What are the aspects I need to know before making a polished concrete floor?
- The structure must be designed to support the weight of the concrete.
- The installation of the floor heating system can be done according to an established saw blade plan.
- Pouring and placing concrete must be performed according to the prescribed method
- To assist customers in the preparation of their floor, we provide a complete technical document during our site visit before proceeding with the work.
- Do not hesitate to ask us for a quote.
Is the concrete placing, pouring setup important?
The setup is extremely important for a good result considering that there is nothing added on the floor that would hide defects. In addition, wall edge finishing should be done with a steel trowel since the density of the edges of walls should be the same as the floor in order to have the same “look” of polishing. The defects of the installation will be found in the polishing and will make it irregular.
Can the natural color of concrete vary?
Yes, the color of the concrete may vary from one region to another since the sand, stone and cement used are different from one region to another.
The color can also vary for these reasons:
- The stone quality and color.
- The color of the cement (the cement can be pigmented).
- The concrete quality
- Grinding depth: With different grit sizes and bonding matrix in the diamond segments you can somewhat control how deep you grind into the concrete surface. The grinding depth will affect how much of the stones that are exposed and also in turn the aesthetical appearance of the polished surface.
How to choose your contractor in polishing concrete floors?
Expertise in the field, quality, professionalism.
What is polished concrete?
The polishing method mechanically refines the concrete surface by removing the top cement paste and exposing the underlying, stronger concrete. The existing concrete is grinded and polished according to a dependable and thoroughly tested method with HTC’s effective concrete polishing equipment and diamond tools. The result when polishing concrete is a floor with a completely even polished surface of a high quality, both functionally and esthetically. To achieve all technical benefits, grinding and concrete polishing must be performed according to the prescribed method.
Reference: Polishing steps
Grain Segment Type Utility
16 Metallic Aggregate Level floor / Expose aggregates / Glue removal
25 Metallic Aggregate Level floor / Expose aggregates / Glue removal
40 Metallic Pepper and salt Level floor / Exposure the light sand-aggregate
80 Metallic Pepper and salt Exposing the grains of sand
150 Metallic Soften the surface
100 Resin Beginning gloss levels
200 Resin Satin Grinding between gloss levels
400 Resin Semi-Gloss Grinding between gloss levels
800 Resin Glossy Grinding between gloss levels
1500 Resin Glossy Grinding between gloss levels
3000 Resin High Gloss Grinding between gloss levels
How much does it cost?
Prices may vary depending on the surface size to be done, project location, the level of gloss finish desired, accessibility for machines, coloring or not, etc. The budget price is between $ 3.00 (industrial and large area) and about $ 15.00 per square foot (residential). The larger the area, the lower the cost per square foot.
Many floor options are cheaper at first than polished concrete. By cons, polished concrete will last longer and eventually give you a better return on your investment. When you offset the cost of a concrete floor over its lifespan, the price can be comparable to, or even lower than, other quality flooring.
Initial investment for polished concrete may exceed the cost of flooring such as vinyl tile, carpet and floating floor. You can compare its cost to a ceramic or wood floor posed by a specialized contractor.
Compared to high-end flooring, such as ceramic, slate and marble tiles, polished concrete is often an economical alternative.
The life expectancy and the unbeatable durability of a concrete floor will far exceed that of most flooring materials.
Do not hesitate to send us your plan for a complete quote
Are there alternatives at lower cost?
Acrylic sealer: the shelf life is from 6 months to 3 years and has no resistance to oils, essences and easily scratches
Densifying sealer: unlimited lifespan and anti-dust but does not change the visual appearance of the concrete (still show the defects)
Epoxy: 5 to 10 years shelf life, yellowing in the sun and easy to scratch
Is it an application of epoxy, acrylic or wax?
Is it ecological?
Materials and products
Using a diamond grinding technique, the friable parts (soft roe) of the concrete surface are removed to expose the hard part of the concrete while not producing VOCs. The concrete surface becomes stronger, resistant, shiny and dust-proof. A polished concrete floor does not require the addition of adhesives or sealer in contrast with carpet, wood, tile, epoxy, etc. The densification-hardener process produces no gas. In addition, grinding is dry dust free and no residual sludge is created in the process.
Concrete is composed of pure natural materials. The coatings that are often applied to the concrete have an adverse effect on the environment. It uses as much as 30 times less energy than traditional flooring solutions. The Twister™ floor maintenance system is also the only completely eco-friendly cleaning method. Twister™ uses nothing but ordinary water, no chemicals!
The durability of polished concrete makes it a long-term solution. Since it will not have to be removed or replaced during a change, it eliminates the waste and the amount of resources needed to install a new floor.
Concrete is always produced close to the site and is therefore made up of regional materials, resources and local labor. The costs of transportation and carbon emissions are relatively low.
Concrete is also made of natural ingredients without plastic or glue. Polished concrete requires no special treatment, such as waxing, stripping, steam cleaning, sealer, solvent as other types of coating. Cleaning the surface is only done with a neutral pH soap and a small amount of water.
Polished concrete helps to save energy. During the summer, the concrete floor is naturally cooler. In winter, if the building has been designed to expose the floor to natural light, it will store the heat. During the night, it will be able to release this heat in order to offer a greater thermal comfort. As a result, the energy bill for cooling and heating goes down considerably.
Quality of the indoor environment
Good air quality is important for health. Mold, dust, animal allergens and contaminants affect our daily lives. Polished concrete significantly reduces the penetration of moisture and consequently the growth of bacteria. Polished concrete is the best solution for allergen-free flooring.
Can we add color or patterns to polished concrete floors?
Yes, there is a large choice of colors and patterns. It varies according to your imagination and your budget! Visit the photo gallery
Can we add color to concrete floors?
We can add color according to 3 different techniques:
– Coloring in the mass (when pouring the concrete)
– Colored hardener (when pouring the concrete)
– Surface dye based on water or acetone (during polishing)
You can add color of your choice to the concrete floor, without losing any of the floor’s excellent qualities. You might want to bring color to the entire floor or simply incorporate an eye-catching company logo to your industrial floor.
Can we have a heated floor with a polished concrete floor?
Certainly. Just plan the radiant heat break according to saw traffic to avoid cutting pipes. We always provide a saw cut plan to our customers.
What is the minimum thickness of the concrete?
For a wood structure, it is recommended to have at least 1.5 inches, but we recommend 2 inches with radiant heating floor to have a better uniformity in the heat distribution.
Are there different levels of finish? Gloss and grain level
Several levels of luster can be offered by changing from semi gloss to high gloss. In addition, you can simply expose the grains of sand (pepper and salt) or expose the aggregates in the concrete. Do not hesitate to visit our photo gallery to see examples.
Is it easy to maintain? How is the maintenance of polished concrete floors done?
Very easy maintenance. At the residential level, just use water and a neutral PH soap. For commercial and industrial floors, you can do the usual maintenance with an auto washer with the HTC Twister service system, depending on the level of traffic. The HTC Twister pad cleaning method allows you to keep all types of floors clean with the minimum of effort. This is a chemical-free system based on a mechanical maintenance based on diamond. No additional investment in maintenance equipment is needed since the system fits almost all machines on the market equipped with a packing support.
Will the floor crack?
Yes. In order to significantly reduce the appearance of cracks, we strongly suggest making saw cuts when placing the concrete; these will be filled during polishing. The lines must be executed at the most 15 feet (ideal 10 feet). Saw-cuts should also be provided in divisional changes ex.: door or when walls are interposed in the division.
In general, we must think of the simplest expression with concrete; the saw cuts must be executed in order to create squares or rectangles. Avoid having shapes in “ L“
Why should not we put water on the floor when setting up?
To avoid dusting, chipping and cracking (surface microcracks).
« The addition of water during the installation of a concrete mixture increases its subsidence. Excess bleed water weakens the thin surface layer, resulting in both lower tensile strength and higher shrinkage.» Techno-Concrete published by the Concrete Quebec Association.
Can polished concrete be done on an already existing surface or covered with another coating?
For an existing concrete floor, it must be checked to confirm whether the polishing can be done. Mechanical preparation can also be done before polishing to remove glue, dirt and other coatings. Sometimes, some floors are not conducive to polishing due to extreme porosity. In the case of a floor that has already been covered with ceramic tile or vinyl tile, it is very likely that a « pattern » of tile will come out at the concrete polishing steps.
Is there a waiting time between placing concrete and polishing?
Yes, a minimum of 28 days is required to reach the standard concrete cure time.
Is there a precise method for placing concrete?
Yes, the concrete must have a mechanical steel trowel finish to maintain a standard level of uniformity. Do not hesitate to ask us for a full implementation quote.
What makes the difference between polished concrete floors?
The level of “grain” with which the contractor begins the polishing will ensure the uniformity of the grain in the concrete, the number of passes of machinery, the products (quality, quantity, the number), the repairs, the filling of the lines, etc., all these factors must be taken into consideration and will have an impact on the final result of the floor.
Why should we do business with Beton Prestige?
We always work the floors in order to maintain a high standard of quality and we are able to work with you from the beginning of the construction site in order to advise you and to advance in your project as much before and during the setting up as for the polishing.
Can all concrete floors be polished?
Virtually all concrete floors can be polished as long as the floor is in good condition.
For new floors
A minimum ripening time of 28 days must be made after placing the concrete before it can be polished. It is a standard concrete preferably 30 mpa without air entrained nor structural fiber. It is imperative that the finish is made by mechanical steel trowel.
For existing floors
For an existing concrete floor, it must be checked to confirm if the polishing can be done. Mechanical preparation can also be done before polishing to remove glue, dirt and other coatings. Sometimes, some floors are not conducive to polishing due to extreme porosity.
Are polished concrete floors slippery?
Anti-slip even when wet. Ask us for the friction test chart
Public facilities wishing to provide extra protection against slipping and falling can treat polished floors with non-slip cleaners. These products contain special additives designed to improve adhesion and need to be reapplied periodically.
Are polished concrete floors cold?
Concrete can be cold but no more than ceramic tile or natural stone floor. In addition, concrete floors can create moisture if they are not insulated properly or if the slab is built on a poorly drained base.
Advantage: Its thermal properties allow it the ability to store and promote the radiation of heat. By incorporating radiant heating pipes into concrete floors, for example, you can keep floors warm in the winter. Generally, the installation of a vapor barrier under the concrete slabs is done in order to block the migration of moisture. If the house is designed to take advantage of passive solar, concrete floors absorb the heat of the sun to keep rooms warmer in winter. In summer, a cold floor can be an advantage and this can really help to reduce air conditioning costs.
Are polished concrete floors noisy?
Concrete is a hard material and concrete floors can be noisy and produce an echo effect but no more than ceramic tile, natural stone floor and some hardwood or bamboo flooring.
The hardness of concrete also contributes to its durability and resistance to abrasion. In a commercial or industrial context, you need a hard surface that can withstand a forklift truck and heavy pedestrian traffic.
While concrete can be hard, it is not abrasive for the feet, especially if it is polished or has a smooth finish.
You can stifle the echo effect by using sound absorbing materials such as carpets, curtains, pillows and wall fabrics.