19 Jul Grind & Seal – Get the Polished Concrete Look for Less
Pure Polished Concrete is achieved through a complex polishing process which is broken into a number of stages. During the grinding stage state-of-the-art industrial grinders utilise diamond impregnated grinding pads to grind away concrete until the desired aggregate exposure is achieved. This is followed by the polishing stage when progressively finer grit diamonds are used with the grit of the diamond determining the level of gloss finish – essentially, the finer the grit of the diamond pad during the final stage of polishing, the higher the gloss of the floor.
In addition a chemical densifier is also applied at certain stages during the process to case harden the surface, allowing the concrete to be polished successfully. A grouting chemical is also used, acting to fill in any holes, cracks or imperfections that were exposed during the initial coarse grinding stage. The final stage of Pure Polished Concrete involves sealing the floor with an impregnating sealer that penetrates 2–5 mm inside the pores of the concrete, preventing any deep staining from oils and spills.
This process is labour intensive, requiring skill and patience from an experienced concrete polisher but the result is the best flooring option around. In addition to being exceptionally durable, Pure Polished Concrete is environmentally friendly, hypoallergenic, easy to clean and extremely stylish. Dollar for dollar we believe Pure Polished Concrete offers excellent long-term value for money when compared to other high end flooring options such as solid timber or good quality carpet or tiles. Unlike these other options Pure Polished Concrete, when treated correctly, will require no maintenance for decades to come.
However at The Polished Concrete Company we understand that not everyone’s budget will stretch to Pure Polished Concrete. So one option we offer our clients is a concrete flooring option referred to in the industry as a ‘Grind and Seal’. During this process concrete is ground to the desired level of aggregate exposure using coarse diamonds. The surface is then ground again to remove any visible scratching. Patching is undertaken if required to fill any voids, holes, cracks or imperfections. Finally the surface is thoroughly cleaned and a topical sealer applied.
A Grind and Seal differs from Pure Polished Concrete in the following ways:
- It involves significantly less stages and therefore less labour and materials. As a result the cost per square metre is substantially reduced.
- A topical sealer is used rather than an impregnating sealer.
- It is the type of sealer used rather than the polishing process itself that determines the final level of gloss finish.
- Chemical densification does not take place. This means the floor is not as hard and is slightly more porous than Pure Polished Concrete. The application of an impervious topical sealer addresses the issue of porousness.
- Holes and cracks are manually patched rather than grouted. Although all care is taken to colour match patches this is not always as successful as with Pure Polished Concrete where floors are machine grouted.
- The biggest difference is that a Grind and Seal will require some degree of maintenance. Depending on the amount of traffic in the area and the type of sealer used, the floor will requiring resealing approximately every five to seven years.
Nothing compares to Pure Polished Concrete. However we believe that provided you are aware beforehand of the fundamental differences between the two options, a Grind and Seal is a fantastic flooring choice at a fraction of the cost of Pure Polished Concrete – either way your floor will still be environmentally friendly, hypoallergenic, easy to clean and extremely stylish.