Polished Concrete Floor FAQs

Polished Concrete Floor Frequently Asked Questions

Polished concrete floor FAQs from ArmourFlo customers and our answers to help you choose the best polished concrete flooring for your home or business.

What is concrete polishing?

Concrete polishing densifies and strengthens your existing concrete to make it stronger and more resistant to stains and damage. Polished concrete also dramatically improves the appearance of old concrete floors with a bright and reflective surface, and it can be stained to add bright color.
Polishing concrete floors is a multi-step process that uses specialized equipment and should always be performed by licensed professionals. Polishing concrete can vary according to the condition of the concrete, the age, and the surrounding environment, but will follow these general steps:

1. After evaluating your floors and fixing any scratches, cracks, or holes, the professional will remove any residual paints, coatings, oils, or stains. We generally degrease the concrete floor to lift oil spots before concrete grinding and polishing to prevent noticeable stains on your polished floor. It is essential to complete this step before grinding and polishing properly.

2. After correctly prepping the floor, a flooring specialist grinds the concrete surface for smoothness. Surface smoothness varies according to the desired result. We use progressively finer diamond grinding discs and a particular densifying chemical to ensure a long-lasting floor. The densifier seals the pores of the concrete and makes the surface denser to repel water and stains while reducing the risk of spalling and pitting later.

3. Polishing is the last step. Sheen finishes can vary from matte to high gloss. We can also add concrete stains and dyes to add an accent color to your floor.

How long will a polished concrete floor last?

In Louisville, polished concrete floors can last 15 or more years and usually longer if properly maintained. Sometimes repolishing is necessary for very heavy-duty environments. Keep in mind all concrete will crack, however. These cracks can be part of the appeal of your flooring and add a rustic charm. We can also repair cracks as they appear if needed. Each situation is different, and some slabs will remain intact longer than others depending on the concrete’s age, daily exposure, and surrounding environment. 

What are the benefits of polished concrete floors?

Residential, commercial, and industrial properties alike have begun realizing the unmatched benefits of a polished concrete floor. Polishing your concrete floor strengthens your concrete and ensures it will last much longer than unprotected concrete. If you want a robust concrete floor at an affordable price and customized to your liking, polished concrete floors are the best option. Here are some of the biggest reasons property owners invest in concrete polishing in Louisville.

Savings: When you polish a concrete floor, you are using the available flooring material, meaning minimal materials needed, and as a result, less manual labor and installation fees. Its resilience also makes it incredibly cost-effective over time.
Durability: A polished concrete floor can last decades without needing replacement.
Easy Maintenance: Polished concrete floors provide easy cleaning because they keep all debris, grime, oils, and spills on the floor surface, which can be wiped or mopped away.
Resistance: A polished concrete floor is not vulnerable to high levels of foot traffic, unlike most flooring systems, which can get easily worn down. Nor are they susceptible to chemical, water, oil, or stain damage.
Waterproof: Concrete is highly absorbent if left unprotected, and it will absorb any spill, including water. Water penetrating your concrete surface creates a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria growth. Polished concrete prevents this from occurring.
Customizable Design: If you have a specific vision of color and design for your floors, a polished concrete floor can help make it come true.
Reflective. Polished concrete floors are very reflective, which brighten any room and reduce the need for additional lighting.

What kind of maintenance is needed with polished concrete floors?

Maintenance for a polished concrete floor can vary, depending on the environment’s needs. For example, a medical clinic with polished floors requires different cleaning standards than a residential kitchen. However, maintaining polished concrete floors is always quick, easy, and affordable:

– A polished concrete floor does not require sealers or waxing. Dusting, sweeping, and mopping are always encouraged to remove grime and dirt.
– Be sure to use soft pads that attract debris easily when wet mopping.
– Never use cleaners with high soap levels because they leave residual marks and dull the polished concrete.
– Use a neutral-ph floor cleaner. Avoid using cleaners with high acidic properties that could damage your concretes protective layer.
– Do not let cleaners dry on your floors. Work in small areas and mop up the water as you go.
– Clean up spills as soon as possible to reduce the risk of stains.
– Give cleaners enough time to work. It is okay to let them sit on the floor surface, but do not let them dry.
– Use floor mats at entrances to reduce the risk of damage from grit on shoes.
– Sweep daily and mop weekly to keep your floors safe.

Why does concrete crack?

Concrete can crack for many different reasons. However, the chances of your slab of concrete acquiring cracks increases if it is not installed by a licensed professional. Below are some of the more common reasons why concrete cracks:

– Too much water. A concrete mixture does not need more water to reach maximum strength. Adding too much water weakens the concrete mix. As concrete dries, it also shrinks, so if too much water evaporates, there is more shrinkage than should be taking place, which results in cracks forming.
– It is drying too quickly. Concrete, when first poured, has a chemical reaction occurring within it because it is turning from a liquid to a solid. If the chemical reaction happens too quickly, cracking happens. The hydration process takes place for a couple of days after pouring, so the water necessary for proper curing must be available.
– Incorrectly poured concrete. Trying to “save money” often results in an improper pour that eventually costs more due to repairs, maintenance, and replacements. If the concrete is not poured correctly for the environment it will be in, cracking is inevitable.
– The freeze-thaw cycle is an issue that you have very little control over—the ground beneath your concrete freezes and thaws with changing seasons. Professional installation limits cracking using installed control joints, however, cold temperatures cause your concrete slab to shrink, and warmer temperatures cause your concrete slab to expand, which inevitably causes cracking. Concrete is designed to crack along the control joints, but it cracks if it meets an object that does not give. Freezing and thawing also cause the ground to push the concrete upwards (heaving), which also causes cracking. 

Can you add color to a polished concrete floor?

Polished concrete flooring in Louisville has become so popular among residential and commercial property owners because it can be installed with different colors and designs. Unfortunately, it’s a common misconception that polished concrete needs to be high-gloss gray.
ArmourFlo uses industry-leading products, which includes integral color with new concrete and coloring existing concrete with acid- and water-based stains or dyes. Water-based stains produce vibrant, solid colors, while acid-based stains create mottled, earth tones. We can combine stains to create a one-of-a-kind look, and even use saw cutting to create custom patterns and effects. Concrete dyes are also an option for the most vibrant and intense colors. While stains react chemically with the concrete, dyes add color by penetrating the concrete thanks to much smaller particle size. As a result, dyes can create beautiful effects, including monotone, translucent, and marbled effects.

Can you polish a damaged concrete floor?

Polishing damaged concrete slabs are possible but should always be evaluated by a professional. Virtually any concrete floor can be polished as long as it’s in good structural condition. An existing concrete floor will typically need some surface preparation to remove any coatings, grease, or surface blemishes. We can repair many types of concrete damage before or during concrete polishing, like spalling, minor pitting, and stains. Many forms of damage can be fixed or corrected before concrete grinding and polishing in Louisville. However, consider the concrete floor’s age, condition, previous treatments, and damage before grinding and polishing. While some patching is acceptable, concrete that requires extensive patching or very porous concrete may not be a good candidate for polishing. Some concrete slabs are far too damaged to be successfully ground and polished. Have a professional determine what concrete floors can or cannot be polished.

Are you interested in polished concrete flooring? Give us a call to receive an in-person free quote.

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