COST-EFFECTIVE, LOW MAINTENANCE, CLEAN-LOOKS, AND FUNCTIONAL!
Polished concrete is a simple cost-effective method of capitalizing on reflective natural light while strengthening industrial traffic, operation, and break area surfaces. Polished industrial floors are durable no-wax, low-maintenance, medium-to-high-sheen surfaces. Installing this appealing and practical system is a simple three-step process:
- Surface prep - Clean and grout cracks and deformities
- Polish and add color and/or enhancements if desired
This becomes an ideal flooring solution for industrial warehouses, garages, offices, break rooms, kitchens, and other industrial building areas where a decorative or definitive long-lasting durable floor is desired. These floors can be used almost immediately due to the minimal (approx. one hour) curing time.
What is Concrete Polishing?
Concrete polishing is a sustainable, eco-friendly, “green,” low maintenance alternative to installing more flexible, less durable, floor coverings, coatings, or overlays. Essentially the innate structure of the concrete is transformed into a stronger, more durable surface. The hard polished surface reduces maintenance, increases natural light reflectivity, enhances physical safety, and supports an overall healthier environment.
Polished concrete flooring provides safe, smooth, and light reflective areas. The concrete polishing process uses the existing or newly-constructed concrete slab. A high diamond grinding and polishing process begins after the concrete is initially cleaned and cracks, pits, or chips are grouted with a chemical densifier. The concrete floor’s finish is ground and becomes more polished as grit fineness is increased.
Color, dye, stain, or aggregate enhancements may be added and sanded to create customized and slip-resistant effects. The concrete surface is polished with a hardener/densifier and several sealer coats are finally applied. There are no toxic vapor and the curing time is minimal.
Our Southside Concrete Polishing Team can create a new affordable, low-maintenance polished concrete flooring system to your specifications, including color, design, logo, or industry traffic pattern and markings with minimal disruption to your daily operations!
Preparing for Industrial Polishing
Industrial flooring must endure extreme and constant equipment and foot traffic, heavy loads, and sudden impacts that can wear, scratch, pit, and chip existing concrete substrate. Thorough preparation is essential to ensure old surface contaminants do not reduce longevity and durability or distract from the desired smooth finished polished effect and safety.
Our Southside Concrete Polishing Team thoroughly cleans and preps the existing substrate surface. This is doubly important in industrial environments where safety as well as maintenance and durability are essential goals.
- We will next dampen the existing concrete surface with water and apply filler compound where it is needed and decontaminating products on existing stains and spills. Using diamond grit pads, the concrete surface will be ground until it is uniformly smooth.
- Densifying and hardening products will be applied and polished using ceramic tools. Our professional polishing team polishes and re-polishes with increasingly finer high diamond grit pads until the surface achieves a distinct reflective appearance.
- We use high-quality, industry-leading ceramic and polishing tools. We polish and re-polish
- the surface with progressively high diamond fine grit pads until the acceptable grade and class of surface reflectivity appears.
- Customer-requested color, dyes, stains, markings or logos, and other aesthetic enhancements are added and sealed. We apply 2-3 coats of penetrating sealer to protect from future contaminants. Ample dry-time is allowed between coats.
- We allow a minimum of one hour for curing before performing a final buff to achieve the desired finish.
Grinding and Polishing Industrial Flooring
Southside Concrete Polishing uses state-of-the-art cutters, grinders, buffers, polishers, etc.. Our hardener, filing compound, densifiers, colors, dyes, stains, and sealers are quality brand products as well.
The polishing process begins with grinding and smoothing the existing concrete slab ensuring it is clean, free of stains or spills, voids and pits.
Depending on the condition of the existing concrete, coarser grinding grits (25 grit, 40 grit, 80 grit, 150 grit) are initially used. After grinding, actual polishing begins. Higher diamond 100 grit, 200 grit, and 400 grit pads are progressively used to pre-polish the concrete. The chemical densifier is applied after the concrete has been pre-polished with the higher diamond 400 grit pad to expose the smoothed aggregate. Progressive high gloss polishing continues using even finer 800 grit and 1500 grit pads.
Polished concrete floor QUALITY is measured by GRADE and FINISH. The higher the grade, the larger the exposed aggregate tends to be. The higher the finish, the shinier and more reflective the floor appears. Light reflectivity makes the area brighter.
GRADE, FINISH, COLOR, AND DESIGN IMPACT ATTITUDES AND OPERATIONS.
Polish GRADE is the appearance of revealed aggregate. The higher the GRADE, the more aggregate is revealed in the final product.
- GRADE 1 (Light-Sand Finish) – This is a popular, creamy-looking, commercial ground-and-polished finish that shows only fine sand particles on the surface.
- GRADE 2 (Salt and Pepper Finish) – This is an aged-looking ground-and-polished finish that shows some smaller scattered bits of concrete aggregate.
- GRADE 3 (Aggregate Finish) – This is a customized, heavily cut surface that shows a great deal of larger aggregate bits. Seeded aggregate or other added custom items are exposed.
The CLASS-RATED FINISH refers to the degree of reflective shine the polished floor exhibits.
- CLASS 1 (Loose Concrete, Low Reflectivity, 400 grit Finish) – A low-gloss surface that has low reflectivity. These easy-grind finishes can reveal small aggregate and pop-out pinholes that require fill and re-sanded/polished.
- CLASS 2 (Medium Reflectivity, 800 grit Finish) - A medium-gloss surface with medium, mirror-like reflectivity. These quick-grind finishes may reveal micro-pinholes that are more quickly grouted and polished. These are most-commonly used in retail, public, and commercial spaces.
- CLASS 3 (High Reflectivity, 1500 grit Finish) – A high-gloss, high mirrored reflectivity surface.
What is the Benefit of Industrial Concrete Polishing?
Basic benefits of having polished concrete installed on industrial floors include is cost, durability, easy-maintenance, and anti-slip qualities.
Polished industrial concrete flooring is a MORE COST-EFFECTIVE alternative to installing carpet, vinyl, or linoleum. It is approximately one-half to one-third the cost of installing ceramic tile or hardwood flooring. It is also significantly less expensive than marble or natural-stone flooring.
Your overall SHORT-TERM COST is less because your finished product uses your existing concrete slab. Your LONG-TERM COST savings is reflected in lower maintenance costs.
The TOTAL COST of installing a new, or polishing an existing, commercial concrete floor not only includes the cost of labor and materials, but must also consider the anticipated downtime or lost revenue during project disruption.
Our Team at Southside Concrete Polishing values our customer’s unique situation and time.
AS SOON AS THE FINAL SEAL CURES, TRAFFIC AND LOADS CAN RESUME!
Polished industrial concrete has a longer life due to its durability and ability to stand up to constant high foot- and equipment- traffic, heavy loads, and impacts. Where other flooring systems use weaker material that deteriorates, tears, or cracks over time, industrial polishing utilizes hardeners and densifiers that enable the concrete to retain a level of strength and resilience similar to its original state.
Polished concrete also “breathes,” as opposed to thicker epoxy resin systems that can trap moisture that can encourage mold, fungi, and bacteria to grow.
Polished concrete requires very little maintenance. Its smooth surface repels spills and does not allow dust to collect. Polished concrete flooring typically only needs to be routinely swabbed clean with detergent-free water. Some spills or oils may stain or damage sealer coatings and require ground and reapplied. Generally this can be done without having to replace the rest of the floor or disrupt traffic operations.
Polished concrete is a sustainable process that supports a clean and professional environment. It has low VOC and CO2 emissions, and LEED-approved. Maintenance (fresh water cleaning) is minimal so no toxin or chemical pollutants are used. It also does not require waxing, stripping, or re-polishing to retain its clean appearance. It is also hypoallergenic, moisture, dust mite, and fungi-proof.
Color and unique design may be easily incorporated into your industrial polishing project with little additional effort or expense. Polished concrete is a versatile system because it is a multi-step process. It allows you to choose colors, incorporate personal logos or industrial/equipment traffic markings.
Does Industrial Concrete Polishing Have A Downside?
Concrete polishing is not recommended for industrial floors:
- in areas where deliveries, storage, or use of acids and solvents that tend to splash or spill are present,
- in environments or kitchens that require USDA food-grade flooring,
- in basements or garages that will not be routinely auto-scrubbed,
- on extremely porous slabs, or
- on slabs that are highly-pitted.
Why Hire the Professionals?
To enjoy the full benefits of concrete overlays, leave the job to South Side Concrete Polishing. It can be a difficult do-it-yourself project. Decorative designs can be done manually for simple patterns and designs. The more complex ones can be done by a computer software. Southside Concrete Polishing installers are well equipped with the latest techniques and skills using different overlay materials. They can also provide you with expert and creative ideas as well as all the possibilities concrete overlay can do with your concrete floor. Concrete overlays are easier and more convenient to install than other concrete flooring options. They can simply be installed over a properly prepared concrete floor surface to create a new aesthetically beautiful concrete floor with your very own designs, patterns, and color.