Concrete polishing is a relatively new & innovative eco-friendly flooring option. It uses a bare concrete slab, typically the building’s foundation, and transforms it to a decorative floor. The final product looks similar to a polished stone such as granite or slate. All products added to the concrete during the polishing process are intended to enhance the natural concrete, not cover or alter it. The final product has all the natural benefits of the original concrete slab, only it’s stronger and more resistant to staining.
The Process of Polishing Concrete
The concrete polishing process is similar to sanding wood, but on a much larger scale. The initial grinding stages remove any dirt or coatings from the floor and remove the surface paste to expose the stronger concrete that lies beneath. The next grinding stages of finer grits refine the rough floor to a flat, level surface to ensure a consistent polish. And finally, the higher grit resin polishing diamonds are used to progressively bring the floor to a durable, high-gloss (or low-gloss if you prefer) finish. A densifier, which increases the strength and abrasion resistance, and a penetrating sealer, which acts as a stain shield, are applied to the floor at various stages throughout the process.
Concrete polishing is quickly becoming one of the most widely used flooring options for environmentally conscious architects, owners, and builders, and a top flooring option for LEED accredited projects. Its green benefits include:
- All products meet or exceed LEED VOC content requirements
- Uses the original building foundation – no excess materials, nothing to remove
- No environmentally hazardous coatings, toppings or adhesives
- No harsh chemicals can be used for cleaning – only green, PH neutral soaps and/or water
- Increases ambient light reflectivity – reduces necessary amount of lighting and electricity use
- 25+ year life expectancy with proper care and maintenance