Whether the concrete is plain gray or integrally colored, the application of a reactive chemical stain will create translucent and variegated colorations. Color options range from industrial gray to reds, blues, and greens. Once the floor has achieved the desired polish and color, it is still comparatively soft. A high gloss can be obtained by polishing concrete, a common misconception is to believe the process has closed up the floor when the exact opposite has occurred.
It is imperative the finish always be protected with an odorless, non-toxic chemical hardener and densifier. In simple terms, proper chemical treatment restores strength to the abraded ‘near surface wear’ zone of the concrete (i.e. the top 1.6 to 3.2 mm [1/16 to 1/8 in.] of the floor). Chemical treatment also makes the concrete surface harder, denser, and more abrasion- and contaminant-resistant. There are several formulations of liquid hardeners on the market. In our opinion, a densifier is best applied after polishing, as opposed to during the process. However, this depends on original floor condition and manufacturer recommendations.
MAINTAINING A POLISHED SURFACE
Adherence to a recommended cleaning schedule also helps the floor hold its mechanically polished gloss longer and greatly reduces the absorption of spilled liquids (except for strongly acidic or alkaline materials), without the application of maintenance sealers or waxes. Floor wax or topical sealers are never needed on a polished concrete floor. Maintenance costs stay low, usually in the range of $0.25 to $0.75 per square foot per year. This cost estimate is less than half the estimated annual cost to maintain a simple floor wax. Installing a polished concrete floor can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the building on an area measuring 929 m2 (10,000 sf). The treated concrete floor is easily maintained by regular cleaning with periodic dry and wet mopping. Mild, non-acidic, concrete cleaners and conditioners are recommended for everyday care.
FOR A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT WE RECOMMEND THE DESIGN TEAM CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
1. There are national programs using certified and trained applicators and it is wise to insist on employing only approved installers, equipment, and products.
2. Color and color types to be used (e.g. shake-on hardener, integral color, reactive stain, penetrating dye) should be clearly specified.
3. A minimum five-step process for a base bid is recommended, with incremental steps bid as an addendum once the final finish is determined by the project conditions and owner’s representative.
4. A compatible chemical hardener and densifier must be applied at the end of the process. It should be certified as non-slip, and if possible, carry the NFSI designation for high traction.
5. Mock-ups are recommended, and should be installed using available materials and equipment, demonstrating aggregate exposure, shine, and color options.
6. Polished concrete work should be protected after installation until the owner takes possession; i.e., covering the surface with tarps, plywood, or the like.
MATERIALS & RESOURCES
Concrete polishing rehabilitates and/or enhances “existing” concrete floors. This eliminates the need to have other types flooring materials put through an energy draining manufacturing process and the need to use fossil fuel to transport flooring material to a job site.
Like the optimized energy performance credit it is the concrete that earns the credit and not the polishing process. The use of recycled content in the concrete such as fly ash and glass will help gain credits in this category. Items such as glass can be used as a decorative enhancement when ground to exposed and polished.
INNOVATION AND DESIGN PROCESS
The process of polishing concrete requires no down time to existing business. Work can be performed during off-business hours and reopened to traffic immediately.
No chemicals or coatings are used that produce strong odors or require extended drying or curing times.
No dust left behind to worry about.
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY/POLISHED CONCRETE IS GREEN!
Over the past year or so, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of architects, designers, and developers that are specifying polished concrete as a finished floor surface specifically based on the “green” and sustainable qualities of the new generation of polishing products. There is no other flooring on the market that beats processed and polished concrete based on an assessment of eco-responsible and sustainable attributes that lessens the environmental footprint of the project.
Finishing the floor by polishing the existing slab, produces no hazardous waste and saves on everything from natural resources to the pollution and costs associated with manufacturing and shipping, and eliminates the after installation waste that is typically hauled to landfills. These benefits contribute toward the accreditation of buildings under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Specifically, polished concrete floors can assist in obtaining one credit under Materials and Resources (MR), Credit1, Building Reuse.
Diamond Cutting Grits
The shine of polished concrete comes from repeated polishing steps using finer and finer, high quality diamond grits – NOT from applying coatings, acrylics, urethanes or epoxies that contain harmful VOC’s (volatile organic compounds); no waxes, strippers or cleaners to use or dispose of; no odors associated with installation and maintenance.
Contributes to energy efficiency
The reflective nature of polished concrete reduces the amount of artificial illumination needed by maximizing the natural and artificial lighting available, thus improving the energy efficiency of the lighting system as a whole.
Concrete is a fully sustainable product.
Indoor Air Quality
Concrete floors make a huge contribution to indoor environmental quality, simply because of the fact that cured concrete is completely inert and eliminates the need for carpeting or vinyl that can release VOC’s into the air.
Satin Finish Concrete in Fort Lauderdale, FL offers Concrete Polishing, Restoration of Terrazzo and Marble at Competitive Prices. We provide our services to residential customers and commercial businesses in the following cities: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Florida Keys, Boca Raton, Delray, West Palm Beach, Jupiter - we cover all of Florida and will travel out of state.