An In-Depth Guide To Polished Concrete Floors
Whether you’re already convinced polished concrete is the way to go for your home’s floors, or you’re intrigued by the idea but are looking into the matter more, we hope you will find information and answers in this in-depth guide to all polished concrete flooring-related matters. Or at least some of them. Polished concrete floors certainly have a lot to offer, both in form and function.
Polished concrete flooring is simply a concrete floor that has been treated with a chemical densifier (to fill in the holes/pores) and ground down (similar to sanding wood) with progressively finer grinding tools. As the number of grit increases, so does its fineness; that is, a polished concrete floor that works its way to a higher finish (over 400 grit, for example, is considered the bare minimum of being polished, although other polished grits range from 800 on up to 3,000) will be smoother than one with a lower finish.
Basically, polished concrete flooring is measured by grade and finish – the higher the grade, the larger the exposed aggregates tend to be. And the higher the finish, the shinier the polish is.
Polished concrete floors fall under the much-sought-after category of sustainable design because of its ability to use what is already there (e.g., the concrete foundation slab). By polishing the exposed concrete, you eliminate both the materials and energy required in “putting in a floor” in the traditional sense.
Concrete is a material that works nicely with modern architecture and aesthetic, due in large part to its minimalistic industrial vibe. A clean, straightforward surface like polished concrete would look well in any space that is veering toward a modern feel.
Really, it doesn’t get much more basic than concrete in architecture, and polished concrete flooring is no exception. Once polished and sealed, concrete doesn’t take much effort to maintain.
Simply mop with warm soapy water once a week to keep things clean. Or spot clean with a rag, if mopping seems too hard. Polished concrete flooring is very forgiving in the cleaning department. What’s more, this type of flooring is great for allergy sensitivities, as it reduces dust mites and allergens.
Polished concrete is hard-wearing and can maintain its pristine appearance for much longer than softer flooring surfaces such as hardwood, which chips or dents. After the concrete has been hardened and polished, the floor could last more than 100 years if maintained. Compare this to a tile floor’s life expectancy of 10-20 years, and that’s quite a difference.
Despite the fact that they may look smooth as glass, polished concrete floors actually are less slippery than waxed linoleum or polished marble…as long as they’re kept clean and dry.
Any damage related to humidity or caused by moisture is a moot point for polished concrete floors. What’s more, this type of floor cannot even harbor mold, mildew, dust mites, or other allergens.