Archive for July 2015

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DIY Polished Concrete Floors or Hire a PRO?

Polished concrete floors are gaining popularity all the time. Unfortunately, the knowledge needed for creating a beautiful finish via polishing concrete, is not being well imparted to the DIY crowd. The equipment needed is also not readily available. Even when you can get your hands on it, it requires weeks of training and years of experience to make a concrete floor shine using grinding and polishing equipment and techniques.
custom concrete flooring ottawa floor preparation
Polishing concrete requires a extremely heavy head weight machine, chemical processes best left to pros and a keen eye and touch for problems that present themselves later in the process, when it’s too late to do anything about it, other than starting over.
The most common mistake we see with DIY polishers and inexperienced contractors is, the “swirl mark devastation.”

Polishing is the process of scratching a surface with progressively finer and finer grits until the area is so scratched on a microscopic level that it reflects light in all directions.

When a inexperienced person polishes a floor, they may not see that the tooling, techniques or equipment they are using may be causing scratches that they won’t notice until very late in the process. Once these scratches start to show their ugly little faces, the stage reached in polishing is far too fine to remove these scratches, leading the operator to have to start over.

It is common to hear people say, polishing concrete is simple, you just rent a machine at the hardware store and some sanding pads and polish it. This not only doesn’t work, it will make a professionals job even more costly should the DIY person need to hire someone to fix it.

Another advantage to a PRO vs a DIY: Pros have dust collection equipment. If you are DIYing, you’ll most certainly find yourself in a dust cloud.

Contact us today, we’ll point you in the right direction and get the job finished the right way. 

The Various Types Of Polished Concrete Flooring

The Various Types Of Polished Concrete (and their close cousins, the exposed aggregate clear coat floor)The term “polished concrete” gets thrown around a lot. Let’s look at what polished concrete really is vs. some other floors that are not polished concrete but are often referred to as such.
TopLine Polish custom concrete floors in ottawa
Polished Concrete. What is it? The process of polishing anything can be explained in a very technical manner, we’ll explain it very quickly: to scratch something over and over again with progressively finer and finer grits, until it shines. The reason it shines is that there are so many scratches on a microscopic level that every angle that could catch a light source exists within the surface. The end result is that light is reflected in all directions, creating a shine.There are a few ways to end up with a polished concrete floor, but not all are the same. Let us explain:Traditional Polished Concrete. We call it “TopLine Polish“:

1) First the floor is honed. This means the surface is removed, a business card thick layer, and what’s uncovered is smoothed out via the grinding process. This exposes smaller aggregates, AKA “fines” as well as some of the larger stones, where there are high spots in the floor.
2) Next, the floor is chemically treated to harden it.
3) Next, the floor is polished with progressively finer diamond segments
4) Finally the floor is sealed and burnished.This process yields a more consistent sheen with some random aggregate exposure in the beige/brown tones. It’s great for those who want a more finished look.If you are more into the wet concrete look of polished concrete, a no grind polish may be for you. We call it “Cream Polish“:
The Cream Polished Concrete Flooring Process
This process is much like the above, however, more attention and time is placed on the existing surface of the slab and less on removing it. The existing surface is lightly abraded but not removed. Then the polishing process begins and usually, the polish is brought to a higher sheen prior to sealing and burnishing. This process results in a wet concrete look in the grey tones. This is a more natural wet look.polished concrete floors ottawa
The EcoPolish Concrete Flooring Process
Finally, the imitation polish. This is not to say it’s bad, it’s actually much better for some environments.This process, we call it “EcoPolish” is the process of grinding and honing just as we do for the traditional polish, however instead of polished, hardening and sealing afterwards, we coat the floor with epoxy and an optional top coat of urethane. This is recommended for any high traffic areas that will be exposed to a lot of moisture and winter de-icing salts because unlike regular polished concrete, it is not porous.EcoPolish is also the ‘go to’ floor for those looking for a deeper colour and more consistent feel under foot.No matter which of the above three options you choose, you’ll love the lack of grout lines and ease of cleaning that concrete floors afford you.

For more information about these various types of polished concrete floors. Contact a concrete flooring professional in Ottawa today!