Due to extremely intensive use, concrete floors are subject to wear and tear. The advent of epoxy floors provided an opportunity to renovate them, but an equally effective alternative was also needed, while giving the surface high aesthetic qualities. This is how polished concrete was created, which, thanks to its strength, durability, resistance to many factors, as well as its striking surface finish, completely meets the investors’ choice criteria and fits into many interiors.
Of course, the effect of polished concrete can be achieved by other methods, but the difference is that their use requires additional special coatings on the substrate. Polished concrete, on the other hand, is nothing more than a concrete floor subjected to grinding, polishing and impregnation and reinforcement using specialized construction chemicals. What’s more, the recommended renovation, taking into account mechanical treatment and our products, will work perfectly not only on newly created substrates, but also on existing ones.
Expected results – concrete polishing
Polished concrete and the methods of its execution surprise with a wide range of finishes, more or less exposing the embedded aggregate, characterized by different levels of gloss and uniform or different colored surface coloration. While the freedom of its visualization in, for example, commercial spaces is a matter of individual preference, in industrial facilities this aspect recedes into the background. It should also be noted that the higher the degree of aggregate exposure, the higher the price of concrete polishing. Entrepreneurs realize the importance of optimizing the company’s processes, including those for investing in a new floor or renovating an old one, which is why their choice is most often a low to medium gloss with little aggregate exposure. It is not uncommon for there to be a fine finish, but sufficient for the application of Si-Tech system agents to strengthen the floor structure, improving resistance in every area and durability – so important for the business. This is also important for achieving the highest possible level of anti-slip. In addition, polished concrete, due to the smoothness obtained, does not require special maintenance and is relatively easy to clean.
Example of making polished concrete using the Si-Tech system
Professional applications of polished concrete floors in a variety of industrial and public facilities require certain preparations, especially when dealing with an old substrate. It is necessary to use special dustless grinders with diamond tools of various gradations to remove the top coating (if any) or level the surface itself. The whole process is several steps and requires considerable labor and skill:
– sanding with diamond tools – at this stage of substrate preparation, work begins with the lowest gradation of grinding tools, gradually changing the gradations of grinding discs to higher ones. This is essentially the decisive phase, which should end with the best possible surface results;
– application of reinforcing impregnant – on the vacuumed, washed and dried substrate we apply by spraying a preparation based on a solvent-free silicate dispersion – K100, which provides the highest level of impregnation of both old and new floors, located indoors and outdoors. Deep penetration of concrete hardens the structure, seals, improves mechanical resistance (including abrasion) and chemical resistance (penetration of oils, salt solutions and other less aggressive substances), reduces the phenomenon of dusting and prevents the formation of alkaline efflorescence;
– grinding with plastic grinding discs – this stage of mechanical processing is relatively short, but requires special care and accuracy, since the result of the work carried out with the grinding technique is to obtain a surface free of, left over from the previous stage, shallow scratches;
– polishing and shining – the purpose of this method is to achieve the highest possible aesthetic value and shining effect at a level consistent with the investment objectives. In order to achieve the right polishing effects, it is necessary to use polishing pads of increasingly lower gradations from 40 to 1500. After the process is completed, the floor is vacuumed and washed. On a clean and dry surface we apply a silicate-based preparation – L100 Diamond. The innovative coating formula of L100 Diamond is dedicated to interior and exterior applications, on concrete surfaces old and new.
This product is a milky white liquid, containing no aromatic solvents, used as a final coating for polished concrete. The floor coated with this product is characterized by a non-absorbent, hard and smooth surface, which can easily be kept impeccably clean. It performs perfectly during intensive use, exposing the high anti-slip qualities of the beautiful and shiny surface.
Polished concrete – why its growing popularity?
Undoubtedly, this type of pavement seems to be the most economical solution for industrial and public applications. It reflects light on the floor and gives it a shine, so the effect is amazing! At the same time, it does not require the use of additional special concrete screeds and expensive bonding agents for individual layers. It does not force downtime in production facilities or emptying entire warehouses, so it does not generate too much inconvenience. What’s more, the execution of polished concrete is not lengthy and allows you to enjoy its qualities almost immediately. In addition, it fits perfectly into the general trend of environmental protection, since grinding, polishing and impregnation are characterized by the least harmful factor. It is also worth noting another advantage of shiny flooring – through the mirror effect it enhances the intensity of light, which makes it possible to turn off part of the lighting and thus affects a measurable reduction in energy consumption.
In addition to the undoubted aesthetic and utilitarian advantages of polished concrete in business spaces, the possibility of renovation of worn-out floors hidden in old post-factory spaces and warehouses adapted into industrial lofts, galleries and shopping centers draws attention. Concrete grinding and polishing technology using a wide range of Si-Tech products is a particular panacea for their restoration, and often rediscovers the former beautiful structure that is worth preserving.
What do we need to be aware of when deciding on polished concrete?
Of course, it is not possible to use the technology of grinding and polishing concrete flooring everywhere, as not every floor is suitable for this. Where there is an aggressive environment (e.g. chemical), making a floor is out of the question. Also, poor substrate structure will not provide the expected quality. Therefore, the decision to choose concrete polishing must be preceded by a thorough analysis, preferably performed by specialists. The surfaces made by grinding and polishing technology, with fairly intensive use, slowly degrade over time, even with special care. In this situation, we renovate them again, ultimately extending their service life by very many years.