Everything You Need to Know about Polished Concrete
The most versatile product in decorative concrete, polished concrete is an affordable and stunning addition to any residential or commercial property.
The design options are truly limitless when choosing to go with a polished finish for your application including stains, coloured concretes, aggregates stamped and more.
It can even be sealed and treated in a way that gives it the appearance of more expensive products like granite and marble, giving your home or commercial space a high-end look without the expensive price tag.
Polished concrete can be described as the changing of a concrete surface using grinding and polishing machinery until the chosen level of finish is achieved. Obtaining a polished look for a concrete project is a longer process than other applications like exposed aggregate or liquid limestone, as there are quite a few added steps involved.
These steps ensure that the concrete application is ground to the right exposure, that any cracks and joints are sealed, that the concrete is hardened and densified (to protect the concrete and reduce future maintenance, and then polished till it reaches the desired level of sheen.
You can also choose to apply a stain guard to your concrete application, which extends the life of the product and makes it easier to maintain. Polished concrete is well known for its durability and long lifespan. By hiring the right contractor for your application and if maintained properly, you can expect your polished concrete to last a minimum 20 years to a lifetime.
Popular Applications for Polished Concrete
Since it is such a versatile and durable product, polished concrete is the go-to choice for a wide variety of residential and commercial projects. Below are some of the most popular places for a polished concrete application:
An increasingly popular option for new home builders and renovators, it is an economical choice since the existing slab of the home can be used for the application, saving time and money. It is also well known for being easy to maintain, making it the more popular choice for internal floors in many homes and commercial properties.
Kitchen and Bathroom Benchtops
Fully customisable, concrete is a beautiful and sturdy option for your home’s kitchen and bathroom areas. Homeowners who choose polished concrete for their benchtops love its ability compliment the space. It even looks great when tied in with a matching concrete floor or feature wall.
Outdoor Living Areas
No home in Australia is complete without an outdoor living area to enjoy, and the addition of a durable, sophisticated looking concrete floor creates a space that can be enjoyed long into the warm summer nights. Many people also choose to have their outdoor kitchens designed with the same polished concrete application because of its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Many office spaces, shopping centres, and buildings are making the leap from tiles to polished concrete floors because of their modern and easy-care properties. A simple dust mop and the occasional use of cleaning products is all you need to maintain the lustre of the application.
Types of Polished Finishes
This style of finish is often used when a smooth, flat finish is requested and is most popular with your standard grey and coloured concretes.
This means that a different finish is often used for seeded applications such as aggregate concretes. While it is considered the most basic of the finishes, with the use of high-quality troweling machines and sealers, the desired shine (or polished) look is often achieved.
Those after a hard-wearing, durable and glossy surface will most likely choose a burnished finish for their application. This application is typically requested by those who want a finish that is free of troweling marks. This is achieved by using a mechanical trowel repeatedly until the surface is left very smooth and glossy.
A burnished finish is typically done when the concrete is quite dry, and the repeated troweling of the surface can sometimes “burn” the concrete, giving certain spots slightly darker colour.
This finish provides the most durable and versatile polish out of the three. The process involves grinding down the surface of the concrete with increasingly finer diamond abrasives giving it a matte like finish.
From here polishing pads are used to polish the floor in the same way as the grinding step until the desired lustre is achieved.
Benefits of Polished Concrete
While the initial investment may be more than you expected, the long life and timeless look of polished concrete ends of paying for itself. Adding polished concrete to your home is not only cost-effective, but it can also add value to your home if you ever decide to sell.
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option for your home, then polished concrete is the choice for you. Most of those who are building, or renovating can make use of their existing house slab, which saves in the consumption of new materials.
Installing concrete floors in your home can assist in massively reducing the number of allergens in the home, improve air quality and make it much easier to clean up dust and pet dander.
Versatile and Customisable
A truly limitless product when it comes to design and colour options. Your ability to create a unique application with everything from coloured concretes to seeded aggregates and choosing the level of shine for your finished product gives you the control to create the perfect style for your project.
You don’t need to worry about replacing your new polished concrete application anytime soon. If installed by a professional and maintained properly, you’ll have a timeless product that is designed to last a lifetime.
One of the greatest benefits of this application is that it is so easy to take care of. No vacuums, no cleaning grout or pressure washing. All you need to do to maintain your polished concrete application is a simple dusting with a dust mop and the occasional wipe down with cleaning products.
The options with polished concrete are many. By hiring a professional team, like Terrastone Architectural Concrete to assist you in the design and execution of your concrete project, you can be confident that you’ll be getting a polished concrete finish that will last a lifetime.
Want to know more about your other options in decorative concrete? Make sure to check out exposed aggregate, Honed aggregate and liquid limestone.
Terrastone Architectural Concrete is the premier decorative concrete contractor specialising in honed aggregate and servicing the greater Perth, WA region.
Looking for inspiration? Have an idea for your outdoor space? Browse through our galleries and see why Terrastone is considered the Perth regions best in concrete.
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