Concrete flooring is the most eco-friendly flooring system when compared with other flooring options such as stones, marbles, vinyl, and timber. Although archaeological studies suggest that concrete usage for flooring began thousands of years ago, yet it gained its current popularity around the beginning of the twentieth century. Finding the right company to carry out the work on your floor is important, here are useful tips in hiring a general contractor.
However, this does not pose a clear picture as to why you should be opting for a concrete flooring system, in the first place.
First Things First, Why Concrete Flooring?
Concrete is the most extensively used material in any of the building structures. Using the material used in the foundation eliminates the need for installing other materials on tops of it such as wood, granite, marble, or vinyl.
Furthermore, concrete flooring offers a greener energy-efficient solution to the structure. Several studies have revealed concrete’s efficacy in heat retention. It heats up pretty quickly but cools down slowly. Thus supporting a warmer ambient temperature for long. Especially, in places where temperatures fall freezing low.
Another benefit of having a concrete flooring system is its resistance to moulding. Since concrete is non-porous, it does not retain moisture, which is essential for mould development. Apart from this, concrete is also resistant to dust mites and allergens. All of these properties of concrete are meant to improve the hygiene at your home, keeping unwanted diseases at bay. It is noteworthy that these properties of concrete strongly depend upon its structure and constituent aggregates.
Having said that, there are many other benefits of concrete flooring such as fire resistance, and high durability. But, it is primarily the aesthetics of concrete floors that make them a considerable option. So much so, that polished ones can offer high levels of light reflectance, depending upon the level of sheen. Finely polished concrete floors can offer similar shine and lustre as compared to marble and granite floors.
How Do You Get The Perfect Finish?
Concrete floors can be polished either using a wet method or a dry one. Both of these methods hold their own set of advantages. But, the latter one is growing more popular due to its lower impact on the environment.
Wet polishing reduces the friction between the abraders and the concrete. This helps achieve a longer life for the abrasives used for polishing. But, as explained by the experts from concretefloorpolisher.co.uk, wet polishing creates slurry which needs to be disposed-off in a safe environment. The experts suggest using dry polishing, as it creates minute dust particles which can be collected using a vacuum attachment with the polishing tool.
Initially, polishing concrete floors requires coarse-grit abraders to be used. The fineness of the abraders is gradually increased ranging from 30 to up to 1500, or sometimes 3000, depending upon the level of sheen desired. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional for polishing your concrete floor, maintaining grit level is utterly necessary.
Moreover, with the help of the same grinding tools, varying textures and patterns can also be achieved, if needed. And if you wish to add colours to your floor, you can also opt for staining dyes or floor paint.
What Are The Necessary Items You’ll Need?
Concrete polishing, as already mentioned, is preferably carried out dry. So, is it just the abraders that you need to polish your floor? Absolutely not! To achieve a perfectly lustrous finish for your concrete floor, here are some of the necessary items you should be renting or sourcing.
- Polishing Machine
For starters, you’ll need a polishing machine. It is similar to the ones used for grinding and polishing stone and marble floorings. And depending upon the type of polishing method you use, you may need to attach a source of water, for wet polishing, or a vacuum and collection chamber, for dry polishing.
- Diamond Abraders of Varying Grits
A grinding tool without abraders is of no use at all. To be able to polish your concrete floor, you’ll need diamond abraders, akin to sandpaper. And that too with varying grit fineness. Starting from the coarsest ones, you’ll need to install the finest grit abraders, gradually in order to achieve the desired shine and lustre.
- Epoxy Resins or Grout for Repairing Cracks
If your floor is in good condition, you can start away with your polishing regime as such. But, in case your floor has cracks or uneven surface an additional layer of grout or epoxy resins compatible with concrete may need to be applied.
- Staining Dyes or Floor Paint
In case you wish for a floor with certain colour hints, you can use water-based staining dyes or floor paints. Both of these chemicals have their advantages. While the floor paint is cheaper, it fades or peels off with time. On the contrary, dye-based stainers offer permanent tint to the floor, along with a plethora of design options to choose from.
By now, you may have realized that it requires a certain level of skill to polish a concrete floor. Therefore, it is best left with the professionals. But, this poses another question- how do you find an expert? Read on to learn how you can hire one.
How do you find the right contractor?
Finding the right contractor to polish your concrete floor is easier than what it takes to polishing your floor yourself. Here are some tips that you can use to find the right prospect for the job.
- Ask for Recommendations
The easiest way to start with your hunt is to ask your friends or relatives if they know any trustworthy contractor. Additionally, you can also surf the internet to search for more contractors that operate within your area.
- Cross Check Their License
Once you have a list of possible contractors, make sure you sort the ones that hold a legit license to be working as a contractor. This would help you save a lot in terms of taxes, as well as, offer additional benefits such as regular maintenance and repairs in future.
- Enquire About Their Level of Expertise
Another important factor to ensure that you hire only the best is to recognize their level of expertise. For example, a contractor that holds years of experience in polished concrete floors is certainly a better prospect as compared to a young one.
- Tally Their Price Quote with Your Budget
By now, your list of prospects must have reduced to half of when you started your hunt. Now, you can start contacting them and enquire about how much they’ll be charging you. This is essential as you wouldn’t want to be spending a fortune when you are on a limited budget. Of course, hiring the one that costs you least and offers you the best possible services should be your ideal choice.
In the end, it’s your call. You’ve gone through the reasons you should be choosing a concrete floor and how you can get a perfectly shining one, hopefully, you’ll consider opting for a greener tomorrow.
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.