We are here to help with the ultimate guide to polished concrete so you can get one step closer to introducing this luxury material to your home.
Uses for polished concrete
For a number of years the use of polished concrete has been reserved for exterior use due to its durability against the elements, however, more and more homeowners are adding this beautiful trend to the inside of their properties in more ways than one!
Polished concrete floors are a particularly popular option in both modern and traditional spaces, whilst the polished concrete worktop extends this multi-use material’s interior appeal even further. Polished concrete has also been used as a decorative covering for walls, with stamping, acid staining and overlays all being utilized to create a truly unique look inside the home. The use of polished concrete installations isn’t just reserved for kitchens and bathrooms too, concrete flooring can be easily laid with underfloor heating and used throughout living areas and the rest of the home.
The pros of a polished look
The benefits that come with polished concrete installations are endless, whether you are opting for flooring, wall coverings or worktops. As we’ve mentioned polished concrete is extremely hardwearing and therefore requires very little maintenance to keep it in tip-top condition. Polished concrete is also designed with longevity in mind and the average concrete floor is expected to last over one hundred years.
The material is extremely versatile and is available in a range of finishes and decorative looks for both indoor and outdoor usage. For all you eco-bunnies out there, concrete is extremely sustainable and renovators can use existing concrete slabs instead of utilizing new materials and adding to already overflowing landfill sites.
Now for the cons…
Polished concrete flooring in particular can be extremely expensive per square foot and can entail a costly and professional installation with additional labour needed for seamless application. The fact that material is so tough can also be counted as a negative, due to the highly polished and rigid nature of this type of hard flooring. Polished concrete can leave your household more at risk of falls and injuries, meaning you may need to keep an extra eye on the younger members of the family.
Even though polished concrete is known as the ‘zero maintenance’ material, temperature fluctuations from season-to-season can cause cracks to develop. Whilst some homeowners see these cracks as a vital part of the character, many more face additional work to repair this common issue.
Installing your concrete installation
When carried out by professionals, the installation of polished concrete flooring is relatively straight-forward. The concrete can either be poured into place or pre-set concrete tiles can be applied to your levelled floor. When pouring the concrete in place, the floor must be polished with industry-grade pads and then treated with a chemical densifier. The floor undergoes this process a number of times before being finished with a finer grade polishing pad and sealed to harden the naturally porous properties of the concrete.
The result – your polished concrete floor will be seamless and polished to a high sheen to create the ultimate contemporary look. Other polished concrete applications should also be completed by a professional, however, many homeowners take the ‘do it yourself’ approach to smaller applications like worktops and furniture finishes.
Caring for your concrete
Polished concrete needs very little maintenance thanks to its tough exterior, however, to keep your application looking as good as the day it was laid, your concrete should be buffed every 3 to 6 months. It is also recommended that your floor undergoes a regular clean with fresh water and white vinegar. Any spillages should also be swiftly wiped up, whilst the use of entrance mats can minimize damaging dirt and debris being brought into the home.