Homebuilders and remodelers have so many options to choose from when it comes to flooring, but you should consider concrete for your floors. While you may not immediately think of concrete for residential floors, the material is becoming more popular. One method of making the concrete flooring especially attractive is to polish it. A polished concrete floor can work with any style of décor.
Process for Polishing Concrete
To polish concrete, contractors use a large floor polisher with an attachment that consists of diamonds bonded to metal. The size, or grit, of the diamonds determines the level of polish. The contractors start with a coarse grit attachment and work their way down to finer grit to achieve the desired level of polish.
In between grindings, the contractors apply a sealer to the floor, which impregnates the surface. It makes the concrete harder and denser, which offers an extra layer of protection. If the desired result is a high-gloss finish, some contractors also apply a polishing compound before the final grinding.
The grinding process produces dust, so some contractors use a wet method during the grinding to bind the dust to water and to keep the diamond abrasives cool. They then dispose of the resultant flurry. Another method involves a floor polisher that includes a dust-containment vacuum, while some contractors combine the two methods, starting with the dry polish and finishing with the wet.
Benefits of Polished Concrete Flooring
A polished concrete floor offers the same benefits as any concrete flooring. Concrete is a prized material because it's budget-friendly. The material itself is economical, as is the installation. While drying and/or polishing does add to the cost, the ending price tag isn't nearly as high as with hardwood or tile flooring.
Polished concrete also offers additional advantages. The main benefit is aesthetic. You can customize your floor by determining the level of shine.
Polished concrete floors are also very durable and long-lasting, although they do require a little more maintenance than other surfaces. The polish is susceptible to scratching from dust particles. However, unlike other polished floors, concrete flooring doesn't require waxing or even re-sealing.
Looks for Polished Concrete Flooring
As noted above, the surface shine can range from a low sheen that appears satiny to mirror-level gloss. The level of shine depends on your preference.
Most homeowners combine the polishing process with other decorative techniques. For example, your concrete floor can be made to simulate polished marble or granite by being stained. You can also add visual texture by having the floor stamped or etched before the staining process.
Many homeowners choose concrete flooring because of the customization options. Unlike with other materials, contractors can apply dyes in any shape, from subtle to bold. So you can utilize dyes to create murals or geometric shapes in your concrete surface.
Another customization option for concrete flooring is adding aggregates, usually smooth pebbles or glass beads. While the exposed aggregate surface is more common with outdoor concrete because it provides traction when wet, you can combine the aggregate addition with the polishing process. The result is still a smooth, polished floor.
If you have an existing concrete floor but it's damaged, say because it was the subfloor under another material, you may consider a polished concrete overlay. With this technique, the contractors make any necessary repairs in the floor. They then apply a thin coating of concrete over the existing floor and polish it in the above-described manner.
For customization purposes, you can still have a polished overlay stamped, stained, or dyed. Likewise, overlays are commonly used to add aggregates to existing slabs.
A polished concrete floor can add value to your home while remaining budget-friendly. Our experts at B M H Concrete Inc can help you design and install a polished concrete floor that complements your house. Contact us today.