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

 

 

 

Exterior Polished Concrete

A lot of people ask if polished concrete can be done outside. The answer is yes. Polished concrete is great for exterior surfaces because they do not have to be re-sealed over time and they are easier to clean than broom finished concrete.

Most people think that polished concrete is slippery mainly because they are shiny; however, polished concrete has a greater surface area to give more friction. This is because when polishing concrete you are progressively refining the top surface of the concrete until it is dense.

There are many ways to color the concrete that is going to polished outside. One method is to add color to the concrete before placing it. Another method is to acid stain the concrete when polishing the concrete. You even have the options of seeding special aggregates when placing the concrete so later on when you start to grind and polish the concrete they will become visible.