Polished concrete is the end result when a concrete floor is ground using concrete grinding and polishing equipment. Simply put, the concrete floor is cut by bonded abrasives located in the equipment and a penetrative and hardening chemical is poured onto it. The main purpose of the hardening chemical is to harden the cut floor surface evenly, produce a smooth concrete floor and help in dust-proofing the floor. To get an image of this in your mind, think about how timber is sanded to attain a level of smoothness. Now, replace the timber with your concrete floor and the sander with concrete polishing equipment.
The good thing about polished concrete is that you won't require waxing or coatings. You may, however, be required to apply a sealant to prevent liquids from penetrating your concrete floors.
Should You DIY Your Floor?
Do not DIY concrete polishing. You need to have the experience and skill to operate the concrete grinding and polishing equipment and also use it to attain the desired results. Let a professional or competent contractor do the work before you make a mess of everything and incur additional costs.
Why Would You Choose Polished Concrete Over Alternative Methods?
The answer is simple: visual aesthetic value, durability and low maintenance. You get to attain a glossy and strong floor, which can withstand heavy traffic for a long duration. The only thing you need to do is mop or sweep it regularly to prevent dust accumulation and staining. You also want to get rid of debris that can cause scratching. Scratches can alter the shiny and glossy aesthetic of your concrete floors. Sometimes, to make the glossy look last for long, you may need to buff the surface. This is, however, not required frequently.
Polished concrete is also cheap to apply, and the long-run cost of use and maintenance is low when compared to other materials like timber, vinyl and carpet.
You have access to multiple designs in terms of shapes, colour, engravings, stencils, faux, etc. All you have to do is select the one that matches your taste and preferences or the aesthetics of the surrounding.
Most processes aim to have the lowest environmental impact possible. Using polished concrete helps you achieve this because you won't require to use any coatings, adhesives or cleaners that may have compounds that can harm the environment. All you need is a sealant to protect the porous nature of concrete. Porous means that concrete has some tiny spaces that can allow liquids to pass through.