Decorative/Patterned vs. Polished Concrete Flooring Maintenance

As with marble, travertine and other stone floors, polished concrete maintenance involves the need to diamond grind or polish the floors in order to maintain its glossy appearance. To accomplish this task, ACE Flooring in Dallas, TX has special equipment to maintain these types of floors such as the one in the picture above. However, non-slip sealers can be applied to polished concrete floors to protect the concrete. If sealers are used, they can be maintained without using expensive grinding or polishing techniques and equipment.

Polished and decorative concrete maintenance also involves sealing and waxing the surface in an effort to enhance or bring out the color and to maintain the glossy or satin appearance. Epoxy, acrylic and polyurethane sealers are very beneficial in cleaning and keeping the floors’ appearance glossy and in making mopping or auto-scrubbing easier. Some places like churches add a high gloss wax to the top of the sealer, which can be high speed buffed on a regular basis to maintain the “wow” factor. Patterned concrete needs a minimum layer of sealer to bring out the color and to protect the top layer of concrete.

What’s the difference between polished, decorative, stamped or patterned concrete?

Polished concrete is what you typically see in grocery stores or do-it-yourself type of stores. To give regular concrete a colored and shiny appearance it must be ground or polished with different levels of grit using a diamond pad process. Big heavy machines as in the picture above are used. Technicians start with a low grit pad like 60 and then move up on each pass. They progressively start with low grits and then move up to 1000 or so higher grits. After the second or so pass, a densifier or hardener is added to the concrete. A color is often added at this time. Polished floors can be maintained with special pads used on floor machines. The key is to not let the scratches get too deep or to not let the concrete’s top surface get too dull.

Decorative concrete is a catch all phrase which includes concrete floors like you see in homes, retail stores and so on. These floors are often acid stained to bring out a marbled look. After the technician opens the concrete’s pores, acid is applied and allowed to soak and is given time for a chemical reaction. Dyes or stains can also be applied to the floors to give color. Once the color is applied, the next step is to apply a sealer. Sealers can be glossy or satin. The sealers must be maintained to bring out the color in the concrete and to protect the top layer of the concrete. Ongoing decorative concrete maintenance includes light scrubbing and re-applying new sealer to the surface to increase the longevity of aesthetics of the surface. Water based sealers are low VOC which make them safe for indoor application.

Stamped or patterned concrete are typically seen outdoors and around pools. Stamped or patterned concrete is a term used when new concrete is poured and technicians use designs of rocks, bricks or so on to make the top of the concrete appear to be stone or so on. Patterned concreted is a term used interchangeably with stamped concrete. This same technique can be applied to existing concrete by applying a cementious overlay. Once the overlay is applied, the patterns can be added. It is very important to apply a sealer to this type of concrete. The sealer enhances the colors and protects the top layer of the concrete. To maintain this type of concrete, it is important to keep an adequate layer of sealer on top. Our Dallas based technicians can strip off the old sealer when it becomes worn out and re-apply a new sealer giving it a like new quality.

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