Polished concrete is created through a process that involves sanding the concrete with diamond polishing pads, many times until the desired smoothness is achieved.
The process also uses a chemical hardener. It penetrates the concrete, and creates a chemical reaction to harden the concrete. This reduces dust as the machine cuts the concrete down.
To be considered “Polished Concrete” the process must have a minimum of 4 grinding stages, with progressively finer grits. Concrete is not technically “polished” until it is finished at 1600 or 3000+ grit. Anything less, is considered a “honed” floor.
During the polishing process, dyes and scoring designs can be added to the floor.
Where are Polished Floors installed?
Polished floors are best suited for floors:
That are cleaned many times a day with a ride-on auto scrubber machine.
That require high slip resistance, wet or dry
That won’t get harsh chemicals, penetrating dyes, solvents or other contaminants on them
That don’t require compressive strength
Think of big box stores like homedepot, walmart, firestations, or warehouses.
What areas are Polished floors not well suited?
Area that a polished floor would not do well in:
Areas that have splash spills, acidic substances and solvents
Where USDA Food Grade flooring is required
Floor which will not be cleaned daily with a auto-scrubber, such as a residential garage
Polished Concrete vs Epoxy Flooring
It seems the best time to get a polished floor is when it is very newly poured, or still very flat. This means as a bare concrete floor ages, gets more pitted, and spalled the less likely it can be polished.
Whereas epoxy flooring is suitable for any conditions, as long as the concrete is repaired and leveled.
Polished Concrete has it’s place in some commercial and industrial applications. But it seems it is not for residential use, due to easily being stained.