Seen in a variety of building environments, polished concrete floors
leave a lasting impression. Better in most applications than hardy epoxy-coated systems and far more impervious than waxed surfaces, polished concrete opens up a whole new array of residential and commercial opportunities for builders and remodelers. From the basic factory floor to hotels, retail complexes, museums, lobbies and homes, polished concrete easily competes with traditional hard flooring systems. Move over vinyl composite tiles, hardwood and natural stone, polished concrete is muscling its way onto the field. Architects, design-builders, developers and flooring contractors will all love what this style delivers to the game.
7 Reasons You will Love Polished Concrete Floors:
For starters, polishing an existing slab costs about the same as installing an epoxy system, maybe a bit less. Considering all of the design options and the property-owner’s particular market, costs can be as low as $2/sf for a basic polish with no stains or designs on a large surface. Residential applications, with their tight spaces and more difficult detail work, start at higher costs, but can still be less than any other flooring choice.
It’s concrete: what else could it be but durable over a couple of lifetimes, or more? However, besides the longevity of concrete, properly polished concrete needs no topcoat of epoxy and sacrificial wax that wears over time and needs to be refreshed sooner or later. During the polishing process, sealers can be added that impregnate the surface, plus the process itself fills in the micro pores. Once polished to a high gloss, the concrete repels stains without adding a final coat of a sealing compound. With an ultra smooth surface, even sharp or heavy objects have difficulty digging in to gouge or mar the concrete.
3. Diversity of Applications
While it lends itself well to spacious applications, polished concrete by no means is restricted to such. In fact, use in residential applications has been rising steadily as homeowners see the benefits and beauty of it. As more new and improved machines come on the market, installations become easier and more cost-efficient for residential properties.
4. Endless Design Possibilities
Concrete stains and coloring agents, such as those offered by Surecrete
, combined with other artistic techniques, allow for unlimited decorative possibilities. Saw-cut accents and stains can be applied in any pattern desired to create imaginatively beautiful floors with a glass-like sheen.
5. Easy Breezy Maintenance
A huge selling point for polished concrete is how easy it is to clean and maintain
. Dust mop, wet mop and go do something fun. That’s it. Don’t worry about kitchen spills. Just wipe them up as soon after as practicable. Not having to re-coat or seal makes polished concrete the perfect floor for those with little desire to baby it over its lifecycle.
Since polished concrete replaces epoxy coatings, porcelain, vinyl, natural stone and carpet, all of which will release VOCs into the air to some degree, it’s already heads above the rest environmentally. Plus, once installed, the non-porous surface prevents hidden pet dander and stains from aggravating allergies. The shiny surface reflects light around the room, so owners can save a bit on lighting energy, too. Since concrete is fireproof, it will never release poisons into the atmosphere in the event the structure around it goes up in flames.
7. Ready-made Future Substrate
Time marches on, and owners might yearn for a new look. A polished concrete floor is already flat, level and ready to support a new flooring system. By then, the floor will likely have paid for itself several times over by savings on maintenance and re-coating costs.
Commercial construction project designers looking for an economical but attractive flooring option to present to owners should keep polished concrete at top of mind. With its ability to endure in high traffic, heavy use environments and its flexibility for designs, it’s an ideal alternative to shorter-lived common flooring systems. For new or existing homes, the same holds true. While home use is pretty low-impact, the simplicity of cleaning and maintaining, in addition to its artistic versatility, makes it an admirable design element in any room. Contractors in both commercial and residential fields will truly love polished concrete.