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Benefits of Polished Concrete

Why choose to polish your concrete floor? According to Total Polish Solutions, a concrete polishing company in Knoxville, Tenn., there are four significant reasons why polished concrete is a better alternative as a long-term flooring solution.

Lower Lifetime Cost
One of the benefits of polished concrete is less maintenance cost. In high traffic areas especially, such as schools, hallways and corridors hold up better and last longer with polished concrete. Not only are polished concrete floors easy to clean, requiring only occasional damp mopping, they can resist scuff marks and tire marks. They also eliminate the need for messy waxes or coatings as well as the associated labor, time, and expense to apply them. Its dense surface also inhibits stains from oils or liquids. Polished concrete has a longer lifespan than materials such as vinyl composite tile (VCT) or upgraded stone tile. Polished concrete only needs to be refinished once every five to ten years. In addition, the downtime required the polishing process is minimal, and service or traffic on the surface can start almost immediately.

People typically compare polished concrete’s cost and its appearance to other materials. Knowing polished concrete is a viable, economical and long-lasting option, the next most important question is what does it look like. Total Polish Solutions describes polished concrete as “shiny, beautiful and striking.” By smoothing and exposing the aggregate in the concrete, polishing provides a design that has a natural stone appeal and appears expensive and elegant.

It’s important when choosing polished concrete to also understand that polishing can expose some of the concrete’s imperfections. “You have to be comfortable with the theme of the concrete,” explains John Buteyn, Senior Technical Manager of Colorado Hardscapes. “Polishing can produce rustic-looking results, and imperfections will show. The floor has to fit the character of the space,” he says. Some of these imperfections may include cracks already existing in the floor, uncovering different types of concrete in places or uneven concrete. “These imperfections can be improved,” says Buteyn, “but they will be reflected in the final product. Some people call this organic where you see the natural qualities of the concrete. You can see areas of coarser aggregate and unevenness of veins and aggregate.” This is often one of the most appealing characteristics for people who want a natural and still functional look.

Ambient Lighting Increases
The high light reflectivity of polished concrete is another important benefit, especially for office buildings, hotels, restaurants, and other public facilities that want to project a bright, clean, professional image. "Some customers simply want a look that's unique," according to contractor Doug Demmert of Demmert & Associates, Glendale, Calif. He says that polishing can give concrete a higher degree of shine, similar to polished marble or granite, than can be achieved with a high-gloss coating. This means greater visibility and fewer overhead lights required in buildings with polished floors. Read about why light reflection is such a big deal in polished concrete floors.

Environmentally Friendly
Total Polish Solutions points out that polished concrete contains no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which makes it an environmentally friendly surface. There are no coatings applied, such as epoxies, urethanes, or waxes. There is no slurry or hazardous waste.

Next: Comparison chart of polished concrete vs. other surface materials

Polished Concrete in Commercial Buildings