Polished concrete is a new version of an old standard in construction materials that has been sweeping the commercial and home building industries. Hospitals, shopping centres, office buildings, and residences are now using polished concrete on the South Coast. This flooring has many advantages that make it the better choice than many standard flooring materials—not to mention at a lower cost.
Why Use Polished Concrete?
Polished concrete is not just plain, boring, rough old concrete. It can be transformed through the polishing process into a thing of beauty that enhances any atmosphere. It is inexpensive, ecologically sound, easy to clean and maintain, and might possibly reduce your monthly power bill. Even older houses can retrofit their floors into polished concrete, renewing the home’s appeal and increasing its value. Using polished concrete on the South Coast in public buildings can actually diminish liability claims, as it is less slick when wet than wood or other flooring.
Concrete is a cheap, strong, versatile building material that is used in structures all over the world. Nearly every building of any size will have a poured concrete foundation and sub-floor that can be polished. If you are building a new home, choosing to polish the existing concrete flooring will save thousands of dollars on additional labour and materials. Using polished concrete on the South Coast will allow homeowners to put more money and time into other things rather than maintaining their floors.
Form and Function
Polished concrete is practically impermeable, so it is ideal for basements and areas with high moisture levels. It can be polished to varying degrees of brilliance and texture dependent upon the customer’s needs and preferences. Many people confuse this flooring with expensive granite or even marble. Polished concrete on the South Coast will radiate warmth in the winter and will cool the home in the summer due to its radiant energy-absorbent properties. Its gorgeous sheen will endure for years, needing only an occasional touch-up.
Not only is polished concrete flooring good for the pocketbook, it is also good for the environment. Precious wood is spared being used as a flooring material, and the chemicals used in the concrete polishing and sealing process are not detrimental to nature. It requires very little effort to clean, and no harsh cleansers, waxes or polishes are needed. There have also been some anecdotal reports about polished concrete on the South Coast contributing to lower electric bills, as the bright reflective surface of the floor reduces the need for ambient light.
Hospitals use polished concrete flooring on the South Coast frequently because it is so easy to clean, is slip-resistant, and is completely hypoallergenic. A polished concrete floor discourages the growth of microbes, fungi, moulds, and other agents of disease as carpeting and even wood might. It does not accumulate dust, dust mites, and pollen, and it needs no irritating chemicals to remain bright and shiny. Asthmatics and allergy sufferers need suffer no more in a home with the same material.
Polished concrete can be low-key and elegantly anonymous in office buildings and hospitals, but it can be personalized in a home setting to accentuate the owner’s tastes. Adding aggregate materials such as river stones, basalt, coloured glass, seashells, and other items or even dye to the top layer adds panache to a room, patio, and veranda or pool area. Some techniques for laying out this flooring resemble stained glass windows or abstract artwork. It is all up to the owners to put their own touch into the design.
Other Uses for Polished Concrete
Polished concrete can be used in places other than just on floors. Kitchen and bath countertops, fireplaces, sinks and furniture such as outdoor benches can all be done in polished concrete. Many homes use polished concrete on the South Coast for entire kitchens and baths, using colour and texture to form the foundation of the room’s aesthetic scheme. Another innovative way to use polished concrete is by incorporating heating elements into the material, creating radiant heat flooring.
Can All Concrete be Polished?
Virtually any concrete surface can be polished, but there are some exceptions. Although older concrete can be retrofit for polishing, very aged concrete or concrete that has been stained with certain chemicals or heavy concentrations of oil are not good candidates. Also, very porous concrete, crumbling concrete or those surfaces which are highly curved, such as in swimming pools, are not recommended for polishing. However, if your home is only a few years old it is very likely that its concrete is eligible for polishing.
The Main Procedure
If your home is still in the construction process, let your builder know early that you will be polishing the concrete flooring, because then they will use the finest finishing techniques rather than leaving the concrete rough. This reduces the amount of grinding that needs to be done. Older surfaces will need to be thoroughly cleaned. Once clean, it will be ground down using special diamond grinding tools. The first few grinding sessions will be done with a coarser grain, but with each subsequent grinding pass the grade of diamond will increase.
Once the surface has been ground to the desired level of texture, a product called an indensifier is worked into the concrete for approximately an hour. This chemical reacts with the concrete and bonds to it, forming a crystalline matrix that is almost indestructible and invulnerable to moisture. Once the indensifier has dried overnight, the surface will be ground down a few more times until it is virtually perfect, smooth and shining. It will then be stained and sealed against stains from water and oil. The entire process takes less than five days from start to finish.
Over the past several years, the popularity of polished concrete on the South Coast has grown tremendously, and we are here to provide the expert service that is required for evaluating and installing this kind of flooring. We are here to ensure that your home, office or other structure is as beautiful and enduring as it possibly can be, at a reasonable price.