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Decorative Concrete Polishing, Concrete Countertops &  Floors

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Concrete Polishing is like polishing your kitchen floor, except instead of using floor wax, diamond polishing pads are used . Heavy-duty polishing machines equipped with progressively finer grits of diamond-impregnated segments or disks (akin to sandpaper) are used to gradually grind down surfaces to the desired degree of shine and smoothness.

Many people are choosing polished concrete floors because they are so durable and stand up better under heavy traffic than conventional tile or laminate floor coverings.  Concrete can be colored or stained to give it a great look, or you can add colored aggregate or other material to the concrete mix that will show through when the floor is polished. More and more home owners are choosing polished concrete floors and polished concrete countertops. 

Ease of maintenance is the key reason many warehouses and retail facilities are opting for polished concrete. Not only are polished floors easy to clean, requiring only occasional damp mopping, they hold up well to heavy forklift and foot traffic. They also eliminate the need for messy waxes or coatings as well as the associated labor, time, and expense to apply them. Moreover, the glossy surface resists the marks of forklift truck tires and staining from oil and chemical spills.

Concrete Polishing Process

The process begins with the use of coarse diamond segments bonded in a metal or composite pad. These segments are coarse enough to remove minor pits, blemishes, stains, or light coatings from the floor in preparation for final smoothing. Depending on the condition of the concrete, this initial rough grinding is generally a three- to four-step process.

The next steps involve fine grinding of the concrete surface using diamond abrasives embedded in a plastic or resin matrix. Crews use ever-finer grits of polishing disks (a process called lapping) until the floor has the desired sheen. For an extremely high-gloss finish, a final grit of 1500 or finer may be used. Experienced polishing crews know when to switch to the next-finer grit by observing the floor surface and the amount of material being removed.

During the final polishing step, some contractors spread a commercial polishing compound onto the surface to give the floor a bit more sheen. These compounds also help clean any residue remaining on the surface from the polishing process and leave a dirt-resistant finish. During the polishing process an internal impregnating sealer is applied. The sealer sinks into the concrete and is invisible to the naked eye. It not only protects the concrete from the inside out, it also hardens the concrete.

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