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Flooring: Polished concrete
Polished concrete floors can make a stunning design statement in
your home or office. They are also comparatively inexpensive,
durable, easy to clean and maintain and will last a lifetime.
Because of their beautiful design aspects, polished concrete floors
are best installed in a large formal or open plan area, such as a
dining room, family area or formal lounge, where the unusual
surface textures or embedded patterns can be seen to advantage.
Polished concrete also looks striking in an entrance hall or foyer.
Patterns in polished concrete
Patterns and textures are created by including a decorative
aggregate such as river stones, black basalt fragments, shells,
coloured glass pieces, old coins, or larger elements such as car
parts, old CDs, saw blades - anything you like that will make a
design you can live with forever.
Other design elements can be cut or scraped into the surface and
treated with dyes to provide a contrast before the surface is
Alternatively, you can strike a more subtle textured note by simply
revealing the base aggregate or having this aggregate dyed a
Your flooring contractor needs to be aware that the end result will
be polished, and so the floor needs to be of a high standard.
Install new or retrofit polished concrete
While it's probably best to start fresh with a concrete floor that will
exhibit a unique design after polishing, it is possible to refurbish an
existing concrete floor to polished glory.
This can be done in two ways:
- the existing floor can be sanded back to reveal the underlying
aggregate and then polished; or
- a 50mm thick topping layer of fresh concrete can be added with
the decorative aggregate or inclusions dropped in.
This second method runs the risk of reducing the finished heights
of door openings and ceilings.
Polishing and finishing decorative concrete floors
After the decorative surface is revealed, the floor is treated with a
liquid hardener to provide a very glossy look and give the floor
When the hardener has cured, the floor is sanded three times to
polish it, then sealed with a stain and block out sealer to reduce
water and oil staining.
Cleaning and protecting your concrete floor
Concrete flooring will not chip or dent like softer surfaces such as
timber, and is easy to maintain. Mopping with warm water once a
week is the only maintenance required.
Some contractors recommend a neutral cleaner and conditioner in
the water that leaves behind a dirt-resistant film.
Except for high traffic areas, polished concrete will keep its shine
for years. If it does ever dull, it is easy to restore. Simply buff the
floor with a commercial polishing compound.
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