Different Levels of Polished Concrete

Polishing concrete includes many steps, some of the steps are extra steps to optimize shine and durability others are a must to achieve a properly polished concrete floor. The steps for polishing concrete can be reduced or increased depending on the budget for the job, the design outcome, or how the concrete was finished at the time of placing. When determining what steps are needed, I refer to three factors; shine level, stone exposure, and maintenance.

Steps for a basic concrete floor polishing (Medium shine 800 grit, salt and pepper stone exposure, and low maintenance):

  • 70 grit metals
  • 120 grit metals
  • 100 grit hybrid
  • Apply densifier
  • 200 grit resin
  • 400 grit resin
  • 800 grit resin
  • Seal with penetrating sealer

If the concrete was watered down at the time of placement this will cause small voids that need to be filled to achieve the best finish. To do this we add a step to grout the floor, so the above process will look like this:

  • 70 grit metals
  • 120 grit metals
  • Grout the floor
  • 100 grit hybrid
  • Apply densifier
  • 200 grit resin
  • 400 grit resin
  • 800 grit resin
  • 1500 grit resin (shinier)
  • 3000 grit resin (shinier)
  • Seal with penetrating sealer

If you want a basic polished floor and the concrete was not finished well or there are a lot of high and low spots we might need to add a step to grind more off by using a lower grit diamond (stone exposure will be increased). Here is an example of what the basic option looks like with doing a heavy grind:

  • 30 grit metals
  • 70 grit metals
  • 120 grit metals
  • Grout the floor (optional)
  • 100 grit hybrid
  • Apply densifier
  • 200 grit resin
  • 400 grit resin
  • 800 grit resin
  • Seal with penetrating sealer

Some floors call for a cream polish where very little of the concrete is ground down. The steps are reduced and the cost is the lowest (not all floors can have this finish). The steps could look like this for a cream polish:

  • Apply densifier
  • 200 grit resins
  • 400 grit resins
  • 800 grit resins
  • Seal concrete with penetrating sealer

As you can see polishing concrete can be done in different ways to achieve different results. A premium polish can have 11 or more steps, while a basic cream polish can be as little as 5 steps. Be sure when you choose to have your concrete floors polished to go over all of the different options. This steps will often be adjusted depending on the condition of the concrete.

If you would like for us to go over the different options in more detail give us a call (210)422-6116 or email mvlconcrete@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Considering Concrete Floors On Second Floor?

If you have a typical plywood second story and you are considering having concrete floors installed, there are a few things to consider.

First you want to make sure there are no extreme low spots in the plywood. If there are and if it is a older house you might need to reinforce the floor joist the plywood is sitting on. You probably should consider this with any other ceramic or stone floor also. The weight of concrete floors is about the same if not less then installing ceramic tile and hardi-board. So if second story in your house is qualified to accept ceramic tile on the second story you will be ok with having concrete floors.

The next thing is you should not use self-leveling overlay material to get your concrete floors. This material is brittle and will crack excessively when the plywood moves a little bit. If you need guidlines on how to install concrete floors on a second story follow the link http://mvlconcrete.com/blog/upstairs-concrete-overlay-acid-stained/ . If seen many people try to use self-leveling material and then they have a huge mess to clean up when it fails.

The first concrete floor we did on a second story was about 5 years ago, and so far there has not been any major cracking. There are a few hairline cracks that are not opened up; you mainly see the crack because of the color on the surface. So don’t expect the concrete floors to have minor cracking.

If you have any questions or are looking for someone to install concrete on the second story of your house please feel free to email me at mvlconcrete@yahoo.com or call 210-422-6116.

 

Concrete Floor Stained Using A Water Based Concrete Stain

This concrete floor was stained using Butterfield Elements Transparent Stain taupe color. We first ground the concrete to clean the floor and open the floor up so the stain is allowed to penetrate properly.

This was are second job using the Elements water based stain, the stain went down smoothly with using the HVLP sprayer required to apply the stain. The concrete floor was sealed with a solvent based acrylic sealer and then two coats of floor finish was applied.

Before Grinding Concrete

Before Grinding Concrete

 

Concrete Floor Stained With Water Based Stain

Concrete Floor Stained With Water Based Stain

How To Clean Concrete Before Acid Staining

Cleaning concrete before acid staining is the most important step. You want to make sure there is nothing on the concrete that will prevent the acid stain from soaking in the concrete.

There are a few tools that you can use to help clean the concrete:

  • Scrappers 
  • Floor Machine
  • Shop Vac
  • Scrubbing Pads
  • Detergent (nothing that contains acid)
  • Mop
  • Mop Bucket
  • Xylene

The first thing we do when we clean concrete, is run the floor machine with detergent (typically dawn soap) over the whole surface to remove dry wall mud and any loose paint. This will help you see what is left on the concrete that needs to be removed.

If there is glue that is still on the floor, you might need to use a solvent such as xylene (make sure pilot flames are blown out) to remove it. If there is paint still on the floor, scrape as much of it of as you can, then go over the surface with xylene to remove any stubborn areas. If the whole surface of the concrete floor is painted, you will need to use a chemical stripper or grind the concrete. If you grind the concrete you will have to grind the whole area to make sure the surface texture is all the same. If the paint and glue remain on the concrete floor when acid staining, you will notice them.

After you have removed all the contaminants from the floor, use a mop with clean water to thoroughly clean the floor. Let the concrete completely dry out and then you are ready to acid stain the concrete.

Stained Concrete Floor In Pleasanton, Tx

This stained concrete floor was completed in Pleasanton, Tx. The home was newly built by United-Bilt; the concrete floors were cleaned, stained with an acetone based stain, sealed, and then followed by two coats of wax.

If you are planning on getting your concrete floors stained when building a new home, the best time to get the floors stained is before the walls are painted.

Concrete Staining San Antonio

Concrete Staining

Interior Stained Concrete

Interior Stained Concrete

Stained Concrete Floor

Stained Concrete Floor

 

 

 

Concrete Staining in Seguin, TX

This week we were over in Seguin, Tx staining some interior concrete floors. This was a new construction home, so the concrete was fairly clean. We stained the concrete floors with a coffee acetone dye, then applied two coats of solvent based acrylic sealer, and then applied two coats of wax.

Staining Concrete

Before Staining the Concrete

After Staining the Concrete

After Staining the Concrete

After Sealing the Concrete

After Sealing the Concrete

 

 

 

Staining Old Concrete Floors – Can It Be Done?

Staining old concrete floors can be done with the right knowledge about the concrete floor and with hard work prepping the concrete. We have stained an old concrete floor that was poured in the 1920’s and the floor came out amazing.

If you are planning on acid staining an old concrete floor that has been poured a long time ago, the first thing that should be done is to test the concretes porosity. Sprinkle a few drops of water and check to see if the water is soaking into the concrete (the concrete will appear darker and the water wont beed).

If the water soaks into the concrete, the next step would be to see if the concrete will accept an acid stain. In an area that wont be visible apply a small amount of the acid stain to the concrete and wait a few hours. If the concrete is not changing colors or the color is very faint, the concrete might be lacking the necessary lime for an acid stain to work. The next best thing to stain concrete, with out worrying about the lime content in the concrete is an acetone dye or water based stain.

The only main thing you have to worry about when using an acetone dye or water based stain when staining an old concrete floor is that the concrete is able to soak the dye in and that the concrete is free from any paint, oil, glue, or any thing else that might prohibit the penetration of the dye. These stains will give a look vary similar to an acid stain.

 

 

Decorative Concrete Staining in San Antonio

We got called a week ago about a concrete floor that has a hump 1″ high and about 10′ wide. The owner was initially wanting us to grind the floor to remove the hump so they can install laminate flooring; however the hump spanned to large of an area to remove 1″ of concrete.

Since the installer of the laminate flooring had strict specification on how flat the concrete floor had to be and was not able to warrant their work if a self leveler was used underneath the laminate flooring, I offered to the homeowner to stain the concrete floor. Staining the concrete floor would not require the hump in the concrete to be removed, and the owner did not mind the hump being there. After thinking it over for a day, the homeowners decided to have the concrete stained with a water based concrete stain and sealed with a water based sealer.

Below are some pictures of the concrete staining project.

Before Concrete Was Cleaned & Stained

Before Concrete Was Cleaned & Stained

After The Concrete Was Cleaned, Stained, & Sealed

After The Concrete Was Cleaned, Stained, & Sealed

Concrete Staining with Water Based Stain

Concrete Staining with Water Based Stain

Solid Color Concrete Sealer

For a contemporary look inside a house, solid color concrete sealers are becoming a popular choice.There are almost endless color options when using solid color sealers because they are easily tint-able like paint. Unlike concrete stains, solid color sealers will mask most imperfections in the concrete floor.

Take a look at the photos below of a room we sealed with a solid color concrete sealer.

Solid Color Concrete Sealer

Solid Color Concrete Sealer

 

Solid Color Concrete Sealer

Solid Color Concrete Sealer