Polished concrete is a type of concrete that has undergone a series of polishing/grinding processes designed to make the concrete harder and more dust proof. To achieve these results, a special chemical known as a hardener is applied to the concrete, which penetrates into its surface, creating a chemical reaction that achieves the desired effect.
Officially, concrete may not be considered “polished” until it is polished to 800 grits and it is usually finished at 800, 1,500 or 3,000 grit. To add beauty and color to the finished product, special dyes are also applied as well as various designs, including grids, borders, radial lines and more.
Due its shiny and attractive qualities, polished concrete has become one of the most popular building materials in the past few years. Not only is it durable, it may also be customized in various ways, making it a very practical material for all kinds of construction projects.
How Is Polished Concrete Made?
The first step in creating polished concrete involves flattening the concrete substrate. This usually involves a 4000 pound mixture then finished to at least a 50 to 60 floor flatness.
Before the process can begin, it’s crucial that customer, contractor, architect and technician are all on the same page with regards to the finished product. In order to prevent any misunderstandings, a brief mock-up will be carried out for the benefit of the polishing technician. This mock-up will involve several variables, including the design specifications and intent for the finished product. When the technician has everything he needs, the grinding process can begin.
The polishing process for concrete may be divided into three parts. The first part involves the grinding process, followed by the honing process and finally the polishing process itself. Each step involves a series of grit sequences, and careful measurements are strictly followed in each step to help the technician track the performance of the entire polishing process.
These precautions are implemented to prevent frustrations in the final steps of the polishing process. By tracking the polishing process every step of the way, the technician will be able to ensure that the polished concrete has the right sheen, clarity and aggregate levels.
If the customer is satisfied with the results of the mock-up then the technician may begin working on the actual polished concrete itself.