The Hard Cold Truth About Cheap Polished Concrete

Are you in the market for polished concrete? Looking for a cheap solution? Just hold it right there! Do not be in a rush to quickly find the lowest prices. Not until we have explained what the pitfalls of going with a cheaper polished concrete are.

Us contractors are sometimes baffled by some of the low ball rates and downright cheap prices other contractors offer for polished concrete. We are left to wonder how is that even possible? Are they cutting corners? Using inferior products? Or are just simply more efficient?

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that affect polished concrete floor cost and also discuss if there are ways of cutting corners or tweaking procedures. To once and for all discuss if there is any such thing as cheap polished concrete floor.

It goes without saying that polished concrete is extremely labor intensive job. The industry is largely unregulated and we can say this from experience that not all the concrete polishing tools are the same.

In order to create an aesthetically pleasing polished concrete, the process and all of its intricacies needs to be given its due diligence. There are no shortcuts. A-grade professional tools, chemicals, concrete grinders and machinery costs are too often quite high. That, coupled with the fact that the whole process takes a long time is the reason why the cost of installing polished concrete comes high. There is no real way of saving money in this process unless we leave parts of it out.

Think of it this way. You expected to save a good amount by cutting corners in the installation procedure & what is the usual result of that? The polished concrete loses its shine in a couple of months or it is too porous to use. If it requires replacing or redoing in 6 months’ then you have not saved your money but in fact the opposite as a well installed polished concrete is one of the most durable flooring options out there in the market that easily lasts many years.

Before we dive in further, we need to point it out that polished concrete flooring isn’t an overly expensive if we compare it to other flooring options such as ceramic tile, porcelain tile & parquet flooring. Let’s now dig deep in this topic and look at the process of going about with a polished concrete flooring and what you should ask your concrete contractor before you start the installation. Our polished concrete works in UAE have multiple variations for our customers.

What is polished concrete & how is it achieved?

Polished concrete floors are made by a mechanical process of both grinding and polishing then proceeding to apply sealants and lithium densifier. This is time taking process which requires specialized tools & equipment.

How to make polished concrete?

Polished concrete look is obtained through working thoroughly on the surface. There are many ways to bringing this surface effect & give it a polishing. However whatever method is chosen, the ways to go about it is usually the same:

  1. Grinding Process – For polishing concrete surfaces, grinding machines are deployed at site and are equipped with diamond segmented abrasives. The machines help to grind down concrete surface till the shine & smoothness of the floor is achieved. 

    As the grinding proceeds, so does the usage of finer-grits. Grit is the particle size of the diamond. Most of the grinding process starts from value of less than 100.
  2. Concrete Polishing Methods – The concrete can be polished in 2 different methods:
    1. Wet Method – During the grinding process, water is used to cool the diamond abrasives. This results in less dust during polishing process. This also reduces friction and the water acts as a lubricant, thus increasing the life of polished concrete flooring.
    1. Dry Method – No water is used during this process. The dust gathered from this method is vacuumed and this clears the mess along with this process. The dry method is used in industrial applications as this is more convenient, fast & environmentally friendly.

We have often seen it many a times with our clients where other flooring contractors have done an incomplete or poor job just to save a few bucks. They have done this by jumping through the grits to save time and effort, leaving behind scratches that are unsightly and unattractive.

You will need to use diamond tools of good quality to grind, hone and polish the concrete you will also need to chemically treat the slab with a concrete densifier and once all process has been completed, seal the concrete flooring with a stain guard.

The initial concrete has to be poured correctly and laid out well in order to carry out the polishing procedure. We work closely with our clients to select best screed in UAE.

Due diligence in choosing your contractor

The contracting industry is largely unregulated and with it comes a variety of contractors mostly in the lower side of the spectrum that charge low and in turn offer poor performance. We urge clients to select contractors based on the experience and number of projects carried out.

Going through their website is crucial and making sure to visit the projects that are stated in the website. Usually most companies just add the names without showing the pictures of the site which should serve as a red flag.

It is imperative that a concrete polished offers some kind of after service and provides a maintenance manual and how to get the most of your floor going forward. They should also be involved with the laying down of concrete and the correct grade that is being laid down to ensure that is the floor you would want.

Importance of diamond tools

Diamond tools are the main and if not the most important tools when it comes to grinding, honing or polishing the concrete surface.

We have come across many problems with the diamonds in this industry and the main ones are as follows; tools with less quantity of diamonds incorporated in them or tools with low quality diamonds incorporated in them.

The scratches that result after use of these tools needs to be changed to a finer set on the next pass. For example, 200 grit removes the scratches left by 100 grit tools. The whole system collapses when you have interchanging quality levels in your tools.

Making sure to densify and seal the floor

Densifying and sealing the floor are usually left out from the whole process or charged separately but that should not be the case. The chances of stained concrete increases dramatically when these 2 processes are left out.

Without proper saturation of the concrete floor with a concrete densifier, the chances of floor turning out to be of a low quality is quite high. There is a higher chance for sand and stone to pull out from the surface during concrete grinding and polishing and it gets difficult to clean the surface. Densifying the concrete also works congruently with a sealer as it seals the floor from the inside out, thereby increasing stain resistance and decreasing porosity.

Quality sealants are expensive but worth the pay off as they protect the floor for many years to come. This is a crucial part of the polished concrete process and should not be taken lightly. Most of the veterans would vouch for densifying and sealing the concrete properly.

Free Assessment

Get in touch with our team of experts for polished concrete in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi or any other Emirates. We can conduct a free site analysis and provide you with an accurate estimate about how much you can expect on the polished concrete works for your residential, commercial or industrial project.

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