Published Monday 9th of June 2014
Concrete, while strong and a great choice for many building and aesthetic projects, can often be drab and gray, lacking any visual appeal. While this is not a problem for, say, a basement, if you own a business that features concrete, you probably want it to look more presentable. There are a number of ways to enhance concrete's visual aesthetic, such as decorative floor systems, paint chips, surface sealers, and so on. But if you want to improve the concrete without changing the color, a popular choice is to polish it.
Polished concrete typically retains the visual appeal without sacrificing any of its structural integrity. If you use a quality concrete denisifer, it will also remain as slip-resistant as untreated concrete. The sheen of a properly sealed concrete slab can make the otherwise boring interior seem like a more welcoming, sleek place.
The process to polish concrete is not difficult to acheieve. First, you need to seal the concrete slab with a densifer, such as Lithi-Tek 4500. This product will penetrate within the concrete to react chemically beneath the surface. These chemical reactions will lead to the production of more calcium silicate hydrate, a mineral already present within the concrete naturally. The addition of more calcium silicate hydrate will help fill in the various cracks and pores that are natural to concrete, by-products of its creation. The extra CSH will densify the material, making it stronger and more resistant to such dangers as cracking.
It is necessary to seal the concrete with the Lithi-Tek 4500 because the next step will render that impossible. You will need to polish the concrete waiting at least 7 days after using the Lithi-Tek 4500. This is a relatively straightforward process: The process of polishing involves a concrete floor grinder. Concrete grinders are used to gradually grind down the concrete surface using a combination of metal bond diamond abrasives followed by resin bond diamonds to achieve the desired shine and smoothness.
Like sandpaper that comes in different grits or levels of abrasiveness concrete diamond abrasives also come in different grits, starting as low as 16 grit and going as high as 3000 grit. The lower the grit, the coarser and more aggressive the tool will be. Conversely, if you want your polished concrete to have a high shine or high-gloss look, finishing with a 3000 grit will usually provide the best results.
The result will be a perfectly flat, polished slab that is already protected from danger due to the application of the densifer, enhancing the visual appeal of any concrete surface.