Polished concrete is becoming the go-to floor for many interior designers. Nowadays you can see it in shops, restaurants, and residential homes. It looks clean and elegant and easy to maintain and hypoallergenic makes it even more desirable.
The fact that concrete floors are readily available in every building, means that almost all structurally sound concrete floors can be polished. There are a few exceptions to this rule and polishing new concrete can slightly differ from polishing old concrete floors.
When polishing existing or old concrete floors, the age of the floor doesn't really matter. You can polish a 100 years old concrete floor, as long as the floor is structurally sound.
Before polishing your floors, there are few things to take into consideration.
If the concrete floor is too porous, crumbles easily, wavy or needs extensive fixing it might not be suitable to be polished.
When polishing old concrete floors, the floors need to be mechanically cleaned, before moving to the polishing process. Mechanically grinding the concrete floors, will ensure that all dirt, grime, oils and stains are removed from the floor. Most of the time flooring experts will apply a concrete hardener to your floors, before moving to the next step.
As the floors have probably been exposed to the traffic and weather, there might be cracks, gaps and holes that will need to be repaired. Repairing the floor imperfections, will not only improve the condition of the floors, but will also add some weathered charm.
For newly poured concrete floors, you will need to wait until the concrete is fully cured and there is no moisture left in it. This usually takes around 28 days, but depending on the climate you live in, it can take longer or less.
If in any doubt, before starting the floor polishing process, is recommended to measure the moisture levels in the concrete.
Ensuring that the concrete is fully dry, means that there won't be any moisture trapped in the floor when sealed and the polishing process will not be compromised.