A Concrete Shine

Polished floors offer one-of-a-kind look

Mike Spillane knew there were several advantages to having polished concrete floors in the garage and the open-air porch. First, the materials are already present because the slab on grade is used as the finished floor surface. The garage floor was poured a few months earlier and the porch floor was in excellent condition.

Second, this type of flooring is low-maintenance, durable and easy to clean. It requires only dust mopping and occasional use of a cleaning product. It resists moisture, tire marks and staining from spills. The life expectancy of a polished concrete floor, if properly maintained, can be 100 years or more.

Polishing is similar to sanding wood. A heavy-duty polishing machine, with progressively finer grits of diamond-impregnated segments or disks, are used to gradually grind down surfaces until the desired degree of shine and smoothness is achieved.

The initial rough grinding is a three- to four-step process which eliminates minor stains, blemishes and pits. Then diamond abrasives are used for fine grinding. During the polishing process an internal impregnating sealer is applied. It sinks into the concrete and protects it from the inside out. This eliminates the need for a topical coating.

There are numerous design options for polished concrete. From a variety of colors to choose from, to a host of patterns created with saw cuts, embed aggregates, or interesting objects in the concrete prior to polishing, every concrete floor has a one-of-a-kind look.

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