The concrete polishing process
Polished concrete features are becoming more and more popular when designing outdoor areas. Concrete is relatively cheap and hard wearing. Rough concrete, however, has never been known for its aesthetic features. Rough concrete will also stain over time and not look good at all in a landscaped setting. However, by grinding the surface off your concrete you can reveal the beauty underneath and transform your concrete surface into a stunning, hard-wearing and maintenance-free feature.
Polishing concrete is the art of grinding the top layer off your concrete surface. It is done in stages using special diamond grinding tools, usually starting with the largest diamond, which causes deep scratches in the concrete. The 2nd grind removes the scratches caused by the 1st grind and the next grind removes the scratches from the previous grind… and so on. The process involves using progressively finer diamond tools at each step and if you miss a step you cannot go back. Eventually, you are left with a beautiful, terrazzo-like smooth surface. Hardener is applied after the first grind, giving you an extremely hard wearing and durable product.
The concrete polishing process closes the pores of the surface. This, coupled with the hardener applied, seals the surface hence greatly helping with maintenance.
Technical requirements of concrete for polished concrete surfaces
For concrete patios and pathways, the concrete should be 35 newton strength & power-floated when poured. To expose the aggregate, you grind the concrete two or three times. This will give you an external grade finish with an R/10 – R/11 slip rating wet or dry.
Polished concrete planters
For concrete planters and concrete features, you should grind up to nine times, exposing the aggregate to give a gorgeous, high-gloss finish.
Bespoke polished concrete patios and planters
The beauty of polishing concrete is you are left with a truly unique feature, this can be made even more unique by adding items to your concrete mix. Coloured glass works really well but you could also add coins, marbles, ball bearings anything that will give your concrete floor/patio or planter a bespoke and eye catching finish.
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