You’ve probably heard about polished concrete while considering refinishing or installing a new concrete floor. This attractive, durable and shiny finish is one of the best available.
Unfortunately, some myths are going around about polished concrete. To clear things up, we’re addressing the most common misconceptions about this flooring and see if there is any truth in them.
Misconception #1: Polished concrete floors are slippery
Polished concrete might look like ice after the Zamboni passes, but it provides the same grip level as unpolished concrete. In fact, it can be less slippery than tile or stone, especially when wet.
You can’t see them, but tiny pores cover the surface of polished concrete. These pores create friction and help shoes and wheels grip better.
Of course, polished concrete can get slippery if it’s wet or dusty, like most other flooring options. Overall, its shiny appearance is deceiving, and you don’t have to worry about problems with slipping.
Misconception #2: Polished concrete is always cold
Concrete has a high thermal mass, resisting temperature changes when the outside air heats or cools. In other words, polished concrete floors can store heat during the day and release it at night.
Therefore, polished concrete might feel cold on winter mornings if you have had the heat off all night. But, it will retain the warmth you put into it during the day and feel warmer longer after turning your furnace off.
Also, polished concrete is a perfect flooring to put on top of radiant floor heating. It will help lower your energy bills by storing the heat you put into it and releasing it slowly.
Misconception #3: Difficult maintenance
The truth is, polished concrete is easier to maintain than many other flooring materials. It doesn’t have tough-to-scrub grout lines like tile, and it resists spills, unlike hardwood.
Polished concrete doesn’t shed dust the way unfinished concrete does. This means much less sweeping and no irritants getting kicked up into the air.
Like with any flooring, you need to keep polished concrete clean. After a few years, it might start to look dull, but this can be quickly remedied with buffing.
Misconception #4: Finishes wear off
There are several finish options for polished concrete, and penetrating ones won’t wear off. Actually, colour stains and densifiers are applied before the grinding process, and if our grinder doesn’t take it off, nothing will!
This myth might have started because some shoddy installers apply unsuitable polyurethane on top of polished concrete. Working with reputable contractors guarantees your finishes will last as long as they should.
Misconception #5: Polished concrete cracks more easily
Polished concrete isn’t more prone to cracking than regular concrete. Professionally polished concrete has the same strength and durability the surface had before polishing.
Whether concrete is polished or not, it cracks in many situations, including shrinkage during the drying process, foundation problems, bad concrete mixes and impacts. These are facts to be aware of before choosing concrete for your building needs.
Older concrete is actually denser and harder than new concrete. Polishing helps it last longer and be less susceptible to problems that might cause cracks.