Whether for a feature floor in a house or flooring for an industrial warehouse, polishing concrete to an acceptable finish is a complicated process. Experts can attest to the age old saying preparation is key. When it comes to experts Dean from Atomic polished concrete floors know how to get the best result.
If you are looking for a showroom finish, typically characterised by high sheen, smooth, fully-exposed aggregate, you will probably require mechanical grinding to achieve the exposed aggregate look and very high grit polishing to achieve the high gloss finish. This is typically the most premium level of concrete polishing and therefor is also the most time and cost intensive.
The most widely used machine that achieves this level of floor finish is the HiPERFLOOR made by Husqvarna. It is a specialised piece of machinery that is made to specifically for concrete grinding and polishing.
Depending on the application, more cost effective options exist. Typically, warehouses do not require the same level of finish and can make do with a lower sheen with less exposed aggregate. This cuts the grinding time down but can still produce a smooth floor, important if trolley jacks are in used as a rough floor can reduce accuracy in trolley jack operation this can be a safety concern.
Rough, semi-exposed finishes are sometimes desirable for certain applications. Commercial applications typically use this type of finish and it can create an attractive texture to the floor. Finish in either a matte or high gloss option this can produce stunning results.
Outdoor concrete is suited to a process called honing. This is also a process of grinding the concrete down to a smoother finish. Particularly weather worn concrete surfaces are good candidates for this process as honing can restore them to their previous semi-smooth or fully-smooth state.
The most cost effective solution, yet least durable, is acrylic coating. Acrylic is still somewhat durable and will last up to seven years after which it can be reapplied to restore the surface back to its most durable state again. It does not compromise on application as it can be applied to all types of aggregate but is probably best suited to commercial applications rather than high traffic industrial applications.
Combining the many variations of aggregate exposure and sheen levels, concrete flooring can be a great choice for many different applications. An expert can help you with this decision and their experience can make your decision easier.