The Surface Polished Concrete floor finish is a growing trend that is sweeping across the globe and hitting concrete floors near you.
Traditional or Architectural Polished Concrete floors have a small to large amount of aggregate showing in the finished floor. Up to 40% of the labour in polishing the floor is spend on surface removal – grinding away the top layer of the concrete floor.
With all concrete floors, the aggregate is hidden just below the surface of the concrete, during laying of the concrete floor, a layer of cement paste is brought to the surface as the aggregate is pushed just below the top surface. Most aggregate is of irregular shapes and if you think of a pyramid, if you cut a thin slice off the top you has a small profile of it exposed. the more you take off the top, the larger the profile surface area. Grinding concrete is similar, the deeper you grind the larger the profile of the stones and aggregate that is seen at the floor surface.
Architectural Polished Concrete floors are very popular, but there is a trend and a desire from many clients to have a polished floor with little or no aggregate showing int he finished floor surface.
Surface Polished Concrete meets the brief for little or no aggregate exposure by removing the coarse diamond tooling used for heavy surface removal, and starting with finer grit diamond tools. Clients should be aware that by not removing the surface layer, that floors can remain less flat and isolated small hollows may not be refined as much as flatter areas of the floor.
Another point that most see as a benefit, is that some trowelling imperfections are retained in the finished look.
Surface Polished Concrete is a refined and shiny version of how the concrete was laid, warts and all!
We have 3 main ways we achieve a Surface Polished Concrete finish:
- EZ Polish – EZ polish is a USA imported system, that allows faster processing by using wet chemical refining fewer diamond tools. This system uses 3 tools and 3 chemicals. The first 2 tools are used with a chemical cutting compound that allow faster refining of the concrete and less diamond tooling than traditional methods. Next is concrete hardening and internal sealing – this can never be worn out and prevents dusting and makes the concrete harder. After another dry diamond polishing process a stain resistor can be applied to help protect the floor from spills and contaminates. – the floor can also be dyed to change the colour or add design features during the process.
- Speed Polish – Fast Polish is a European imported system designed for large open spaces, such as warehouses and larger retail and commercial spaces. This system is run on a converted ride on power trowel and is also done wet – the large equipment allows faster processing and offers a number of finish options with regards to the final gloss level – Matt, Semi-gloss and Gloss. Also used chemical hardening and stain resistor.
- DPC – Diamond Polished Concrete is our own system – run dry and with more traditional tooling, some situations don’t allow for wet processing of the floor and a more traditional approach must be taken- this system does take longer, but the results are the same.