Easy Maintenance – a neutral ph cleaner in warm water will suffice.
Sleek looks – no other product can compare with the look and especially the “feel” underfoot of polished concrete.
Healthy Home Properties – in a world increasingly suffering from dust and pollen related allergies, people can find relief in a building with this type of flooring.
Designer friendly – Polished concrete especially neutrally coloured can be extremely design friendly. Used in conjunction with wood, stainless steel, brass or glass can produce a very satisfying aesthetic.
Versatility – Concrete can be cast in any shape, size, colour, texture and in most environments.
What are the disadvantages of polished concrete? What characteristics should the Client be aware of?
Concrete surfaces can be susceptible to staining as concrete is naturally porus. As the concrete ages it will naturally become more resistant to stains. This is mainly due to the concrete densifier used when the concrete surface is being polished. Also, Uniqrete provide a water-based sealer on completion to give an extra layer of protection. As a rule the greater the stain protection of the sealer the less attractive the surface of the concrete. A Client who will not accept any staining should not choose polished concrete as a finish. Also, they should not use many types of stone, wood and other natural products. Some reconstituted or artificial stone products are also susceptible to staining. Remember concrete is not a static material. It will evolve and change character over time. A warm patina will develop. Clients either love or hate this characteristic and this must be paramount when deciding on surface finishes.
Can concrete surfaces crack?
Concrete surfaces can crack. As concrete continually moves due to the natural expansion and contraction of the material as it heats and cools. If at any point in the floor slab, the floor is restricted due to a rough under surface or an un-isolated wall, column or vertical surface, then it is liable to crack. Contraction joints should be introduced to minimise this risk. Also, very importantly the floor should be water cured for the first week. If these processes are not carried out correctly the risk of cracking increases. Clients again should be aware of this risk. Some Clients understand this issue and view it as the unique character of the product. Others simply cannot understand this trait and will not accept it. Stone, timber steel to quote a few behave in a similar manner to concrete.
What are the standards for polished or decorative concrete?
As of yet there are no established standards for polished or decorative concrete products. Therefore, the Client or Architect has to rely on the experience and workmanship of the Contractor. The Client or Architect has no professional body to ask for assistance in deferring the quality of their project. Uniqrete is working on establishing a National Standard for Polished Concrete Products.
Can concrete curl or warp?
Concrete can curl or warp slightly when installed in a counter-top or floor slab situation. If there is unequal curing of the counter-top or floor during the initial drying period then the product can curl. For example if the water leaves the top surface of the concrete at a faster rate than the bottom surface the concrete may curl upwards. With counter-tops a minimum of 8-10 weeks is required from order to installation. This gives adequate time to cure the product correctly. Any variation from this could result in curling or warping.
Will concrete have a uniform visible texture?
Concrete will not have a uniform visible texture throughout. These variations are due to, the many variables the liquid concrete experiences. From the initial batching and mixing to the levelling and finishing, the curing and finally, the grinding and polishing. These variations are appreciated, if not desired, by most Clients.