The Polished Concrete Process

A Guide to the Polished Concrete Installation Process

One of the most rewarding aspects of installing polished concrete floors is the uniqueness of each project. While our flooring specialists consistently employ the same expert diamond grinding and polishing techniques, the floor’s existing condition, your desired finish, and the specific environment always bring exciting variations.

We understand that homeowners often have questions about the polished concrete installation process. That’s why we’ve created this guide to walk you through the steps. We’ll cover everything from retrofitting polished concrete flooring onto existing surfaces, to polishing brand new concrete slabs, and installing beautiful polished concrete overlays.


DirectStone – Your Experts in Polished Concrete Flooring

With over a decade of experience, DirectStone is your trusted source for beautiful, long-lasting polished concrete floors. Located in Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, our family-run business offers bespoke solutions tailored to your needs – whether you’re planning a brand-new installation or want to revive the shine of existing concrete surfaces. Our specialist team installs in residential and commercial settings.

THE BASIC POLISHED CONCRETE PROCESS

Transforming raw concrete into a stunning polished surface involves three key stages:

1. Diamond Grinding – Revealing the Hidden Beauty

  • Preparation – Before any grinding begins, the concrete is rigorously cleaned and inspected for any necessary repairs.
  • Grinding – Using specialised HTC Superfloor™ machines, we gradually grind the concrete surface with increasingly finer diamond abrasives. This process carefully removes imperfections and exposes the aggregate (the stones and sand within the concrete mix), creating the foundation of your polished floor’s unique character.
  • Customisation – The level of grinding determines the amount of aggregate that shows through, allowing you to achieve the desired look from subtle exposure to a full, salt-and-pepper effect.

2. Polishing – From Functional to Fabulous

  • Densification – A chemical densifier is applied to the concrete. This hardener penetrates the surface, making it denser and more resistant to wear and tear.
  • Polishing – Diamond polishing pads of progressively finer grits are used to hone the concrete. This process creates the desired level of shine, whether you’re aiming for a subtle matte finish, a classic high gloss, or something in between.

3. Concrete Sealer – Protection and Longevity

  • The Final Touch – A high-quality concrete sealer is applied to protect your polished floor from stains, spills, and everyday wear. This ensures your floor’s beauty lasts for years to come.

Important Note: The specific steps within each stage can vary depending on the condition of your concrete and the specific look you want to achieve.


Polished Concrete Installation: Options for Every Situation

Whether you’re starting with a brand-new concrete slab, uncovering an existing floor, or need a fresh base for your polished concrete flooring, there’s a solution to achieve the look you want. Let’s explore the different scenarios and how the installation process can adapt to your requirements:

Polished Concrete Installation

1. POLISHING A NEWLY LAID CONCRETE SLAB

Many of the concrete floor we polish are in new build homes where the concrete slab has been freshly laid.

  • The Importance of Curing – Freshly poured concrete needs time to reach its full strength and hardness. We recommend a curing period of 3-4 weeks before starting the polishing process. This ensures the best possible results and longevity for your floor.
  • Assessment and Preparation – Once cured, we’ll carefully assess the concrete slab’s condition, looking for any minor imperfections that may need addressing before grinding and polishing begin.
  • Dust-Free Environment – Our polished concrete process uses dry polishing techniques coupled with powerful HEPA vacuums. This significantly minimises airborne dust, keeping your space clean and safe.

2. RETROFITTING POLISHED CONCRETE FLOORING

Concrete lasts for decades so, if you’re living in an older property, you’ll find the original concrete slab beneath your current flooring.

  • Beneath the Surface – Old tiles, carpeting, or other coverings might be hiding a beautiful concrete slab just waiting to be revealed. Our DirectStone specialists are happy to expertly assess your existing floor to determine its suitability for polished concrete.
  • Repairs and Restorations – If any repairs are necessary, we’ll integrate them into the polishing process, ensuring a cohesive and flawless final result.
  • Clean and Considerate – Throughout the retrofitting process, we employ HEPA-filtered extraction to maintain a clean and healthy working environment.

LAYING A POLISHED CONCRETE OVERLAY

Occasionally a concrete slab is beyond repair, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy polished concrete flooring in your home.

  • When Overlays are the Answer – In rare cases where existing concrete is severely damaged or contaminated, a polished concrete overlay provides a stunning solution. This versatile option allows us to achieve your desired look, even under challenging circumstances.
  • The Overlay Process – Any existing flooring (tiles, carpet) is carefully removed, and the slab may be re-profiled for optimal adhesion of the new overlay. After pouring and allowing the overlay to cure, we follow the same meticulous polishing process as with any concrete floor. This ensures the same beautiful finishes and exceptional durability are achieved.

DirectStone Expertise – Regardless of whether we’re working with a new slab, retrofitting, or installing an overlay, our skilled team brings the dedication and experience needed to achieve your polished concrete vision.


Unsure if polished concrete is right for you? Get expert advice and a personalised quote tailored to your project. Contact DirectStone for your free, no-obligation consultation.


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