There’s no doubt that polished concrete floors and epoxy flooring (grind and seal) is now trending on top in residential and commercial spaces. Concrete floors are long-lasting, aesthetically appealing and eco-friendly too. For this reason, you might be interested in exposed concrete flooring for your home, garage or business.
You might wonder, which is the best between sealed concrete and polished concrete. While both of them are almost identical, there’s some difference between them. You need to know these differences to avoid confusion when asking for quotes.
Concrete polishing entails a mechanical process of using industrial diamond grinders designed for the floor to polish existing concrete slabs. For the floor to reach the desired level of shine, you progressively hone the concrete with grits of diamond abrasives that are finer.
In the sealed concrete, we achieve the gloss through the topical sealer. The process involves less honing, grinding and polishing. When it comes to functionality and durability, getting a flake flooring which is the process of grinding the concrete, applying an epoxy coating and flakes is most preferable especially in areas of heavy traffic like the garage area.
What Are Grind and Sealed Concrete Floors?
In grind and seal of concrete floors, the process is more of grinding your concrete floor and covering it with an epoxy sealer. Here are the steps to follow.
- Using engineered floor surface grinders and grind the concrete until you get rid of all contaminants.
- Use patching material to fill-ups all the cracks and uneven spots.
- You can consider a second grind with finer diamonds but this will depend on your desired outcome. If the surface looks perfect, there will be no need for the second pass.
- Clean the surface properly
- Choose your favourite colour and add it to your project.
- Seal your concrete floor with a topical sealer. If you are working with an expert, which is highly recommended, you will be advised on the best sealer type depending on your floor. Epoxy and flake flooring is the finish we recommend and is the most popular aesthetically and with durability plus ease of cleaning.
What Are Polished Concrete Floors?
As discussed earlier, a polished concrete floor involves a mechanical process where the concrete surface is honed and polished using floor grinders that have diamond abrasives.
Here are levels of polished concrete.
- Level 1-Soft Matte Finish: This level is characterized by a matte finish that appears soft and hazy where the concrete shows minimal reflection and clarity.
- Level 2-Low Sheen finish: Polished concrete exhibits low lustre sheen and shows a little reflection. It is the most popular level of concrete finish.
- Level 3-Medium Gloss Finish: The floor has a medium gloss as the name suggests. It brings out a clear reflection of objects. Ideal for places like restaurants, retail, breweries where glossy finish suits best.
- Level 4-High Gloss Finish: This concrete has a high gloss finish. You get the highest level of shine synonymous to glass with high great light reflectivity. You might think the floor is wet when viewed from different vantage points.
Let us look at in depth differences and similarities between polished and grind sealed concrete.
Both floors might have a gloss, matte, or satin appearance. However, when the sealer is used to achieve the finish of the sealed concrete, finer grits of diamond abrasives are used on the polished concrete.
Another difference is the sealed concrete exudes a more consistent appearance from one floor to another because the application of the sealer is independent of the concrete floor, unlike the polished concrete. The appearance of the polished concrete varies from one concrete to the other because of extraneous factors or canvas.
This is why flake flooring is such a good option for garage floors, as often the concrete will not look spectacular in the first place which means polishing it will not really improve the look. Whereas flake flooring means the concrete is grinded and sealed then has a sealer applied with flakes making the result amazing.
You can use colour stains for both polished and sealed concrete floors hence both can be referred to as ‘stained concrete’.
Grind and sealed (flake flooring) concrete offers long-term durability with several benefits like dust-proof, densifying and hardening properties. We highly recommend this in large areas with high traffic like on a concrete garage floor.
In areas with stains, oils, grease, etc:
Grind and sealed concrete floors do best in protection from stains, grease or oil spills. They are therefore ideal for garages or even commercial spaces like factories or warehouses.
There is so much in terms of labour needed for polished concrete hence more input in terms of cost compared to sealed concrete. Regardless of the cost, if you want to resurface the garage floor, you should go for flake flooring which is a version of grind and sealed concrete with an epoxy coating that includes flakes/chips to give the floor a polished concrete look that lasts for years. It is durable, long-lasting and dust-proof.
Polished Concrete Floor Experts
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