Published Sunday 24th of November 2013 // Updated Thursday 23rd of February 2017
Concrete is something of a paradox. While it is incredibly strong, durable, and long-lasting, it is also riddled throughout with tiny holes, pores that begin on the surface and branch out within the material. These pores are the result of concretes mixing process. Concrete is made up of three main ingredients: Portland cement, water, and an aggregate like sand or gravel. The mixing of these three parts is followed by the pouring of the concrete, which leads to the curing of the concrete resulting in what we think of as actual, finished concrete.
However, there is no reason that concrete project needs to be thought of as finished. The surface of concrete is marked by a near-infinite number of tiny pores through which moisture and gas pass through. These networks of pores, as noted earlier, extend throughout the concrete, allowing the passage of moisture and gas in one side of the concrete and out the other. Initially, it can seem perplexing why a material renowned to be as strong as concrete would be dotted with tiny holes and hairline cracks, weaknesses in its construction.
However, if you want to rid your concrete of the surface pores, you can polish the material. Polishing concrete is a way of densifying the concrete without using a concrete sealer. The polishing process occurs on the surface of the concrete, consisting of someone using machinery or chemicals to seal the surface pores by physically shaving off the concretes top layer. We recommend using Lithi-Tek 4500 first and then polishing the concrete. Once that top layer of concrete is polished and sheared off, the concrete is not susceptible to spills and water damage from its surface.
The main benefit to polished concrete floors is that they never need waxing or sealing. They are rendered impervious to the vicissitudes of daily wear and tear through the polishing process. The process typically consists of a concrete professional, or at least someone with experience polishing concrete before, will grind the surface of the concrete with some machine, typically with a diamond-edged grinder. This will shave off the surface of the concrete while sealing the surface pores. Instead of the slightly rough surface that is typically associated with concrete, you will now have a smooth, polished surface that will need little maintenance while being protected from potential damages. Polished concrete is a great way to seal and maintain your concrete floors without using any other products.