Polished concrete’s popularity has soared in recent times on the back of several factors, none more powerful than its sudden reputation for being the easy or “go to” flooring option.
Does “go to” really exist?
Despite taking many hours and multiple passes of a grinding machine, followed by the application of a hardening or “densifying” solution, polished concrete is widely seen as a bankable default option – the floor to get when you don’t have a floor in mind. Why? Maybe the process isn’t fully understood? Maybe the simple yet sophisticated look possible with materials already in place tips many in its favour? What we do know for sure is that treating any flooring option as the answer to everything isn’t a good idea. Polished concrete, despite its reputation, is no different.
Polished concrete by design, not default
Like any flooring system, polished concrete should be designed from the ground up and in accordance with the surrounding environment to get the best results. If everything is done well right from the start, from selecting the aggregate blend through to an on-site pour, polished concrete can look brilliant; there’s no question about it. It’s only when flooring is an afterthought and lazy choices are made by blindly following popular trends or reputations that problems can emerge.
Not all slabs can be polished concrete
In the particular case of polished concrete, the main danger is not every existing concrete slab can be transformed into a showroom finish (more on that in the next blog). If you go ahead regardless, it can end up looking like you either ran out of money or went for a cheap option instead. The take-home message is – you have to determine if polished concrete, or any other system for that matter, will work first rather than just assume so. If, for some reason, your concrete slab is not suitable then another flooring option should be chosen.
If you have any questions about the design of polished concrete, please don’t hesitate to contact me.