I am always surprised that every time Polished Concrete projects seem to be slowing down there comes a rush of projects that pop up with this fantastic surface specified. From schools, museums to warehouses, office buildings and recreation polished concrete is still the surface to have. It got me wondering what is it about polished concrete that makes it have such staying power as a flooring surfaces.
During the early days Polished Concrete got a bad rap due to the fact that it was developed using techniques, machines and chemicals that were not yet refined and where mixed and matched from different suppliers and manufactures in the hope that a floor would turn out looking like a respectable surface. However most times the floor did not reach the expectations given by the Polishing contractor.
Over the years a lot of things have been happening such as contractors skipping stages of grinding or applying high gloss sealers and calling it polished concrete. The use of less than quality diamonds, equipment and chemicals that have not proven effective has also led to major issues. The above issues led to floors that did not last and would wear within months leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and came with the phrase “I will never install/use polished concrete again!”
Luckily things have changed for the better and polished concrete is making its way back into the projects of Architects/designers and building owners.
The first big game changer has been the development of complete systems from notable manufacturers of grinding equipment. For example Husqvarna (ever heard of them?) has developed a complete polishing system called HiPERFLOOR. This complete system is comprised of the most technologically advanced Remote Controlled dry grinding machines, vacuums, diamonds, densifiers, grout, sealers and cleaners for polished concrete. The reason for the developments of these systems is due to the fact that not all concrete is the same. For example some are hard and some are soft. Some concrete floors polish better with a lithium silicate based densifier and some work well with a Lithium Silicate densifier. Some concrete requires the use of different diamonds to achieve the desired results. These full systems also should encourage Architects and Interior designers to specify a “system” and insist that the system be followed over specifying a finish such as “salt & pepper” and allowing the contractor to be polished concrete company to be chosen based on low price only.
These advancements in the polishing technology have shown up on the heels of a global environmental movement and polished concrete is the most environmentally friendly floor available. Every commercial building will have a concrete slab and it is this existing slab that is polished…….no need to manufacture, import or install anything over the floor. A Polished Concrete floor will also last the lifetime of the building and instead of removal and replacement after 5-10 years like other flooring products may require polished concrete can be refinished at a fraction of the cost of replacement and the only remaining residue is concrete dust. I should also mention that Polished Concrete is the most cost effective flooring available with the lowest cost of ownership compared to other flooring types.
Polished Concrete is here to stay and with the ongoing advancements this beautiful long wearing surface is here to last a lifetime.
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