Concrete FloorsHave you ever considered polished concrete floors in your home or business?

Polished concrete floors can really add a lot of beauty to the home or business. The design possibilities are endless. You can incorporate engraving, etching, staining, and dying. Polished floors are achieved by treating the concrete with a chemical densifier and polished with progressively finer polishing tools. The types of polishing tools consist of diamond grinding cup wheels and diamond polishing pads that progressively get finer as the process goes on. Typically concrete floors are polished somewhere between 400 and 3000 grit to achieve that high gloss finish everyone loves.

Here are a couple questions people often ask when enquiring about polished concrete floors.

Q: Can My Concrete Floors Be Polished?

A: The truth of the matter is, almost any concrete floors, old or new, can be polished to add life and beauty. Whether it is in your home or business, you can surely benefit from having a polished floor that will add years to the life of your concrete. When polishing a floor, you are enhancing the aesthetic quality of the floor mainly because it allows it to look better longer. To find out whether or not your concrete floor can be polished, have someone come out and take a look at it first before continuing to move forward.

Polished Concrete FloorsQ: Won’t The Process Of Polishing Concrete Floors Make Huge Mess In My Home or Business?

A: Almost all of the techniques that are utilized to polish concrete floors are clean and productive. Any mess that may potentially occur should not be a concern as long as you do your due diligence and hire the concrete floor contractor..

Q: Aren’t Concrete Floors Hard To Keep Clean?

A: Actually, polished concrete floors reduce dust mite and allergen problems, and do not support mold growths. Polished concrete will actually make cleaning a lot easier because of the fact that the concrete is so smooth and not too porous sweeping up certain materials could take twice as long if the concrete weren’t polished.  Unsightly stains could also be a factor where a polished concrete floor would never fall victim to discoloration or permanent destruction of any kind. Having polished concrete can save you a lot of time when it comes to cleaning up after yourself or your customers and employees.

Colorful Concrete FloorsQ: Don’t Polished Concrete Floors Get Way Too Slippery?

A: Surprisingly polished concrete floors actually have quite the grip, although a polished floor might look slick because of the shiny finish. Truth be told tile floor is usually a lot more slippery than polished concrete. There is not a bigger risk of falling and slipping than on any other kind of floor surface so no need to worry.

Q: Is It True That Polishing Can Extend The Life Of Concrete Floors

A: One huge advantage of having polished concrete floors is that it extends the life span of the concrete.. Concrete is a very durable material in and of itself, but it is also vulnerable to stain and cracking over time. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much longer your floor will last if you polish your concrete surfaces. Here’s an example, most tiles with the exception of porcelain only have a life expectancy of about 10-20 years on average, and polished concrete floors on the other hand will last up to 100 years with proper maintenance.

 

Concrete Floor CompassI hope that this post has helped to enlighten you about this great sustainable design flooring option because it makes use of the materials already present and is surprisingly cost effective. Almost all buildings are built with concrete floors; polishing the exposed concrete eliminates the energy and material consumed by applying a floor covering. This option is definitely something to consider if you are leaning towards a greener option

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Screeding concrete is one of the first steps in placing and finishing concrete. Screeding is the art of skimming or striking off the surface of the concrete after rough raking it.  Screeding when done properly will leave you with a good even flat surface free of humps, bumps holes and low spots. This can usually be accomplished by some DIYers on a small scale, like a sidewalk for example. But i would definitely recommend leaving everything else to the pros, especially if you want the job done right. All too often I have seen people attempt to accomplish screeding concrete  jobs that are out of their league and the end product doesn’t turn out.

Screeding concrete is an art form!

 Screeding Concrete – Picking The Right Screed

 The proper tool for screeding concrete can be as simple as that piece of 2X4 that always seems to be available wherever concrete is being poured, or it can be as extreme as a larger laser screed machine. Picking the right tool for the job will of course depend on the job your performing.

Truss ScreedHand Screeds - Hand screeding is physically the hardest way to screed the concrete, but in the right hands it is the most accurate way to screed. Hand screeds can be a straight wood 2X4. I would not recommend using one more than 12 to 14 feet long. Or a better option would be an aluminum screed. This form of screeding is probably the best option for a DIYer to pour a sidewalk, patio or other small project.

Power Screeding ConcretePower Screeds - Power screeding  makes the smoothing out process alot easier by leveling out and/or vibrating the wet concrete mixture. They are usually used for larger pours. If quality is important  I definitely would not recommend using one unless you have been trained. They do save time and effort but are not always the most accurate screed with experienced operators.   Roller Screed

Roller Screeds aka Spin Screeds - Though I don’t have much experience with roller screeds I know that they can be very handy and very accurate. The rollers are available up to 24 feet long with many different attachments available for perfect gutters, curbs and more. The roller screed is a must if you are using pervious concrete. The best thing is the roller screed is so simple to use, even a beginner can turn out decent quality Truss Screed

Truss Screeds - Vibrating truss screeds are one of the most accurate ways of screeding concrete that I’ve used. Truss screeds can have many sections bolted on for reaching across large spans. They are built to ride on forms or rails that are set out prior to pouring.

Laser SCreed

Laser Screeds  - Laser screeds are usually used on larger pours where accuracy is important. This is probably the easiest most accurate form of screeding. A laser screed is operated usually by one guy, a couple of rakers and a laser set up for heights. This specialty screed is not usually something anyone can use, it requires special training to be able to operate it. Alot of times companies who own a laser will rent them out with the operator.

Screeding Concrete – The Process Behind It

Screeding Concrete is done right after the concrete has been poured, rough raked, and edges have been hand floated. The sooner the better, if you leave the concrete too long it will be too hard to work with.

The goal of screeding is to make the surface flat and not leave any holes, humps or bumps. This is accomplished by creating guides to follow while you are screeding, guides can be forms, rails, hand floated edges or wet screeds pulled at the proper height. Each screeding tool follows your guides differently to achieve the flat surface. For the average DIYer it is definitely recommended that you screed an area that you can ride the forms and is smaller than your screed.

When screeding follow your guides and always keep 1/2″ to 1″ of concrete ahead of your screed board to fill all holes and low spots. If you are screeding and leaving lots of voids behind, it is likely you are either not leaving enough mud or you are screeding too fast. If you are screeding and able to ride the forms start at one end and move along in a sawing motion to seal the surface.

Once you have completed striking off any humps or bumps, filling any major holes (minor holes will be filled in with the bull float), ensuring all heights and slopes are correct it is time to bull float the surface.

 

 

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