If you’re looking for a flooring solution that looks great, lasts a long time, and can withstand just about anything you throw at it, consider polished concrete.
Polished concrete floors are an excellent option for many different types of residential, commercial, and industrial properties. For environments with heavy foot or vehicle traffic, those at risk of chemical or water damage, or areas that need an eye-catching shine, polished concrete flooring may be a great fit.
As with any type of flooring, there are both advantages and disadvantages to polished concrete flooring. Let’s take a closer look at these pros and cons.
The Pros of Polished Concrete Floors
There many advantages of polished concrete floors have led to its popularity as a flooring choice in processing plants, commercial facilities, and the common areas of residential buildings.
Durability and Strength
Polished concrete floors are extremely durable, strong, and resilient. They can withstand damage and pressure from high foot traffic or heavy machinery without chipping or scratching.
When polished concrete floors are properly installed, sealed, finished, and maintained, they can last for decades or up to a hundred years or more—even in environments where they are subjected to harsh chemicals or extra wear and tear.
Easy to Maintain and Clean
Polished concrete is easy to maintain and clean. Keeping the floors clean is as easy as sweeping or dusting accumulated dirt with a broom or vacuum daily and restoring the gloss with a wet mop weekly. Smudges, scuffs, and water marks are easy to wipe away with a damp cloth.
Depending on the type of finish you use, your concrete floor may require a bit more maintenance, but overall, polished concrete is a low-maintenance flooring option that is easy to keep clean.
It is not only cheaper to install polished concrete flooring (as little as $3 to $12 per square foot), but the lower maintenance costs also save you money over time, making concrete polishing one of the most cost-effective solutions for your project.
Polished concrete floors are extremely versatile. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and they also work well in commercial, residential, industrial, or manufacturing settings.
There are unlimited design, style, color, and finished options for polished concrete floors—anything from adding graphics into the surface of the floor to incorporating textures into the final product.
You can create a custom polished concrete flooring design that perfectly complements the rest of your space.
Polished concrete flooring naturally retains heat during the day and releases it at night due to its high thermal mass, which can contribute to lower temperatures (and energy bills) during the summer months. Additionally, since concrete polishing is based on the existing concrete of a space instead of installing a new type of flooring, the process uses less energy, water, and materials than other flooring products.
Health and Safety Benefits
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are linked with a variety of negative health impacts. Many types of flooring, such as carpet, wood, and vinyl laminate, release VOCs into the air during the installation process.
Fortunately, polished concrete floors are free of VOCs, and there are no dangerous additives or harmful chemicals used in the installation process.
The Cons of Polished Concrete Floors
There are potential drawbacks of concrete polishing. Consider these points as you determine what flooring solution is right for you.
Hard and Unforgiving Surface
Polished concrete floors are durable, resilient, and strong, but with this strength and durability comes a disadvantage: The surface is hard and unforgiving. The floors have no “give,” so standing on it for long periods of time is fatiguing to workers and occupants.
In the summer, polished concrete reduces energy bills, stays cool, and absorbs heat during the day, thanks to its high thermal mass. However, in the winter, these pros can quickly become cons. Polished concrete flooring does not retain heat well, and the surface will feel cool to the touch. This cold-weather temperature can raise heating costs and be uncomfortable for some occupants.
Like some types of hardwood, natural stone, ceramic tile, or bamboo flooring, polished concrete can be loud. Unless you install elements in the space that block or absorb sound, the noise levels can be bothersome.
Most concrete floors can be polished, but not all concrete floors qualify for polishing. Floors that are especially porous or wavy are not good candidates for concrete polishing. Neither are concrete floors that require extensive patching.
Additionally, concrete floors are not ready for polishing until at least a month after being installed. New concrete floors need time before they can be polished.
Are Polished Concrete Floors a Good Option?
Polished concrete floors are a popular, affordable, and dependable option for many different types of commercial, industrial, or residential spaces. If your floor is a good candidate for concrete polishing, it may be the best option for your space.
However, before deciding whether polished concrete floors are right for your flooring project, consider the pros and cons.
Something to keep in mind is that many of the disadvantages of polished concrete flooring are easy to address, such as using anti-fatigue mats in areas where people spend a lot of time standing on the floor or furnishing the space with rugs, drapes, and other items that absorb sound.
It’s also important to discover if your current flooring is a good candidate for polished concrete flooring. Talk with an experienced polished concrete flooring contractor about your space and see what your options are.
Find Industry-Leading Polished Concrete Floor Contractors at ICS Coatings
ICS has been in the floor coating and polishing business since 1993. Today, we are a leading concrete flooring company based in New England that serves industrial and commercial clients from a variety of fields.
Our team of experienced flooring professionals have the experience and knowledge required to get the best results. Whether you are a general contractor, public company, or private enterprise, ICS can create and install high-quality polished concrete floor finishes that meet your exact specifications.
Are you ready to get started on a unique, durable, and customizable polished concrete coating solution for your flooring? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.