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

 

 

 

First Step To Restoring Concrete

The first step when looking at repairing concrete is to determine what caused the concrete to fail. Concrete can fail from poor workmanship, environmental factors such as water penetration or atmosphere gasses penetrating, and chemical attack. When you figure out what caused the concrete to fail, you can then begin to plan what type of repair materials and processes you will need. For example, to repair a concrete parking garage that is failing from water penetrating into the concrete and corroding the steel reinforcement causing the concrete to spall will include two process. The first process will be to repair the spalling concrete, the second will be to waterproof the concrete to prevent further damage. This process will be different if the concrete is spalling because of bad workmanship, in this case you will only need to repair the spalled concrete and not waterproof the concrete.

The first step of identifying what is causing the concrete is the most important step if you want a long-term success full concrete repair. If you are in San Antonio, and need us to come take a look at your concrete repair, give us a call at 210-422-6116.

 

 

How To Reduce Wear Patterns In Your Stained Concrete Floor

Most people are turned off on the idea of getting their concrete floors stained because they are worried that they will eventually get unsightly wear patterns in the high traffic areas. While this is true because the sealer will eventually wear away that is protecting the stain; there are a few things you can do that will help prevent wear patterns.

The easiest thing to do is to follow the Pareto Principle, this basically means that 20% of the floor will receive 80% of the wear. So if you simply find the 20% of the floor that will receive the most wear you can use area rugs to prevent wear to the stained concrete floors.

The second option to preventing wear patterns is to regularly apply wax to the floor. This will acts as a sacrificial coating preventing the wear of the sealer and stain. The only bad thing about having to wax the floor is typically you will want to wax the whole floor, but as the Pareto Principle tells us only 20% of the floor will need wax. If you only wax 20% of the floor you will most likely see a noticeable shine difference.

In conclusion it is best to use area rugs in the 20% of the floor that receives the highest amount of traffic. Then you will have 100% of the floor looking good for a long period of time.

Epoxy Flooring For Commercial Kitchen Floors

Epoxy flooring is the best flooring option for commercial kitchens. Epoxy flooring does not have joints like tile that will get filled with grease an will be hard to clean. There are many epoxy systems to pick from to fit the needs of the kitchen. The systems range from basic two coat applications to troweled down epoxy mortar systems for a very long lasting floor. 

Epoxy Floor In Commercial Kitchen

Epoxy Floor In Commercial Kitchen

 

 

 

Exposed Aggregate Honed Concrete

If your looking for a matte finish concrete floor that is easy to clean, then consider honed concrete for an option.  Honed concrete is achieved by grinding the concrete to an even texture and then smoothing the surface with finer diamond pads. We typically stop at a 200 grit pad for honed concrete, if you wanted a polished surface you would continue to the next polishing pad. Honed concrete is beneficially because the duller surface wont show as much dust and dirt as a highly polished surface would. Honed concrete is an excellent choice for exterior patios and walkways. Take a look at the pictures below of an interior concrete floor that is honed to a 200 grit.

Honed Concrete

Honed Concrete

Exposed Aggregate Honed Concrete

Exposed Aggregate Honed Concrete

 

 

 

 

Stained Concrete Floor in Poteet, TX

We just finished another concrete staining project in Poteet, Tx. This was a new home built by United-Bilt, they do a great job of keeping the concrete clean so the cost of staining the floor is reduced. We stained the concrete using Butterfield Transparent Water Based Stain in the Kona Brown color. We sealed the concrete with a solvent based acrylic sealer.

Concrete Staining Poteet, TX

Concrete Staining Poteet, TX

Stained Concrete Poteet, Tx

Stained Concrete Poteet, Tx

Stained Concrete in Bedroom

Stained Concrete in Bedroom

Spalled Concrete Column Repair

Today we repaired a concrete column that was in pretty bad shape. The column was hit by a delivery truck backing into the loading dock. The edges of the concrete column were spalling off. We removed all of the loose concrete, applied a bonding agent, and then a repair mortar to finish the concrete repair.

Spalling Concrete Column

Spalling Concrete Column

After Concrete Column Repaired

After Concrete Column Repaired

 

Concrete Spalling

Concrete spalling is often caused by improperly placing the rebar or wire mesh when pouring the concrete. If the rebar is to close to the top of the concrete slab, as water soaks into the concrete it will start to corrode the rebar. This will cause the rebar to expand, weakening the concrete above the piece of rebar.

Concrete Spalling

Concrete Spalling

If you look left of the blue line, you will notice there is a crack starting to form, this crack is right above a piece of rebar corroding. When we tap the concrete with a hammer we hear a hollow sound. To repair this we have to break out all the loose concrete, cut 90 degree edges, pressure wash & clean the rebar, and apply a non-shrink repair mortar.

Spalling Concrete Cause By Corroding Rebar

Spalling Concrete Cause By Corroding Rebar

Right after we start to chip out the bad concrete a piece of rebar started to stick out. This was the main cause of the damaged concrete. It is very important to place rebar and wire mesh at the proper place when pouring concrete.

Spalled Concrete Area Chiseled Out

Spalled Concrete Area Chiseled Out

Concrete Resurfaced & Stained

Concrete Resurfaced & Stained

After the concrete was chiseled out we applied Miracote RM 2 and then finished of the spalled concrete repair by resurfacing the area with Miracote MPC, and then applied a grey stain to match the bricks.

DIY Concrete Painting San Antonio

Painting concrete is a great way for DIY’ers to add color to concrete. Most people see painted concrete porches that look very bad because the paint is peeling off from the concrete. This can be easily prevented by taking the necessary steps to prep the concrete floor before applying the concrete paint.

Before you paint the concrete floor you should evaluate the concrete and take notice of any major cracks or spalls in the concrete, and how smooth the surface of the concrete is. If the concrete does not have any cracks or spalls but fells pretty smooth, the concrete should then be acid washed to achieve a concrete profile similar to 80 grit sand paper. Profiling the concrete is the most important step for achieving a successful painting job.

Once you have prepared the concrete floor you can then begin painting the surface. I always like to cut in the edges and then roll the middle section. Putting thinner coats of paint is always better then putting the paint on thick. Thinner coats helps the paint soak into the concrete for better adhesion. Sometimes you can thin the first coat of paint so it will soak into the concrete deeper. Always fallow the manufactures directions, not all products have the same installation directions.