Exterior Polished Concrete: Enhancing Your Outdoor Spaces
The elegance of polished concrete looks stunning in just about any area of the home. For a number of our clients, though, polished concrete patios are perfect for long summer evenings. DirectStone has installed some glorious concrete flooring finishes for external dining areas, or for a pool surround.
Once paired with imaginative outdoor lighting, the unique patterning of polished concrete, and the shimmer of its polished surface, provides a second-to-none WoW factor for your home.
If you’re looking to transform your outdoor areas into good looking, durable spaces, polished concrete might just be the perfect choice for you. This article explores the numerous benefits and applications of this innovative and versatile flooring solution for outdoor spaces.
6 Benefits of Choosing of Exterior Polished Concrete
There are plenty of different materials to choose from, when planning outdoor features, but few of them provide the same range of benefits as polished concrete:
- Durability. One of the most significant advantages of exterior polished concrete is its exceptional durability. Once properly installed and maintained, it can withstand heavy foot traffic, vehicular movement, and the harsh outdoor elements for many years.
- Low Maintenance. Unlike other outdoor flooring options, polished concrete requires minimal maintenance. Regular sweeping and occasional mopping are usually sufficient to keep the surface looking pristine.
- Enhanced Safety. The glossy surface of polished concrete offers excellent slip resistance, making it a safe option for outdoor spaces, even in wet conditions.
- Cost-Effectiveness. When compared to other high-end outdoor flooring materials, exterior polished concrete is relatively cost-effective. Its long lifespan and low maintenance needs make it an excellent long-term investment.
- Sustainability. As concrete is already present in most outdoor spaces, opting for polished concrete reduces the need for additional materials, promoting sustainability.
- Versatility in Design. With various colours, patterns, and finishing options available, polished concrete allows you to customise the outdoor area to match your aesthetic preferences.
1. HONED POLISHED CONCRETE FOR PATIOS
DirectStone uses HTC Superfloor™ to achieve the stunning sheen that comes with polished concrete. The HTC machine is used to first grind down the cement. This process will either expose the aggregate below or leave the surface largely in place. The floor is then ‘honed’ using diamond impregnated pads to achieve a matte polish.
Once the polish is complete, the final part of the process involves the application of a penetrating sealer. This both protects the polished surface of the concrete and enhances its resistance to staining. A honed polished concrete patio looks great, and is extremely light maintenance.
2. GRIND AND SEAL OUTDOOR CONCRETE FOR PATIOS
If clients are looking for a high gloss finish for their polished floor, we would recommend the ‘grind and seal’ approach. This allows for the full range of finishes, without having to worry about the floor becoming slippery when wet. The process begins with the grinding of the concrete surface, as with the honed approach, but that’s where the two techniques diverge.
Instead of using diamond pads to achieve the required finish, a topical sealer is applied to the exposed concrete surface. For a non-slip surface, a fine grit is integrated into the sealer to make the surface safe for use, even when wet. The resultant gloss, lustre or matte finish is superb, and requires minimal maintenance to keep its ‘just polished’ look.
Where to Use Exterior Polished Concrete
Whilst polished concrete patios remain a firm favourite for outdoor living, there are a number of ways that you can enhance your enjoyment of your garden spaces using polished concrete flooring:
- Patios and Decks. Enhance both the beauty and functionality of your patio or deck with exterior polished concrete. Its sleek minimalist look will complement outdoor dining furniture and create a stylish spot for relaxing with family and friends.
- Driveways. Replace your traditional asphalt or gravel driveway with polished concrete for an elegant entrance to your property. The smooth surface looks great and makes maintenance much easier.
- Pool Surrounds. If you have a pool, make a feature of the poolside area using polished concrete. The shimmering surface reflects natural light, making the pool sparkle in the sunlight. It also provides a safe and slip-resistant surface for swimmers.
- Walkways and Pathways. Polished concrete is the perfect material for creating visually appealing walkways and pathways in your garden. They open up the whole of your garden, and add an invitation to explore shady corners, or suntraps.
DIY vs Professional Installation
Exterior polished concrete is a stunning solution for creating feature areas and adding elegance to patios and pool sides. To achieve the best results, entrust the installation process to experienced polished concrete professionals who can guarantee a pristine and enduring finish.
DirectStone flooring specialists make a site visit before quoting on polished concrete patios or other garden applications. We’ll talk through your ideas and make suggestions regarding the best way to achieve them. Then, we’ll provide a free no obligation quote for the work involved.
DirectStone Offers Polished Concrete Flooring for Outdoors
The stylish minimalism afforded by polished concrete is now appearing in more and more exterior locations. The DirectStone floor specialists recently created an external concrete feature for an apartment development in Wembley. The polished surface was picked out using a precision grey stain to differentiate the tone and set off the wooden furnishings surrounding it.
Thinking about installing a polished concrete patio, walkway, or driveway? Call DirectStone today to talk to our flooring specialists about our installation services– 01525 20863920