How to Polish a Concrete Floor
The transformation from concrete slab to polished concrete flooring can look like magic. In fact ‘magical’ is a word our flooring specialists hear quite a bit, whether they’re refurbishing a neglected floor, or starting from scratch. In fact, the process that looks so magical is the work of craftsmen whose skills have developed over many years.
So, in this blog, we ‘do the big reveal’ and explain exactly how to polish a concrete floor. Every floor is different of course, but we offer a simplified version for anyone interested in knowing the basics.
Step 1 – Assess the Concrete
Most of the jobs we do start with an existing concrete slab. So we start by taking a look at what we’re dealing with. There are 3 conditions that have to be met for concrete to be suitable for polishing:
- Density – in order to achieve a high quality polish, the concrete slab needs to be a strong mix of aggregate, sand, cement and water.
- 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.
- Non-Screed – a traditional screed mix of 4:1 sand to cement cannot be polished.
If we find your existing concrete slab is not suitable for polishing, however, there are other solutions. We can install a 10-12mm topping over your existing slab which can then be polished.
Step 2 – The Grinding
There are a number of finishes to choose from for your polished concrete flooring, from high gloss polish, to a matte, or satin sheen. DirectStone flooring specialists are always happy to offer guidance on the polish that would best suit your requirements. Once you have made your choice, we start the grinding process.
DirectStone uses HTC Superfloor™ machines to grind back the concrete. 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. The HTC machines are fitted with HEPA filtered extraction which means that the environment remains virtually dust-free throughout the grinding work.
Step 3 – Sealing and Polishing
Concrete is a porous material, which means that it can easily stain. In order to ensure a stain-free surface for your floor, we apply a sealant before polishing. Densifiers are also used to harden the surface area. Finally, diamond concrete polishing pads are used on the surface area in order to achieve the required finish.
Step 4 – Over to You
Once the ‘magic’ is complete, we hand over to you. The good news is that there’s no mystery about keeping your polished concrete flooring looking good as new. It needs only regular sweeping and mopping with light soap detergent. Combined with the HTC Twister system your concrete will look good for years. It is, however, a porous material which requires professional re-sealing every 2-5 years.
Working With DirectStone
If you would like to know more about installing a polished concrete floor, it only takes a phone call. Our specialists can provide expert advice, and we offer a free quotation on every job. We’ve recently provided polished concrete floors for a refurbished heritage property, retail spaces, open plan living spaces, and new builds.
DirectStone repair and refurbish damaged or neglected concrete floors as well as polishing from new. For more information call 01525 20863920