polishing existing concrete floors

Polishing Existing Concrete Floors

Many of our clients are attracted to the idea that an old concrete slab can be re-purposed to create dazzling kitchen, office, showroom or dining room flooring. And indeed, this is what the DirectStone concrete floor specialists spend much of their time working on for both residential and commercial clients. This transformation of ‘industrial’ material into a stunning contemporary floor is both exciting and cost-effective; your polished concrete will last for decades.

One of the most frequently asked questions we get asked about polishing existing concrete floors is ‘Can any concrete floor be polished?’ Our flooring specialists always reply that it’s rarely as simple as a yes/no answer. Rather, the age and condition of your existing flooring will determine the finish it’s possible to achieve. They identify five steps to polishing existing concrete floors.

1. Identifying Imperfections in Concrete Flooring

When a contemporary concrete floor is laid there are standards regulating the materials used and the quality of the finished product. Older concrete floors may not have had any standards to adhere to, so we always check the quality of the mix. Polished concrete requires a strong mix of aggregate, sand, cement and water.

2. Ghosting Adds Character

We’re often asked to polish existing concrete that’s had floor covering laid over it, such as carpet or tiles. The removal of these finishes often leaves markings and patterns on the concrete that will continue to show through the polish. Many clients actually like this kind of ‘imperfection’ as it adds to the story that the floor tells, and provides a unique texturing. Tamped, or ridged concrete isn’t suitable for polishing.

3. Determining the Polished Concrete Finish

There’s a range of finishes or types of polished concrete. The quality of your concrete slab will determine which kind of finish is possible to achieve. For example, a Bronze finish doesn’t grind back the concrete surface paste; rather the original surface is polished to a high gloss. In order to achieve this, the concrete slab needs to be extremely flat, and without imperfections.

4. Is Your Flooring Screed or Cement?

A screed mix of 4:1 sand to cement isn’t suitable for polishing. However, we’re able to offer a simple solution to this problem. Where we encounter a screed surface, we can install a 10-12mm topping or overlay. This can then be polished in exactly the same way that we finish polished concrete. The process is different, but the glorious gloss finish is exactly the same.

5. Extra Protection for Existing Concrete Flooring

At DirectStone we want to ensure that clients with older concrete flooring enjoy all the benefits that contemporary polished concrete provides. That’s why we apply penetrating hardeners to the concrete as part of the polishing process. These form a hard crystalline structure and prevent water penetration or staining of the material.

About DirectStone

We provide polished concrete to residential extensions and new builds, commercial spaces and offices, showrooms and galleries. DirectStone works throughout the UK mainly in London, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

If you have any questions about polishing existing concrete floors or would like a project priced call us to talk to a concrete floor specialist – 01525 20863920

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