09 Jun Life-Proof Your Floor with Polished Concrete
When our clients moved into their brand new home three years ago they initially loved the dark, timber-look vinyl flooring in their living areas. They had opted for vinyl after their builder presented it to them as a budget-friendly, attractive flooring option during construction. Unfortunately neither our clients nor their builder had given enough thought to the two other family members who would be sharing the house: Daisy the Labradoodle and Ned the Pit Bull.
Within their first month in the house Daisy and Ned had left noticeable scratches in the vinyl and after three years the damage was severe. There were deep tears in several places and the vinyl had started to lift along most of the joins. It was clearly evident that their flooring was not at all up to the task of dealing with eight sets of paws running over it every day.
Many people with pets or children have watched in despair as their lovely new floor is destroyed by the day-to-day activities of their busy households. Even single person households aren’t immune – timber can be scratched by everything from stiletto heels to the movement of dining chairs beneath a table, and who hasn’t spilled something on carpet at some point?
Pure Polished Concrete however is robust and hardwearing and has an extremely long life expectancy compared to other flooring such as timber, carpet, tiles or vinyl. Pure Polished Concrete will not warp, crack, stain or suffer water damage and when well-kept will provide decades of maintenance-free service. It is this durability that makes Polished Concrete the perfect surface for high traffic commercial or industrial environments, or for homeowners whose lifestyle demands a lot from their floor.
When our clients started researching a replacement for their damaged vinyl, they knew they needed something that would stand up to the rigours of life with Ned and Daisy. Polished Concrete was the obvious choice. Initially our clients were concerned that their existing floor coverings meant that Polished Concrete was not an option but The Polished Concrete Company quickly put their minds to rest. There is absolutely no reason why floor coverings cant be removed and the concrete slab beneath polished. However there are a couple of things to bear in mind when pulling up the old floor to make way for the new.
The first is that there is no way of knowing beforehand what will be revealed when you lift your floor coverings. When concrete slabs are poured with Polished Concrete flooring in mind from the outset, care is generally taken to ensure the concrete is well looked after during construction. Protective coverings are left on the concrete and tradespeople are instructed to be mindful of the floor as they go about their work. This is not true of construction projects where the concrete slab will be covered by other flooring at the end of the build. As a result there is often paint, plaster, chips or scratches in the surface of the concrete along with glue or small nail holes where the coverings have adhered to the slab.
What this means is that nil aggregate exposure or the burnished look is not generally an option for a retro job as a certain amount of concrete will need to be ground away to clean and flatten the surface. Overall retro polishing concrete is best for those who appreciate the industrial look but one thing is certain; every finished floor will reveal its own individual story.
Our clients expedited their project by pulling up their vinyl prior to our arrival allowing the Polished Concrete Company to get straight to work. The floor was ground to cut off glue, paint and plaster and to level the floor. We then patched the small pinholes where the vinyl had been nailed down with a two-part filler, colour matched to the floor. Densification was undertaken in conjunction with intensive mechanical polishing using progressively finer diamond tooling. This process creates a marble like finish with the level of sheen determined by the fineness of the diamond used during the final stage of the polishing process. This time we went up to a #1500 grit diamond to provide our clients with the gloss finish they were after. A final coat of penetrating enhancer finished the job creating an entirely scratch resistant surface.
So now the furniture is back in and the house is looking great. Our clients have reported a few additional benefits they weren’t expecting. The random exposure industrial look of their concrete means that stray dogs hairs are a lot less noticeable and when it does come time to get rid of the hairs the seamless nature of Polished Concrete with its lack of joins has made cleaning simpler than ever. A quick sweep or vacuum and the occasional damp mop are all that are required to maintain a hygienic, glossy surface. But most importantly the floor is one hundred percent Ned and Daisy proof. Once again our clients are delighted with their new floor, but this time we’re confident their happiness will last a lot longer than a month.