Polished Concrete Floors
Offering a Variety of Options
Polished concrete floors in office and retail spaces, manufacturing warehouses, airports, schools, event spaces have gain considerable traction and are now the latest trend for the discerning property owner. This is simply because they are easy to maintain, extremely cost effective, and can have a beautiful matte or mirror-like glossy finish to them that will outlast any other surface available on the market today.
There are a variety of options when choosing your polished concrete flooring, such as having an integral or penetrating stain color, customizing the gloss and reflectivity level desired, and aggregate exposure type. We will assist you in the processes used to reach the desired finish that meets your vision.
What are Gloss and Reflectivity Levels?
The level of gloss is the rating in which a finish concrete slab reflects the ambient light. It is what gives polished concrete its sheen. Reflectivity measures the percentage of light that is reflected off of a concrete floor.
LEVEL 1 – Matte and Non-Reflective – can usually be obtained at the 100-grit resin bond diamond pad. The concrete surface will appear as if it’s a smooth but hazy finish with little to no reflection. This level is most common in warehouses.
LEVEL 2 – Satin – Diffusely Reflects Light – is accomplished by using the 200 – 400 grit resin bond diamond pad. The concrete surface will have a low-sheen finish, producing a slight overhead reflection when looking at the floor from an angle. This has also been considered a low-luster matte finish.
LEVEL 3 – Polished Reflection can be identified – is obtained using the 800-grit resin bond diamond pad. At this level, you’ll be able to see light reflectivity and from 30-50 feet, the floor will clearly reflect overhead and side lighting.
LEVEL 4- Highly Polished mirror like finish – is obtained using a 1,500 – 3,000 grit resin bond diamond or by using a high-speed burnisher outfitted with specialty buffing pads. At this level, you accomplish a high degree of shine and reflectivity. Reflections have a high level of clarity and the floor almost appears wet from different visual angles. This level is most selected for retail outlets, office spaces or customer-facing businesses.
More importantly for creating a beautiful polished concrete floor is clarity. Clarity is a function of floor flatness, density, and porosity. Dense, nonporous, flat floors reflect an image like a mirror, without waves or distortion. In properly polished concrete floors, reflections will look sharp and clear without haze.
What are Aggregate Classes?
According to the Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA) there are 2 ways to classify a final polished concrete finish. Below is a how our professionals measure Gloss and Aggregate:
CLASS A AGGREGATE – little is removed from the surface to achieve this aggregate class. Specifying this aggregate class will yield none to very little aggregate exposure.
CLASS B AGGREGATE – approximately 1/16th inch of the surface is ground down to reach this class of aggregate. Specifying this class of aggregate will yield fine aggregate exposure with little or no medium aggregate exposure at random locations. This is also known as a “salt and pepper” finish. This is the most common finish among all industries as it can achieve a better gloss than a Class “A” aggregate as most slabs still require additional finishing/refinement thus requiring more aggressive diamond segments to work out any imperfections. As a result, the additional refinement leads to a deeper cut resulting in the Class B aggregate.
CLASS C AGGREGATE – approximately 1/8th inch of the surface is ground down to reach this class of aggregate. Specifying this class of aggregate will yield medium aggregate exposure with little or no large aggregate exposure at random locations. This class enters into a more specialty finish with additional aggregate exposure. This additional contrast of smaller and larger rocks gives off a very beautiful appearance. Additional grinding time is required to achieve this level of aggregate.
CLASS D AGGREGATE – approximately 3/16th to 1/4th inch of the surface is ground down to reach this class aggregate. Specifying this class of aggregate will yield large aggregate exposure with little or no fine aggregate exposure at random locations. This is by far the most contrasted class aggregate that can be achieved. This class of slab has been achieved in museums and high-end retail outlets. We have rated the Class D, Level 4 slab as our Best-Polished concrete finish available.
What are the Benefits of Polished Concrete?
- Enhanced Lighting While Saving Energy: one of the nicest qualities of polished concrete is the glossy reflection, which becomes a benefit to your energy bill. Upon completion it is estimated that 25 – 30% less lighting is necessary due to the high reflectivity of the polished concrete. This not only reduces the lighting needed but will noticeably reduce the demand on HVAC units due to less heat generated by lighting
- Go Green! Earn LEED Credits: Recycle old concrete floors or start fresh with polished concrete, which can earn up to 5 LEED Credits. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design has listed polished concrete as a LEED certified project. Whether it be a reduction of adhesives by eliminating wood, carpet, tile or optimizing energy performance due to less required lighting we can help you earn LEED Credits and Go Green!
“Mark Is An Artist!”
“Everyone who calls me, I tell them they have to use this guy. There are a lot of decorative concrete guys out there, but Mark’s an artist!”
Brent P. “Charley’s Concrete” – Keller, TX (Polished Concrete Floor)
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