Concrete has historically been considered a cheap, quick building material to use. Something practical but not particularly stylish. When we think about concrete we have visions of dusty cement mixers, pavements and dreary looking grey buildings. However, in recent years concrete has had a glamorous makeover in the form of polished concrete.
The polished version has been treated with chemical densifier and the grit is progressively ground more finely – often using diamond cutting tools which explains why it is a high-end budget. Stains and dyes are then used to enhance the polished concrete. There is then a whole bevvy of different options and finishes such as scoring, lines, grids, bands and borders.
As with unpolished concrete, polished concrete is extremely durable and low maintenance. Once in place polished concrete is easy to clean, much easier to maintain than many other flooring options available. Dust mites and mould cannot live on polished concrete so it is a fantastic finish for avoiding allergens. The surface will not crack or dent so it is possible for polished concrete to last 100s of years.
Polished concrete is an eco-friendly material, It is possible to have existing concrete polished so in that sense it is a sustainable way of renovating your space as the materials used are already available. In many new buildings they are built on a concrete base so it is possible to expose the base and have it polished.
In workspaces it can be used on the floors and also counter-tops. We recently worked on a project for Inside Out where the client had chosen a polished concrete floor. The finished result is hardwearing but also looks on trend. We are happy to work with clients to see if polished concrete might work for them and expect to see this finish in more places in the next few years.