It’s a common question we get, ‘Can I have polished concrete in my home or building?’ Overwhelming so, the answer is ‘yes, it can be done, and done well’. In this article we tackle three common questions to help you decide whether polished concrete floors are right for you.
Can all concrete be polished?
Almost every concrete product can be polished to reveal a smooth, reflective, and eye-catching surface. As long as the concrete has had time to cure (if it is newly poured) and it is structurally sound, it can be honed and polished to bring out its instinctive beauty and character. Concrete is made with a mixture of cement, course aggregate, fine aggregate, chemical admixtures and water. It’s the course aggregate that gives the concrete its strength and as well as its aesthetic appeal.
Aggregate is a mixture of different stones that are included in the concrete mixture for their strengthening properties but they are also beautiful when honed down, giving the concrete that unique speckled-look surface we love.
All concrete has aggregate throughout it and all concrete surfaces can be polished using modern techniques that do not require the use of waxes or acrylics. As long as the concrete is structurally sound it can be polished up to give it an impressive looking surface.
Do polished concrete floors need to be sealed?
Polished concrete flooring needs sealing to protect it from wear and tear and to enhance its colour and shine. The sealer acts as a barrier between the concrete and any substances that could penetrate the surface and cause damage. Without sealing, the concrete surface can be porous and absorb dirt, liquids and other materials that can leave stains and also cause discolouration over time.
Sealing your polished concrete floors make the surface a remarkably durable option for the home. This type of flooring is ideal for households with dogs and can handle heavy usage with the correct stain-proofing and protective treatment.
What’s the best way to clean polished concrete floors?
The best way to clean polished concrete flooring depends on the type of dirt or stain you are trying to remove. Here are a few general tips for cleaning polished concrete:
- Use a dust mop or vacuum to remove loose dirt and debris.
- Use a damp mop or microfiber cloth to wipe down the surface, using a mild detergent or pH-neutral cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers, as they can damage the concrete’s surface.
- For tough stains, you can use a paste made from baking soda and water, or a specialized concrete stain remover. Apply the paste to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with a stiff-bristled brush.
If you have a polished concrete with a sealer, it’s important to use a pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for concrete surfaces to avoid damaging the sealer.
Will concrete floors make my home cold?
Concrete, like every flooring product, has unique thermal transfer properties. Concrete will not have a feeling of being cold any more than ceramic tiling, stone, or slate. Actually, buildings with concrete floors can make the most of the fact that concrete is slow to heat up and slow to lose its heat. If you’re clever about it, your concrete floors can act as an energy passive, heat exchanging, heat sink. They can actually help you to reduce heating and cooling costs. Here’s how.
Concrete has thermal properties that give it the ability to store and radiate heat. Ensuring you maximise the amount of sunlight entering through windows in the winter will allow concrete floors to absorb and radiate the heat throughout the day and into the evening. In summer you can take advantage of the fact that concrete takes time to heat up, enjoying its cooling capacity even when the day is sweltering outside.
If you would like to add a luxurious element to your new home, concrete floors can be installed with shallow embedded heat cables for cosy heated floors all winter long. Now that’s pretty fancy and super comfortable too.
If heated floors are beyond your budget you can still make use of beautiful rugs to both liven up a room and provide comfort under foot. Plus, the great thing about using movable floor coverings is when you want to change your décor it will not be a difficult exercise to swap out a rug. Your beautiful concrete floor will perfectly pair with the next interior styling direction.
How long does polished concrete flooring last?
Polished concrete can have a long lifespan of up to 10-12 years if it is properly installed and maintained. Concrete flooring may require re-sealing every 2-10 years based on the level of foot traffic and wear they receive, and the type of sealer used.
Is polished concrete environmentally friendly?
Concrete flooring is made from readily abundant natural materials such as limestone, marble chips, metal and even recycled glass. Concrete is not a significant contributor to greenhouse gases and is considered to be more eco-friendly than other materials such as timber, steel, carpet, and tiles.
Can uneven concrete surfaces be polished?
Wherever you can use concrete as a structural element you can polish that surface just like you would a concrete floor. So concrete benches, concrete table tops and even stairs are viable options worth your exploration.
A concrete retaining wall could be polished on the top and sides, with the top becoming a long garden bench. This would add a heap of extra outdoor seating space when friends are over and you’re sinking a few cold drinks.
Concrete alfresco areas and garage floors could be polished to provide more visually appealing entertainment and work spaces. Add to this the fact that polished concrete floors will reflect light well and help to brighten up the whole space. You’ll be able to see what you’re doing when you’re working under the car or at your workbench.
So as you can see, polished concrete floors have features that provide many benefits. We trust that this article has prompted you to think differently about polished concrete floors and whether this could be the right option for your home or workplace. You’ll find more information about concrete floors and the honing process on our website, DesignerFloors.com.au. Give us a call to chat about improving the floors at your place.