Polished Concrete Explained


Polishing concrete is a skilled profession, and while some people mistakenly think that polishing concrete simply means applying a sealant, which is called topical sealing, real concrete polishing involves polishing the surface of the concrete, not the sealant. There are not that many companies that specialise in penetrating polished concrete, which differs greatly from topical sealing, and with that in mind, here is a brief overview of proper concrete polishing.

Table of Contents


This is the initial process that is designed to flatten the concrete and expose the aggregate, and how much grinding is carried out depends very much on the desired finish. As a general rule, the deeper the grind, the more the aggregate is exposed.

  • Honing – Honing is the process that comes after grinding and before polishing, and by using a medium grade diamond abrasive machine, the exposed aggregate’s deeper scratched are reduced, ready for polishing. As far as polished concrete specialists are concerned, honing is an essential step in the entire process, as it prepares the ground finish for polishing.
  • Polishing – Using a fine grit with a diamond abrasive tool, the surface is mechanically polished, and the consistency of the grit used determines the fineness of the finish. This process brings out the shine, as more light reflects off the concrete surface, and the more it is polished, the higher the level of sheen.
  • Sealing the Concrete – Unlike topical sealing, the experts use penetrating sealing, which can darken the surface, while also protecting it.
  • Buffing – This is the final stage in the polishing process, and the objective is to remove any excess sealant, which leaves the surface protected and ready for use.

There are many factors that need to be discussed prior to doing anything, such as the amount of non-slip surface that is required, plus the final colour and the level of exposure of the aggregate. A concrete polishing specialist is unable to give you a quote without first seeing the site, and any contractor that is prepared to offer a quote over the phone should be avoided, as they would likely just add a topical sealer and polish that.

Creating the Desired Look

No concrete polishing expert can simply turn up and start work on a concrete floor, at least not until he has first talked to the property owner about the desired finish. It all depends on several factors, which are:

  • How Much of a Sheen you Require
  • How much aggregate you wish to expose
  • The level of non-slip you require for the surface

If you would like to explore the potential that mechanically polished concrete can offer, search online for a concrete polishing specialist, who would be happy to pay you a home visit and discuss the many finishing options. Once he knows exactly what you want, he can then quote you for the project.

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