What is Polished Concrete Flooring?

Polished Concrete: A Stylish and Sustainable Flooring Solution

Are you searching for a flooring solution that seamlessly blends style, durability, and sustainability? Then you’re in the right place! Polished concrete has emerged as an enduring choice for both residential and commercial spaces, capturing the imagination of design enthusiasts and homeowners alike. This DirectStone guide aims to provide a definitive answer to the question What is polished concrete flooring?

DirectStone’s flooring specialists will take you through the benefits of choosing polished concrete flooring, its applications indoors and out, the design options available, as well as considering installation and maintenance. Read on to discover how we transform this industrial building material into one of the most stunningly elegant flooring options currently available.

What is Polished Concrete Flooring?

Polished concrete flooring involves the unlikely combination of diamonds and concrete in order to create a durable, sparkling, and uniquely beautiful flooring option. It is widely used in a broad range of environments, such as homes, restaurants, showrooms, offices, and retail spaces, where practicality and style are essential.

The process of creating diamond polished concrete floors involves grinding back the surface paste of the concrete, using specialised machines, followed by the application of densifiers and sealers to strengthen and protect the revealed surface. Finally, the concrete undergoes multiple grinding steps, using diamond tools with increasingly finer grit levels, resulting in different finishes, from a high gloss to a matte sheen.

Polished Concrete Flooring

The Benefits of Polished Concrete

Still need persuading? Just look at the advantages polished concrete flooring confers:

  1. Contemporary Aesthetics. Polished concrete offers a smooth and sleek flooring option that complements the minimalist interiors favoured by many contemporary homes and commercial spaces.
  2. Low Maintenance and Durability. It’s easy to clean and requires minimal maintenance, making polished concrete ideal for households with pets or commercial spaces with high foot traffic. And it lasts for decades.
  3. Non-Slip Safety. Despite its sheen, polished concrete provides a non-slip finish, making it a suitable choice for kitchens, patios, or retail flooring where slip resistance is crucial.
  4. Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Transition. Polished concrete flooring can be used both indoors and outdoors, providing a seamless look. It’s a perfect partner for bi-fold or sliding door installation.
  5. Compatibility with Underfloor Heating. Concrete is an excellent heat conductor, making it a perfect match for underfloor heating systems. It efficiently distributes and retains heat, enhancing comfort in heated spaces.
  6. Solar Heat Gain Benefits. In areas where sunlight is abundant, polished concrete floors absorb and retain heat effectively, capitalising on solar gain. This feature contributes to energy efficiency and a comfortable indoor environment.
  7. A Sustainable Solution. Polished concrete can be retrofitted. Many homes have concrete flooring hidden beneath existing floor coverings. Creating a polished concrete floor can be about revealing and recycling, rather than adding.

Applications of Polished Concrete FlooringBottom of Form

Just as important as what is polished concrete flooring? Is the question where can polished concrete be used? DirectStone installs beautiful flooring in a wide range of locations, so here are our suggestions:

1. Residential Polished Concrete Flooring

Polished concrete is well-suited to several areas in a home due to its durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. Ideal places to install polished concrete flooring include high-traffic areas like entryways and hallways, where its resilience comes into its own.

Kitchens and ground floor bathrooms benefit particularly from its non-slip properties and ease of cleaning. Open plan, multi-purpose living rooms or dining areas are particularly good locations as the flooring helps to unify the space as a whole. If you’re looking to blend an indoors/outdoors space, polished concrete could be your perfect solution.

2. Commercial Polished Concrete Flooring

What makes polished concrete flooring such an excellent choice for commercial environments is, first and foremost, it’s durability and versatility, as well as the light-enhancing sheen it can bring to an environment.

Retail spaces and showrooms in particular benefit from its sleek and contemporary look, enhancing product displays. Office spaces enjoy the durability of flooring that can maintain its looks over extended periods of time. Restaurants and hospitality venues appreciate its non-slip properties in high-traffic areas like dining areas and bars.

Design Options for Polished Concrete Flooring

DirectStone clients are often surprised by the range of finishes available for polished concrete flooring. While the high-gloss polish is probably the best known, there are plenty of alternatives to consider:

  • Bronze Polished Concrete (Cream Finish). This finish celebrates the natural texture and coloration of the concrete slab, enhancing its unique blend of colours and textures. Instead of grinding back the surface paste, the top layer is simply polished, resulting in a creamy gloss.
  • Silver or Full Aggregate Finish. As the result of a deep grinding process, this finish exposes the larger stones in the concrete slab, creating a durable and matte surface. Grout, densifiers, and professional sealant are applied for protection, and regular cleaning is crucial to maintain its appearance.
  • Gold or Salt and Pepper Polished Concrete. By exposing the aggregate beneath the surface paste, a unique pattern is revealed and polished to the desired sheen. The floor is ground to expose the sands and aggregates, then polished to a high gloss finish.
  • Platinum Finish. Similar to the Silver finish, this requires deep grinding to expose the ballast in the concrete slab. The resulting pattern is polished to an exceptionally brilliant gloss, reflecting light, and providing a stunning glow.

Installation and Maintenance of Polished Concrete

This is a brief guide to the process of installing polished concrete flooring. Each floor is different however, and the specific process will be determined at a site visit prior to installation.

Laying Concrete Floors

  • New Builds. Concrete flooring is poured during construction, and the DirectStone team begins their work once it has cured and dried.
  • Retrofitting. Existing concrete floors that have previously been covered with tiles or carpet can be ground back and polished. Alternatively, a polished concrete overlay can be installed on top of the original concrete if it is damaged.

Sealing the Concrete

  • Durability. A densifier and sealant are applied to enhance the floor’s durability and help maintain its polished appearance.
  • Protection From Stains. The sealant helps protect the porous concrete from staining, but prompt cleanup is necessary for oily or acidic spills.
  • Minimising Scuffs. The sealant reduces scuffs caused by pushchair wheels, shoes, or heavy objects dragged across the floor.
  • Sealant Lifespan. The sealant typically lasts 3-5 years, depending on wear and tear. It should be stripped and reapplied to maintain the polished concrete finish.

Maintenance of Polished Concrete

  • Sweep or Vacuum Regularly. Grit and dust is greatest threat to a polished concrete floor as it can dull the finish. Regular sweeping to keep the floor dust free is the best way to avoid this.
  • Mop the Floor. Polished concrete needs no special cleaning products. Warm water with a pH-neutral detergent is ideal, applied with a micro-fibre mop for the best results.
  • Floor Dries Naturally. Simply open the windows and the floor will quickly dry.
  • Stain Management. Spills of wine, fruit juice, vinegar, orange juice, black coffee, or tomato juice need to be dealt with quickly to avoid staining. Remove with kitchen towel, then clean with warm water and soap.

Experience the Difference with DirectStone

When it comes to polished concrete floors, DirectStone consistently delivers on their promise of professionalism and exceptional quality. Whether you’re renovating your home, designing a commercial space, or showcasing your products in a showroom or gallery, our flooring specialists are here to provide stunning polished concrete solutions.

With our extensive coverage across the UK, including London, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk, we bring our expertise right to your doorstep. Choose DirectStone for flawless polished concrete floors that elevate your space to new levels of elegance and durability.

Have we answered the question what is polished concrete flooring? If you would like more information, or a free no obligation quote, call the DirectStone team today on 01525 20863920Top of Form

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