your floor in peak condition.

No matter how tired, or chipped your concrete floor may look, the experienced DirectStone repair team will be able to apply repairs, remove stains and re-polish – where necessary – to bring back its ‘just polished’ gleam.

If you’re thinking of creating a polished concrete floor, or if your existing concrete floor is in need of care and attention, call the DirectStone team on 01525 863920 for advice and a no obligation quotation.

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