When concrete floors are polished, they often tend to display a smooth glazed, reflective complexion. The design options for polished concrete are endless with different colors, patterns, cuts and engravings. There are also many different levels of glaze, or shine, to choose from as well. Similar to the glaze level, reflectivity also has various levels to choose from. Office and commercial buildings are notorious for using polished concrete because it is so easy to maintain. To maintain polished concrete, it must be dust mopped regularly to avoid an accumulation of dirt and dust, especially with people walking around on it from time to time. It is also necessary to use a neutral-ph cleaner, which is more effective on polished flooring to preserve smoothness.
The Polishing Process:
- The polishing process begins by bonding coarse diamond segments in a metallic matrix. These segments help extract or remove minor imperfections, such as blemishes or stains from the floor in anticipation for the final smoothing.
- In order to reach the desired sheen, the next steps involve grinding the concrete surface using diamond fragments enclosed in plastic or resin matrix. Polishing disks and grits may also be used to intensify the glossy effect. Polishing crews apprehend how fine a grit needs to be, by simply observing the floor surface.
- The next step applies an internal impregnating sealer. This sealer then absorbs into the concrete protecting and densifying it. This makes coating unnecessary, which also makes it easier to perpetuate. Some contractors apply a commercial polishing composite to the surface to help intensify the sheen. This composite also helps to keep the surface clean.
- The final step is polishing. This can be performed using either wet or dry procedures. Although, both procedures do the job, the dry method is used much more often because it’s faster, safer and easier to clean up. The wet method is effective, but creates a bigger mess at the end of the process. The dry method just uses a dust-contaminant system at the end of the polishing process.
Sometimes a combination of both wet and dry polishing methods are used by contractors. Dry polishing is used for the primary grinding steps, when the concrete is removed and the wet polishing method is used as the surface becomes smoother.