The concrete floors in the past were used exclusively in the industrial facilities, but today there are becoming a part of the ordinary homes.
For the concrete floors, there is a wide world accepted opinion that they are a cold material for floor covering, but if you set underfloor heating, it will become extremely good material and warmth will be provided.
That’s why more and more people are opting for residential concrete floors.
Concrete is a material obtained by mixing the sand (or gravel), cement and water. To get a nice, smooth surface are required special machines (called “helicopters”) in order the floor to be grind.
This procedure is performed using diamond materials with different grain sizes, after which the rough concrete turns into decorative floor.
Image source: Swell Homes
You will be mind-blown of how beautiful and elegant the concrete floor will look.
Lately more and more people are deciding to incorporate concrete floors in homes, since they are recommended by many designers and builders.
Concrete or also known as cement floors with the right performance can fit into any home, and their appearance can be amazing.
But now,you may ask yourself what a polished concrete floor is.
It is an ordinary concrete floor polished with a special chemical densifier in order to fill the holes that the concrete has. After that, it is ground down with special finer grinding tools.
Advantages of the polished concrete floors
The advantage of the concrete floors is that they have higher resistance to damage such as scratches, furniture and items that can fall on them, even to cars and other vehicles that could be found in your living space.
In addition, a minimum amount of work is required in order to maintain these floors. It is enough to coat them with a protective layer only once or twice a year and that’s it.
Floors made of concrete are extremely durable. If you ever get tired of their style, you can always upgrade them to a new layer of another floor covering, because the concrete will serve as a base for the installation of new flooring.
Image source: Joshua Lawrence Studios INC
They come in many shapes and colors, with different ways of implementation, and can fit in any home without any difficulty. Some of their advantages include:
- they have a more beautiful and attractive appearance
- they are resistant to aggressive effects of chemicals
- resistant to mechanical damage
- resistant abrasion
- have an extended lifespan
- have an area 8-10 times stronger than the ordinary, untreated concrete
How are the concrete floors polished?
Image source: L.EvansDesignGroup,inc
If you have concrete floors in house, they don’t need to look dill or dirty. You can make them shiny by polishing them. For the polishing procedure, you will need a grinder.
The grinding can be dry or wet, and through the process you can apply a variety of colors and patterns to the concrete floors in order to additionally decorate them.
The floors can also be grinded in different shades of reflection, depending on your wishes and needs.
When dry grinding is used, it comes to the formation of fine dust and gases that are hazardous to health, so lately it is more preferred the wet grinding of concrete flooring.
Diagnose the condition of concrete
Image source: Bruns Architecture
If you are planning to polish your concrete floor, the first step of the process is to identify the condition of its surface.
The concrete is constructed of various elements of different hardness and densities that vary from region to region.
In order to identify the condition of the concrete, you need to measure the density and hardness. This can be done with the help of a MOHS concrete hardness tester.
It is very important for the concrete floor to be densified and polished, in order to expand its lifespan to more than 100 years.
Prepare the Area to be polished
Image source: Sam Crawford Architects
So, now you know that every concrete floor needs to be polished in order to be shinier and to last longer. But, before you start polishing you must prepare the floor for the procedure.
Depending to the condition in which the floor is, the amount of preparation can vary. So, first of all you need to clean the floor from any kind of dirt of dust accumulated.
If you have additional coatings that are added on the concrete it is necessary to remove them. Also, if the floor has some cracks you need to reconstruct them.
Concrete floor polishing procedure!
Image source: Jasmine McClelland Design
When the preparation process is finish, it comes turn to the polishing. As we already said, the grinding is with coarse grit abrasive disc that have diamond abrasives.
Depending on the condition in which the floor is, you may need to repeat the process twice.
The process itself is nothing complicated. You only need to move the grinding machine in circular motion and take care to cover every single piece of the floor.
After you are done, you need to polish with a fine grit abrasive disk also. This type of polishing will give to the floor the desired silky look.
Image source: Christopher Simmonds Architect
After the grinding with coarse and fine grinding is finished, the procedure for densifying comes. The densifying is actually applying a chemical hardener on the concrete that acts as an extra protection from scratches and water penetration.
Image source: BWArchitects
After you created you newly polished floor you should a coat of concrete floor polish in order to create the final protective layer.
What is the concrete flooring cost?
Image source: alsoCAN Architects
Though there is nothing new in the desire to cut costs and maximize profits, the construction process might be thought of as leaner as a result of changes to concrete technology.
The natural heavy weight of the concrete has been minimized.
Systems of reusable formwork, proprietary reinforcement, prefabrication of elements and the use of self-compacting concrete for congested or inaccessible areas have all contributed to the efficiency of concrete construction.
Why to opt for concrete flooring?
Easy to clean and maintain
Image source: Lucy Call
This kind of floors are the easiest for maintaining. Once you get the floor placed and polished you only need to swipe and mop them with detergent in order to clean the created dust.
Image source: ArchiBlox
The poured concrete floors are durable, long-lasting structures that will not rust, rot, or burn.
The life spans of the concrete floors can be double or triple compared to other common building materials.
Image source: Gelotte Hommas Architecture
Since concrete is durable and lasts longer than many other building materials, it costs less to maintain. It means that for a small amount of money you can get a highly modern floor.
Concrete’s undoubted versatility has been a gift to those responsible for its marketing over the years.
The concrete is versatile, and it allow for a huge number of shapes and textures. It is also versatile in the flexibility of component materials.
This allows for a variation in the resources used to produce it and also extends the range of performance and strength.
Not Vulnerable to damages
Image source: Rodwin Architecture
The damages caused by moisture are not affecting the polished cement floors.
Concrete is inherently permeable, but the degree of porosity varies greatly and it is notable that several of its major early applications were for water-retaining structures.
New Floors Vs Retrofit Polished Concrete Floors
Image source: CTA Architects Engineers
With already existing floors, you are narrowed to the aggregate that is already present in the concrete. As concrete is polished the surface is slowly ground down to the wanted shine and smoothness finish.
The existing aggregate will become the feature of the new surface. But also, there is an opportunity to add a ‘topping slab’ to an already existing slab if a particular aggregate finish is desired.
Image source: Casey & Fox
The minimum thickness required for this process is 50mm which may affect door and ceiling heights.
But, if you are placing new floors the situation is different. If you have yet to pour your concrete slab you have more options to customize the look of your polished concrete floor.
You can create a decorative surface to the floor by adding decorative aggregates in the concrete such as granite, sea shells, glass…