Diamond Polished Concrete Floors - Overview
Dry Diamond polishing, a relative new concept for polishing concrete, was a serendipitous discovery rather than an invention. Wet polishing of granite and marble has been around for decades when it was discovered that the same process could be used for concrete. In 1998, a contractor in Tunisia that usually polished natural stone was hired to polish concrete around a palace. New workers were hired for the project and it was assumed that they knew that they had to use water. The contractor came back to check on the workers only to discover that they were polishing the concrete dry. He ordered them to stop but then realized that the concrete was beautiful.
Diamond polished concrete is the toughest interior floor finish available today. Granite-polishing technology has been adjusted to give concrete the same densified look and shine that has been used in manufacturing plant industrial uses to retain a dust-free environment. The process of mechanical diamond grinding concrete in 7 steps is 98% dust free.
The dry polishing method mechanically refines the concrete surface by removing the top cement paste and exposing the underlying, stronger concrete. The existing concrete is grinded and polished according to a dependable and thoroughly tested method with effective concrete polishing equipment and diamond tools. The result is a floor with a completely even polished surface of a high quality, both functionally and esthetically. To achieve all technical benefits demanded, the grinding and polishing sequence must be performed according to the prescribed method.
Several factors will affect the final appearance:
- The stone quality and color. The ballast material mainly consists of granite in different fraction sizes.
- The color of the cement (the cement can be pigmented).
- The concrete quality.
- Grinding depth: With different grit sizes and bonding matrix in the diamond segments you can somewhat control how deep you grind into the concrete surface. The grinding depth will affect how much of the stones that is exposed and also in turn the aestehetical appearance of the polished surface.
Another benefit of polished concrete is that it is useful for attaining points toward LEED project certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) What is LEED®?
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
The final benefit of concrete polishing is the fact that its installation does not create noxious odors or require a minimum cure time before it can be put back into service. With the advent of dustless grinding systems and odorless, non-toxic chemicals, the polishing process can be completed with minimal interruption to business. This means the process can be completed while adjacent business operations or construction build-out takes place.
Overall, concrete polishing is a flooring finish option that more and more businesses are choosing for their most heavily trafficked surface because of its durability and appearance. This trend coupled with the fact that contractor’s in the industry are relatively few, makes this an easy entry industry that still holds ground floor opportunities.