Getting Started – Design Options & Quotes
Of course one of the greatest selling points of ground/polished concrete is that we can offer complete installations for new construction but we can also refinish existing concrete to restore it to its previous glory. We can also take completely inglorious concrete, with seemingly no potential whatsoever and turn it into something surprisingly beautiful.
The first thing most clients want to know before we get started is how much their project is going to cost. We can provide general quotes based on the square footage of your project, the type of grind/finish you want, color application and dosage (concentration) of dyes and other finish specifications like whether it’s new or existing concrete. You can get a general quote like this by filling out our online Get A Quote Form. Otherwise, the tried and true way to get the most accurate quote from us, is for us to visit the site, show you our portfolio and discuss all the details of the project. At this point, we’ll draw up a proposal and upon request we can provide drawings of your project to help visualize the final design.
The Pour– New Construction
Once all finish details have been determined and costs have been agreed to in the form of a contract, we will proceed with the project. When pouring a polished floor, we generally use a 4000 psi mix with fiber and wire reinforcements placed as we go. Our concrete is always poured stiff and depths vary based on the specs of the project. We don’t recommend going less than 1.5” for a finished floor, to ensure adequate strength and to allow for reinforcement. If the slab is to be colored, integral dye will be mixed with the concrete before it’s poured.
Once the concrete has been laid, it’s carefully power troweled and the edges are hand troweled to ensure a smooth, flat finish. Concrete will be wet-cured and strategically placed control joints are cut the day after we pour to reduce the possibility of stress cracks forming. We are sure to make our cuts straight and accurate and we always try to incorporate stress cuts into the design of the floor/room whenever possible.
Grinding & Polishing– New & Existing Concrete
The type of grind the area will receive will generally be determined before we start any project. We offer finishes ranging from a very fine grind (minimal exposure of aggregate and fines/sand particles) to a heavy grind, where the surface is ground down anywhere between 0.125”-0.25” to expose the aggregates (ranging in size from .375” to .75 ” in diameter). We can provide samples to show clients approximately what their floor will look like – of course every concrete company uses a different mix of stone and sand, so when heavily ground the types of aggregates exposed range from tans and blacks to greens and other beautiful colors. We can add colored aggregates and glass to the mix if desired, though this has to be done while the concrete is being poured.
To grind and polish the concrete, we use a series of steel grinding discs and diamond resin pads. All phases of grinding are done using water, which eliminates dust resulting in a scratch-free finish. Initial grinds start anywhere between 50-200 grit (lower grits yield a heavier grind). Once surface has been ground up to 200 grit, floors will be slurried. Slurries can be colored to match the floors and are used to fill any voids or other inconsistencies in the surface that are revealed during the grinding process. After the slurry, a Lithium Densifier is applied to improve the overall integrity of the concrete and to make the surface less porous. Along with the slurry, densifiers allow us to achieve a much more consistent finish.
Once concrete is thoroughly cleaned, polishing begins at 200 through 3500 grit. Running through a full series of diamond polishing pads allows us to fully polish and seal off the surface of the concrete. All concrete is washed and allowed to fully dry before a penetrating sealer is applied. The sealer is burnished to eliminate any sealer application marks and buffed to a high sheen. The end result is a beautiful, unique floor full of life and character that will last for many years to come. Click here to learn more about the Advantages of Polished Concrete.