What about the cost and time it takes to remove old flooring and polish the concrete? Instead of doing it all at once, Elk Grove Unified School District began a program of steadily converting rooms as needed.
To save money, it used its own staff and sought out training. They attended workshops hosted by their vendors and developed a program that helped greatly reduce maintenance costs. Almeida says that when given the choice between polishing the existing concrete or waiting for funds to replace the carpet, it’s a no brainer — polish the concrete!
Although carpet still makes up a large part of the flooring that’s being put down in schools, universities and public facilities, polished concrete is making strides as an alternative. In high-traffic areas, lobbies, entrances and classrooms, it’s proving to be a great flooring option.
With the help of vendors that can train staff, many in the public sector are finding it’s not nearly as difficult a transition as once thought. In many cases, the initial grinding and polishing can be outsourced and still cost less than installing carpet. The facility can easily maintain the floor with a huge savings.
In a nutshell, with proper training on how to maintain polished concrete — and with the latest in densifiers and guards — polished concrete is attractive, easier to maintain and less costly than most other flooring options.
David Swindle II, sales manager at Surtec Inc. in Tracy, California, has more than 20 years of experience in the cleaning and maintenance industry. For the past three years, he has worked with Surtec, focusing on its polished concrete system. He can be reached at DSwindle@surtecsystem.com.