Polished concrete is a type of concrete that is mechanically ground and polished with progressively finer diamond grits. These diamond abrasives remove imperfections, resulting in a smooth and glossy surface.
Over the years, polished concrete floors have become quite popular. They are now commonly used in retail, restaurants, residential homes, and other public spaces.
Concrete Floor Basics
Before we get to more facts about polished concrete, let’s talk briefly about the main material: concrete. This building material is made up of 10-15% cement, 15-20% water, and 60-75% aggregates, which can be anything from sand to crushed stone or glass to gravel. Some suppliers add other materials, including fibres and admixtures, to strengthen and improve concrete’s performance.
Mixing concrete is done using a mixer, which can either be stationary or a rotating drum. Once all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, the concrete is ready for use. It will be transported to the construction site and placed in moulds or formwork before compacting and levelling. Finally, it is time to cure concrete so it gains durability and strength. The curing process requires consistent temperature to maintain moisture, encouraging concrete to harden while staying hydrated.
The last step is finishing the concrete to make it smoother. This is where you can polish it or add colour or texture. You will then need to seal it to protect the floor from damage.
The Best Method to Keep Polished Concrete Clean and Shiny
Thanks to its durability and low maintenance requirements, polished concrete is the leading choice in many commercial and industrial facilities. Polishing creates a high-gloss, mirror-like finish, allowing the surface to resemble polished stone or shiny marble. But the question is, how do you maintain that shininess?
Just like any surface, polished concrete floors need routine maintenance. Don’t worry; usually, daily dust mopping is all you need. This simple process eliminates dirt and grime that may have accumulated to prevent them from abrading the surface. Weekly to twice-weekly wet mopping can also help retain your polished concrete floor’s appearance.
For best results, here are the products and equipment you may need to clean your polished concrete floor:
- Dust mop: Before wet mopping, use a dry dust mop to remove dirt.
- Microfibre mop: This soft mop is useful for sweeping or mopping concrete floors, including polished and honed ones. It is best for shiny surfaces as it is gentle and non-abrasive whilst still effective in removing debris.
- Wet vacuum: If you often use water and a cleaning solution to clean your polished concrete floor, a damp vacuum may prove to be helpful. It removes excess moisture, making it easier if you wish to dry mop the area again.
- Concentrated polished concrete cleaning product: This cleaner will help make cleaning the floor so much easier. You can find products that remove dirt particles, suspending them on the surface. That way, you can easily sweep them away.
- pH-neutral cleaner: You will need a cleaning solution that will not ruin the polished surface. Although gentle, it can remove dirt and grime without leaving residue.
- Floor buffer machine: This machine can clean and polish concrete floors. You can select the pad that allows you to achieve the level of shine you want.
- Burnishing machine: You can use this in place of a floor buffer to polish the surface and maintain its shine. This machine rotates and heats the floor, creating a high-gloss finish.
- Concrete sealer: You do not have to use this as often, but a concrete sealer protects the floor from damage by helping it become more durable. Depending on the product you’re using and the concrete floor, the sealer may even enhance the shine and colour of the surface.
With the tools and cleaning products ready, try these helpful tips to maintain the shine of your polished concrete floors:
- Clean regularly. Anything from dirt, debris, and liquid spills can quickly dull the shine of your polished concrete floor. The best way to prevent this from happening is to mop the surface with a soft mop or microfibre cloth with a bit of pH-neutral cleaner. Never use acidic cleaners, such as bleach, or those with coarse components, including microbeads. These tiny abrasives can damage the surface, leaving visible scratches that can be difficult to correct.
- Place mats at the entrance. Encourage household members to use the mat before going in to prevent tracking dirt and debris into the living spaces. Choose nylon or rubber mats and place them at the entranceway, hallway, or doorway.
- Re-polish the floor. The shiny polished surface is not designed to last forever. Over time, the floor will lose its shine due to wear and tear. If you notice that the floor’s shine has diminished, it may be time to re-polish it. Contact a professional to start the process of re-polishing, which involves using finer grits of diamond abrasives.
- Seal the floor. Make sure that you always seal the surface using a high-quality product. This step is usually done every six months or yearly, depending on the location and the type of polished concrete you have. To avoid confusion, ask a professional contractor who can guide you in the frequency and the type of sealer to use. Sealing polished concrete will not only maintain its shine but also protect it against wear and tear.
So, to answer the question, regular upkeep is the best way to preserve polished concrete floor sheen. Use the cleaning tips above, and you will never be disappointed, whether it’s the lifespan, shine, or overall appearance of your polished concrete flooring.
Of course, it all starts with the material. You need quality concrete to ensure you get your desired results. Choose the trusted concrete supplier in Perth, CoastCrete. Contact us to learn more.