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).
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.
Exposed Aggregate Honed Concrete
Sealed concrete is an option for people who want a similar look to polished concrete, but with out the high cost. Sealed concrete will provide a contemporary looking floor that will be easy to clean and last up to ten years with proper maintenance.
Depending on the desired look you are looking for, the sealer can be applied with or without grinding the concrete first. If you choose to have the sealer applied without grinding the concrete, you will see move of the movement associated with troweling the concrete. If you would like to see some of the stones in the concrete, you can have us grind the concrete first, and then apply the sealer.
Here are some pictures of a sealed concrete floor. The sealer was applied without grinding the concrete.
Sealed Concrete Floor
This was a very old concrete patio at a house designed by O’neil Ford in San Antonio, Tx. When they poured the concrete they seeded the top with green marble chips. When the concrete hardened they came back with a grinder to grind the concrete and expose the marble chips. This gave a similar look to Terrazzo Flooring. Over time the concrete eroded and some of the marble chips were popping out leaving small pits on the surface.
The first thing we did to renovate the concrete patio was applied a grout to the surface to fill the pits. We then ground the concrete and honed the surface to a 400 grit finish. The homeowner did not want to polish the concrete to a very high level because the patio was close to a pool and could be slick when water was on the surface. Honed concrete is a very nice option for a nice modern look for an outside patio.
If you have a old concrete patio that needs to be renovated give us a call at (210) 422-6116. Even if you think your concrete patio is in the worst condition we will come out for free and give you are input.
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.
Concrete Polishing in Garage
Polished Concrete in Boerne 800 Grit
Polished Concrete in Garage 800 Grit
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.
Before Polishing Concrete To 800 Grit
Before Polishing Concrete
Grinding Concrete With 40 Grit Metals
Polished Concrete 800 Grit
800 Grit Polished Concrete
Aggregate Exposure Polished Concrete
Polished concrete is a great flooring option for high traffic areas. When polishing concrete there are no sealers or waxes put on the concrete that can wear away. Polished concrete uses progressively finer and finer diamond pads until the concrete is very dense. Decorative concrete stains can be applied to add extra appeal to the concrete floor.
Polished concrete with the use of a newer technology penetrating sealer is great for in side homes, residential garages, retail stores, commercial spaces, and even exterior concrete.
Here are a few pictures of a garage floor stained, polished, and sealed.
Polished Concrete in Garage
Polished Concrete in Garage
Here are a few photos of a recent job we just completed. Before we sealed the concrete, the concrete was ground down to show some light aggregate in the concrete. You can notice in the pictures that the concrete does not appear to be grey but more of a tannish color; a lot of times when we grind the surface of the concrete off, the underlying concrete will be a tannish color.
Concrete grinding and sealing is a very affordable floor option compared to polished concrete. Polished concrete consists of going over the floor over 9 times with a concrete grinder which is very labor intensive; concrete grinding and sealing gives a similar look to polished concrete, except it only consists of going over the floor 2-3 times with a concrete grinding and then applying a film forming sealer.
Concrete Grind & Seal
Concrete Grind & Seal
Light Aggregate Exposure After Grinding
Polished concrete as a flooring option in retail spaces is growing, as it should be. Polished concrete offers many benefits to the owner of the retail spaces such as:
- Low maintenance
- Long lasting
- Can help with electricity due to light reflectivity
- Cost friendly
- Easily customized with logos and concrete stains
Here are a couple of photos of a garage floor we recently completed. Polished concrete is a cost effective garage floor that will be easy to maintain and long lasting.
Polished concrete garage floor