Polished Concrete Floors (Ultimate Design Guide)
As a busy design professional, I always have a hard time finding the time to find the right products, services, and people that will help me create the type of home I want. So, I started to do what I do best: research! I’ve spent hours reading about and learning about the different types of floors available, and how to choose the best one for your home. I’ve learned that everything from color to finish should be considered when choosing a finish for your concrete floors. I’ve learned that the hardest part of selecting the right finish is to understand the various types of finishes available and the reasoning behind them. The second hardest part is finding the products that will help you get the right finish on your floors. After hours of reading and
For those who know their way around a paintbrush, installing a concrete floor can be a breeze. The good news is that as long as you follow the right recipe, your concrete floor can be as beautiful as it is functional.
Polished concrete floors are not for everyone. If you have a small house with a small budget, it might not be the best choice. For example, if you are planning to build a house and want a home that looks different from others, polished concrete floors might not be the best choice.
Welcome to our guide to polished concrete floors, including their texture, cost and the different types, such as painted, brushed, compacted and mechanically polished concrete floors. These are exciting times for construction projects. Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an office, innovations in materials allow you to get the custom look you want at a lower cost. Polished concrete floors are a building material that benefits from these modern advances. With a polished concrete floor, you can achieve the classic look of terrazzo, create a unique trowel chiseled pattern or mimic the look of marble – these are just a few of the design options available to homeowners.
What are polished concrete floors?
A polished concrete floor is a type of finish that is put through several stages using polishing equipment, which is applied to an existing or new hardened concrete slab to create a smooth, shiny surface. Essentially, polishing concrete floors is similar to sanding wood, where the floors are mechanically sanded, brushed and polished to a mirror shine with abrasives. There are different finishes of polished concrete with different gloss levels. You can also choose colors, add fills, engrave or carve patterns into the surface. Polished concrete floors have become a popular surface for commercial and industrial applications because of their durability, low maintenance and affordability. This is a cost-effective option for commercial and industrial spaces, as they generally occupy large areas. A polished concrete surface is also ideal for residential use, as there are many attractive patterns to choose from, away from the usual plain concrete surface. Polished concrete floors can be used both indoors and outdoors, with different gloss levels depending on your needs. The lifespan of polished concrete floors varies, but it is generally agreed that it depends on many factors, such as… B. the quality of your concrete slab, the placement process, the amount of foot traffic and maintenance. Professionally installed polished concrete floors can last anywhere from 20 to 100 years. Resilient polished concrete floors are considered an environmentally friendly flooring solution. According to the Eneref Institute, polished concrete floors have a much lower global warming potential, emit no volatile organic compounds, require little energy for maintenance and are non-flammable. Moreover, the concrete material can be reused and recycled.
Benefits of polished concrete
- Cost reduction
- A longer life cycle
- Less maintenance
- Resistant to high pedestrian loads
- Resistance to moisture transfer problems
- High retroreflection
- Ecologically responsible
- Finishing of polished concrete floors
Types of polished concrete
There are two main types of polished concrete:
Grinding and compacting concrete
Concrete grinding and sealing (G&S) involves rough grinding the top of the concrete to show as little stone or rock as possible, depending on your preference. It is ideal for indoor or garage floors and with the addition of anti-slip powder, if you want to use it on wet surfaces, it meets all anti-slip requirements. Broken and compacted concrete is very durable and repels water and dirt. But because it is a topical sealer, you will need to reseal or coat every 3 to 10 years, depending on the product you choose, Compared to the mechanical polishing option, sanding and sealing is less expensive, but a new coating must be applied regularly to the worn top layer, which increases the cost.
Type of grinding and compacting work for concrete
You can choose from the following types of grinding and sealing of concrete surfaces: The Nil Exposure finish is a highly desirable concrete finish, ideal for freshly poured concrete that meets strict specifications so there are no bumps or wrinkles on the concrete surface and the underlying aggregate can show through. The surface should be sanded as little as possible so that hardly any stone is visible. The surface is then grouted to fill in small cracks and holes, resulting in a smoother, finer finish. The surface is then polished to the desired gloss level. Minimal Casual – Also known as salt and pepper, the concrete slab will have a 1-3mm surface finish when sanded. There may be areas where little or no rock is exposed, and areas where more rock is exposed, depending on the type of flow. The risk of accidents occurs mainly in industrial areas, such as garages and outdoor sites. Compared to the Nile and the total exposure, it costs less and is therefore the most advantageous of the three surface types. Full Nudity – As the name suggests, the devices are fully exposed. This method of exposure is the most time-consuming and usually requires 2 to 3 sandings of the floor to fully expose the stone. In general, the surface is ground to 4-6 mm or more, depending on the hardness of the panel. Stone floors are more decorative and are ideal for homes, restaurants and showrooms.
Concrete surfaces for interior fitting
After sanding, they are given different types of concrete finish: matt, semi-gloss or glossy. Matte finish – This finish is the ideal choice if you want a subtle shine, but don’t want it to dominate the room or space. This gives it a more industrial or rustic look and is popular in homes, restaurants, cafes, shops and other informal spaces. The semi-gloss finish is a popular option as it has an optimum gloss level with a reflective side for good light reflection, which is easier to maintain than a glossy finish. To achieve a glossy finish, a diamond abrasive of 800 grit or more is generally used. Gloss – Gloss is easily observable when you see your reflection on the ground and the surface looks wet when viewed from an angle. High-gloss finishes can be an impressive choice for hotel lobbies, administrative offices and other formal spaces. Usually, a resin-bonded diamond with a 3000 grit is needed to achieve a beautiful finish, or the floor can be finished with a high-speed grinder equipped with polishing wheels. These operations are repeated until a shiny surface is obtained. The surface is then covered with a sealant, depending on the requirements and service life:
- Water based
- Solvent based
- UV stability
- Acrylic and polyaspartic coating.
Mechanically polished concrete
With mechanical concrete polishing (MPC), it is the concrete itself that shines, not the top layer. To achieve a polished appearance, the floor undergoes the same processes as sanding and sealing, but this time the floor is grouted and undergoes several sealing or curing processes, after which it is polished several times to get the right number. A high level of craftsmanship and technological processes is required. Mechanical polishing of concrete is a process more recommended for indoor floors. As with grinding and compaction, you can choose between no, minimal and full action with mechanically polished concrete. The same applies to the gloss level: matt, semi-gloss and glossy.
Stained glass polished concrete floors
Concrete floors now offer something more than the usual greyish look you usually see on sidewalks. Today polished concrete floors can come in almost any pattern and color that fits your preferences and budget, thanks to a process called staining. Painted and polished concrete floors are suitable for residential and commercial applications, and the process can be performed on a newly installed concrete slab or on an existing concrete floor. It’s a permanent painting. When the concrete stains penetrate deep into the concrete surface, they become a permanent color. Unlike paints or coatings, weathering and other factors can cause the surface to peel or fade. It can mimic any color or appearance. Get the color of your choice with versatile painted polished concrete. A professional staining company can help you achieve the look you want for your concrete floor, whether it’s subtle tones, bolder colors, or other design elements you can imagine. In addition to choosing the color, the process of injecting the paint into your concrete floor will also affect the appearance and cost of your painted polished concrete floors. It’s about Adding colour to a polished floor is not just a matter of choosing colour. This requires a good understanding of the different stains available and how they affect the placement of polished concrete. There are four products or methods for staining gray concrete. Each has its own color palette and application method.
Types of products for concrete removal
- Hardener for colouring
- Penetrating chemical stains
Intégral – New concrete floors Built-in color additives are considered the easiest and most environmentally friendly way to give concrete floors a uniform color. It is preferable to apply it to freshly poured concrete to obtain a uniform colour without variation. Remember that the color of your cement will affect the final color. For example, white cement produces brighter, richer tones, while gray cement produces muted tones. Integral – Flooring – Integral coloring apply to the top portion while smoothing with the trowel. Admixtures are added to the excess concrete or cement layer to obtain a uniform color. Also called cement seeds or pigment blending. Stains – water-based – are applied during the polishing process and are an environmentally friendly option, although they produce a lighter or more muted color than solvent-based stains. Solvent-based stains are applied during the polishing process and are not an environmentally friendly option, but give a brighter color than water-based stains. Acid blasting – used in polishing where water, hydrochloric acid and acid-soluble metal salts are mixed to form a mixture that reacts chemically with the hydrated lime in the concrete. This gradually corrodes the concrete floor, making it easier for the metal salts to penetrate the slab. The staining is an integral part of the concrete surface.
White polished concrete floor
The visual impact of white and polished concrete floors is undeniably beautiful, and if painted properly, the technique can last a very long time. Clear, bright white polished concrete floors look great in any style, whether residential or commercial. An all-white room makes it easy to create the perfect backdrop for a minimalist or modern theme. Not everyone can brave a white finish because of maintenance issues, but a white polished concrete floor is easier to maintain because of its smooth surface.
Black polished concrete floor
Get the beauty of onyx floors without breaking the bank with a polished concrete floor with a black acid stain. It is a floor covering that looks elegant in an office, lobby or any other commercial space. If you want to add ambiance and sophistication to any part of your home, black polished concrete flooring is a great option. The higher the gloss level of your black concrete floor, the more wavy and shiny the color will be.
Multi-coloured polished concrete floor
With concrete floors, you can use almost any color you can think of. To get the desired color of the floor, choose the staining process, as staining can produce unpredictable colors due to the slow chemical reaction. Multicolored polished concrete floors are a bright and playful option for your patio, nursery or any other area of your home where you want an attractive polished concrete floor. For more ideas on a polished concrete patio, click here.
Polished concrete floor in walnut
The rich brown tone of walnut on polished concrete creates a warm and comfortable atmosphere in the room, while the wood floor is low maintenance. Their attractive surface also makes them ideal for the kitchen and living room. If you are considering decorating your home in a more traditional style, polished walnut concrete floors is an ideal option that is cheaper and faster to install. You can choose between painted or stained polished concrete floors, but painted polished concrete floors are currently a popular choice because of their quick installation. Water- or solvent-based dyes are another option. Water-based dyes produce softer colours while solvent-based products produce brighter colours.
Costs of polished concrete floor
The cost of installing a polished concrete floor varies considerably, mainly depending on the location of the project, the degree of sanding, the degree of gloss, the color scheme and the complexity of the added patterns. On average, you should pay between $3 and $12 per square foot. For residential floors, concrete overlay cost may be higher due to the need for smaller equipment and other special design conditions. The best way to estimate the cost of a polished concrete floor is to get a quote from a contractor. Although some average prices are listed here to give you a general idea of what you should pay for a concrete floor. Economic options $3 to $5 per square foot
- Reduced surface preparation
- Ground and polished to a moderate shine
- One layer for the color of the dye.
Average of $5 to $8 per square foot
- Additional configuration options
- 2 colors of dye
- Brighter surface
- Points for simple models or design elements
- Extensive surface preparation
High Quality Minimum $8.00 per square foot
- Extensive surface preparation and grinding
- Details of the hand painting
- Multi-coloured dots and individual colour combinations
- Drawings, templates or elaborate designs
Costs of polishing existing concrete floor
Major repairs to an existing concrete floor cost $1 to $2 per square foot when broken and compacted. An additional $2 to $3 per square foot for restoration. The cost of embossing, staining, and sealing varies by design, size, and other decorative finishes and can range from $1 to $10 per square foot. Polishing an old concrete floor may require additional processes, unlike polishing fresh concrete. Additional preparation may include removing stains, filling dents, and cleaning surface contaminants. Ask your contractor to evaluate your existing concrete floor and see what’s best: replace it with another coating or continue with a polished concrete floor.
Costs of grinding and polishing concrete floors
Regularly colored polished concrete can cost from $1.75 to $4.00, and painted polished concrete can cost from $2.50 to $8.00. The cost of polished concrete floors varies considerably depending on many factors, such as… B. The size and location of your project. The price also depends on how much the surface is sanded and smoothed.
Cost of polished concrete floors versus tiles
Simple polished concrete, without complicated construction, is generally cheaper than laying other flooring materials, and with low maintenance costs per year, you’ll save more in the long run as well. They hardly need to be replaced and have a lifespan of 8 to 20 years. And if you’re judging floors by cost, concrete is definitely the cheapest option, but ultimately it’s your personal preferences and needs that will affect the cost.
Where polished concrete floors can be used for interior decoration
We will now look at some of the best uses of different types of polished concrete floors in the home. These are just a few of the most common design ideas for polished floors, and they don’t cover all the possible options that can be used.
Polished concrete floor in living room
Polished concrete Living room floor type – Classic polished grey concrete The living room should be the heart of your home. It should be an inviting and welcoming space with an original and practical design. You can achieve a modern look with the classic look of polished concrete. The grey, industrial look of this flooring allows you to add architectural and decorative elements that will go well with your neutral flooring. Add textures, tones and other design elements to define your design style.
Polished concrete floor in kitchen
The type used for polished concrete kitchen floors is acid stain. Thanks to its waterproof surface, concrete floors can come in handy in kitchens. It does not leave stains and its smooth surface makes it easy to clean and maintain. However, you can also acid stain your concrete floor to give it a mottled appearance, which helps hide dirt in a high-traffic area. The result is an interesting and highly durable three-dimensional look.
Polished Concrete Bathroom Floor
Type of concrete floor in the bathroom – A Terrazzo Look There are many polished concrete finishes that will give your bathroom a great look, such as. B. Polished concrete floors with marble-like stains. You can also choose simple polished concrete for a minimalist approach to the space, clean and smooth. If you want to add comfort to a modern bathroom, terrazzo is a good choice, as the visible parts will visually enhance your bathroom. Pebbles can also be used in the sink and countertop to create a more cohesive design. If you are concerned about slipping on a polished floor, you can add a slip-resistant product or sand the floor further during the finishing process to give it texture.
Polished Concrete Garage Floor
Type, which is used for the garage floor – brushed concrete. Polished concrete is recommended for outdoor areas such as walkways, sidewalks, porches, pools and other low or flat surfaces. Although it should be noted that there is only a matte finish, polished concrete floors will have some shine after the final sealant is applied. Compared to grinding and sealing, the sealant is sucked into the concrete, so it is not left on the surface of the floor. The built-in sealant makes it more resistant to abrasion, making it an ideal surface for floor elements and outdoor activities. However, sanding and sealing can be a good option if you want to achieve a higher gloss for your exterior. The surface has non-slip crumbs to make it non-slip. Additives are also added to make the floor UV resistant, preventing the surface from fading over time.
Polished concrete floor in basement
Type of cellar floor polishing – sanding and sealing The benefit of a polished concrete floor in the basement is that the reflection of light on the floor can increase up to 100%, making the room look more vibrant. When daylight is limited, a polished concrete base reflects and diffuses the available light. Another great benefit of polished concrete floors is that they don’t collect dust and are easy to clean when needed. This means that indoor air quality is better than with hardwood or tile floors, where dust and dirt easily get trapped in the cracks and crevices between the floors.
How to clean polished concrete floors
Although polished concrete floors are relatively easy to clean and maintain, there are cleaning agents that should not damage or weaken the sealant that has been applied. The most important thing is to keep the cleaning simple and regular. No sealant or wax is required for maintenance, a simple mop and bucket of water is all that is needed. However, this does not prevent you from using other chemicals, but you must be clear about the chemicals you are using to avoid fading the colors or ruining the design. Avoid acids or chemicals containing hydroxides and sulfates, for example. B. Cleaning agents such as ammonia or bleach. Chemicals that help loosen soil particles are a good choice, but you should avoid hard brushes that can dull the surface or leave unwanted marks. Do not use ammonia, bleach or strong acidic substances on polished or stamped floors. Good cleaning products include B. Castile soap, liquid dish soap, stone cleaner and mild floor cleaners. Mix the solution, apply to the floor with a damp mop and rinse with a mop dipped in clean water. The best products for cleaning polished concrete floors
- Castile Soap
- A liquid bowl
- Stone cleaner
- Mild floor cleaners
What to avoid
- Citrus Cleaner
- Pine Cleaner
Conclusion on polished concrete floors Concrete is no longer the sombre grey stone that lies beneath our feet. Thanks to advances in interior design, chemistry, engineering and other related industries, we can turn such a simple material into something aesthetically pleasing that can contribute to the overall look of an interior. With stencils, decorative patterns and a wide range of colors, you can transform concrete into a canvas that will last a lifetime with proper maintenance. For more information, visit our wood flooring examples page.Polished concrete floors are starting to hit the mainstream. In theory, they’re a great idea: an affordable, sustainable alternative to traditional concrete, with a finish that looks and feels great. Unfortunately, the implementation can be tricky. Here, we’ve gathered some of the best tips and tricks for getting the best result with the least hassle.. Read more about polished concrete grit levels and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How thick does a polished concrete floor need to be?
Polished concrete floors are beautiful and they look amazing in homes. However, they are not as simple to install as they look. If you order a polished concrete floor, the installer is going to need to know a lot of information about the floor. They need to know the type of concrete you are using, the thickness of the floor, the amount of moisture in the concrete and the type of finish you want to use. If you are not sure about the type of finish, you can ask your installer the type of finish you are getting before you make the final decision. A polished concrete floor is one of the most beautiful flooring options to consider in a home. A polished concrete floor is also one of the most efficient and durable floor types to use in a home.
Is a polished concrete floor expensive?
Polished concrete (also known as marble and travertine) is a popular flooring option in Australia. It is clean, durable, and it looks luxurious. It is commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. However, it is quite expensive and the installation can be a hard job. So, is it worth it or should you look at other options? Concrete floors are one of the most expensive choices you can make when it comes to interior design for your home, so is it really worth the extra cash? The cost of a concrete floor is not solely decided by the fact that it is a natural material, but also because they are more labour intensive to install than natural flooring, and require more maintenance.
How much does a polished concrete floor cost?
The cost of polished concrete floors often seems out of reach for homeowners, but the results of this type of flooring can be well worth it. Along with its visual appeal, polished concrete floors are also energy efficient and durable, which means they can help you save money on your utility bills. Although this type of flooring might seem expensive, the price of polished concrete floors is almost always lower than that of other options. With the house hunting season upon us, many will turn to the experts to advise on different flooring options for their new home. One of the most common questions is whether to choose polished concrete or a painted floor. For the average person, the choice may come down to price. But how much does a polished concrete floor cost? And how can you tell the difference between a polished concrete and a painted floor?
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