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The Many Benefits Of Polished Concrete Floors For Commercial Premises

By Author: Emma Riley
Total Articles: 12

More than ever today, architects are specifying polished concrete floors for commercial establishments, as it has become more apparent since the beginning of the century of the incredible, almost unending, variety of colours, patterns and finishes that can be achieved. Indeed, about the only limitation is the ingenuity of the architect or end customer who can specify anything that they can think of. It is pretty much a case of if you can imagine it, a skilled contractor can produce it.

Polished concrete floors can have patterns etched into them or cut into them with saws, they can have any type of aggregates added at the mixing stage, and these can then be ground and polished to perfection to resemble terrazzo. The concrete can have any colour added to it, or it can have graduated colours resembling marble or granite.

Concrete is by nature porous, but it can have a densifier added to it to harden it. This is usually carried out after the first stage of grinding the surface has been carried out and has the effect of interacting with a by-product of concrete called free lime which is produced as the concrete cures. When the densifier reacts with the free lime it produces calcium-silicate-hydrate which is a gel that is a dense hard crystal which forms a continuous layer. It fills all the pores in the concrete and results in a surface which is considerably harder than concrete on its own. Another benefit of adding a densifier is that it prevents the concrete from dusting, which is a natural continuing occurrence with concrete over time.

Once a densifier has been added to the concrete, the floor should last for decades, and will need virtually no maintenance other than dusting and an occasional wipe over with a damp mop, so this saves money on floor cleaning materials and paying someone to carry out the work.

Commercial concrete polishing has other economic benefits as well. By nature, concrete is cold to walk on, so you can have underfloor heating installed before the concrete is poured. Concrete is a good conductor and the underfloor heating will warm the whole area. The floor can also benefit from solar gain, absorbing heat from sunlight coming through the windows, and releasing it as the building cools at night, thus maintaining a more even temperature, and reducing the amount of heating or air conditioning required.

If a floor has commercial concrete polishing to the maximum level of shine with something akin to a 3,000 grit, it will reflect light like a mirror. This means that artificial lighting in the area can be reduced, thus saving money on electricity and benefiting the environment in the process.

Polished concrete flooring is being used more and more in factories, warehouses, and high traffic areas such as railway stations, airports, and shopping malls, and it can actually save money on tyre wear! It's true. If you have a warehouse or factory with fork lift trucks running about all day, as businesses such as Amazon do, you get tyre marks on the floor which is the result of the rubber wearing down. However, polished concrete produces no tyre marks, so the tyres don't wear out as quickly as on other floor surfaces.

Despite that, and despite being polished to a mirror-like finish, polished concrete is not slippery as one might expect, but has a relatively high coefficient of friction, which saves slips and falls. Furthermore, it is quite stain-resistant on its own, but after the final polishing stage has been carried out you can add a sealant to the surface. This is ideal in places such as commercial kitchens where there is the constant danger of spills of foodstuffs, oils, and so on. A quick wipe with a mop, and the floor surface will be fine.

Polished concrete floor surfaces even improve the indoor air quality. As much as 30% of the population has sensitivity to allergens and chemicals in the air. Polished concrete produces no noticeable VOC's during the construction process, and the surface prevents dust mites and allergens associated with other flooring surfaces from forming, so benefitting everybody who is using the area.

Advance Group is a commercial concrete polishing company and can produce a polished concrete floor to any specification the customer requires.

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