Before hiring a contractor for polishing concrete, there are a few things you should know about. Saying you want polished concrete is almost like saying you want tile flooring, polished concrete is a relatively broad category . Like tile flooring, there are many options to choose from when you have your concrete polished. For instance, you can have large stones or small stones exposed in the initial grinding or you can have a very high shine (3000 grit finish) or a lower shine (800 grit). After the concrete is polished it is also recommended to be sealed to prevent stains. There are two main types of sealers used for polished concrete, a guard (film forming sealer) or a penetrating (non-film forming sealer).
So before you hire someone, make sure the contractor goes over all the steps and if a sealer will be used. If you just ask for a price for polished concrete with out stating the details, one contractor might give you a price to polish to a 800 grit finish and apply guard (it will enhance the shine), while another contractor might give you a higher price but it is for polishing to a 3000 grit level and using a penetrating sealer (will not enhance the shine).
Polished concrete for a garage floor is an excellent idea if you are wanting a long lasting floor. Concrete polishing consist of grinding the concrete and then refining the concrete with finer and finer abrasives. This will give you a nice clean floor that is then sealed with a penetrating sealer. The penetrating sealers are easy to apply unlike an epoxy that typically has to be ground off and re-applied. When the concrete floor does need to be re-sealed it is as simple as cleaning the floor and spraying on the sealer.
The garage floor below was located in Boerne, Tx. The garage was 1700 square feet; we densified, polished the concrete to an 800 shine level, and then applied a sealer. We did not apply a decorative stain because typically the concrete will have a nice tannish color.
Polished concrete is a great option for garage floors. They will not peel or bubble like epoxies. Most average size garages can be finished within three to four days and can be driven on the next day. A decorative concrete stain can also be added to the concrete when polishing.
The polished concrete job we just finished was a 1600 square foot garage. We polished the concrete up to a 800 grit shine, densified the concrete, and then applied a penetrating sealer to the concrete.