What is Polished Concrete?You may have heard about polished concrete floors, but you may still be asking yourself, “What is polished Concrete?” The short answer is surprisingly simple. The long answer may take a little more time. Either way, if you would like to know what polished concrete is, you’ve come to the right place.

What Is Polished Concrete?

Polished concrete is in short, the changing of a concrete floors’ surface, with or without aggregate exposure, to achieve a specified level of gloss. We use the following classification to further define polished concrete; Bonded Abrasive Polished Concrete.

Bonded Abrasive Polished Concrete

A multi-step process where a concrete floor is mechanically ground, honed and polished with bonded abrasives in order to cut a concrete floors’ surface. It is then refined with each cut in order to achieve a specified level of appearance.

A typical polished concrete floor will start with the highest possible grit in a metal diamond (Unless a lower grit is necessary), moving to resinous diamond pads and eventually completing the polished concrete process with a diamond impregnated burnishing pad.

The typical concrete polishing company will carry a wide variety of diamond tooling for concrete floors that have different requirements.

It’s been our experience that no 2 concrete floors will ever be the same.

Metal Bonded Tooling

These are diamond tools that contain industrial-grade diamonds with a metallic bonded matrix. They are attached to concrete polishing machines which have rotating heads. These types of tools are available in different levels depending on the MOH’s hardness of the concrete being polished. They can be soft, medium, and hard. (i.e. hard matrix/soft concrete, medium matrix/medium concrete, soft matrix/hard concrete). They are typically used in the grinding stages of the concrete polishing process.

Example grits of metal bonded tools are 6 grit, 16 grit, 25 grit, 40 grit, 80 grit, and 120 grit. Different diamond manufacturers may have different numbering systems.

Resin Pads

Diamond tooling that contains industrial grade diamonds within a resinous bonded matrix (poly-phenolic, ester-phenolic, and thermoplastic-phenolic) that is attached to rotating heads to refine the concrete substrate. Resin bond tooling does not have the soft/medium/hard characteristics of metal bond tooling and are typically used for the later honing and polishing stages of the polishing process.

Both metal bonded tooling and resin pads have one thing in common. They are designed to wear the matrix away in order to expose new diamonds.

LevelNameDISTINCTNESS-OF-IMAGE (DOI) GLOSSIMAGE CLARITY VALUE, %
1

Flat
(Ground)

Images of objects being reflected have a flat
appearance
0 – 9
2Satin
(Honed)
Images of objects being reflected have a matte
appearance.
10 – 39
3PolishedImages of objects being reflected do not have a
sharp and crisp appearance but can be easily
identified.
40 – 69
4Highly PolishedImages of objects being reflected have a sharp and
crisp appearance as would be seen in a near-mirror
like reflection. May require grouting.
70 – 100

When asking, “What is polished concrete?“, we like to use sanding wood as an example. We find that even if you have never sanded wood before, you have a basic understanding of how it’s done.

Starting with the lowest grit sandpaper required, you eventually start using higher and higher grits until the desired look is achieved. The process is exactly the same when it comes to polishing concrete floors.

We’ve created an excellent guide on how to polish concrete. It goes in-depth to explain what you should expect when Glossy Floors comes out to polish your concrete floors.

For more information on polished concrete and concrete polishing, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Glossy Floors has been in the concrete industry since 1987

Our services include:

Polished Concrete Floors
Stained Polished Concrete Floors
Epoxy Flooring

We service commercial, industrial and residential customers in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Texas.

Glossy Floors offers a 100% Price Match Guarantee. If one of our competitors is offering their services at a lower price for the same services, Glossy Floors will match that price. Just show us a written bid!

Some of our happy customers include: Bass Pro Shops, Ashley Furniture, Price Cutter, Sav A Lot, U-Haul, Walmart, Sam’s Club, University of Arkansas, Sunbelt Rentals, John Brown University, Lyon College, Holiday Inn, Cabela’s, Allstate, Starbucks, PODS, Lewis and Clark, Subway, the United States Military and literally hundreds of other customers turned friends. Let Glossy Floors be your polished concrete floors company and get the most durable floor on the planet.