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The Concrete Restoration Process: An Interview with Mike Price of PolishedCrete

PolishedCrete was founded in 2000 out of our sister company Bay Area Concretes (BAC). BAC has been doing large decorative concrete projects in the Bay Area for over 50 years. We say a significant opportunity in the polished concrete market becasue of its low cost, high decorative value and an overall maintenance cost that was just so much lower than any other flooring option. PolishedCrete has now done over 1 million square feet of polishing and the growth is continuing.

What are some important questions to ask before beginning the concrete restoration process?

We typically want to know what the use for the space is and how much of a decorative or custom look the client is hoping to achieve. A floor that is not exposed to the public and is seeing mostly industrial use such as a automotive service area or a manufacturing floor might not be so interested in the look but more interested in the ability to stand up to oil spills or corrosive materials. A office building or a residential floor would be more interested in look and how it fits into the overall design of the space so we typically see more need for colors and special architectural elements like saw cuts and inlays. Budget is always an issue but typically we are at the high end of the lifetime value scale for cost and performance.

What areas call for concrete restoration?

We are finding a lot of people who are tearing out carpet to replace it with something that is a healthier flooring option. As long as they have concrete sub-floor, we are the most cost effective while still being a blank pallet when it comes to design. Floors that have the PVC tile over concrete are also a large portion of our business as we offer a great solution that can deal with the grids that are left in the concrete sub-floor and make them look fantastic.

In commercial and industrial there are so many reasons why people choose polished concrete but it all boils down to the fact that we are able to take a really rough concrete surface and make it literally shine. The fact that we can usually do for less than any other flooring option is a big selling point.

If you could, please list the steps of the process:

It really depends on the final floor product we are delivering, but in general, we use low grit diamond grinding tools (low grit is more abrasive) to open up and remove the surface and then begin a process of polishing and densifying (basically filling in any micro or nano sized openings which makes the surface more dense and harder to penetrate) the concrete surface. We can polish the floor to whatever gloss level the client desires. We then apply a guard coat that seals the surface and allows the client to easily buff up the gloss after we are done.

How do you suggest clients prepare for a this process?

Basically clear out everything you can as we need total access to the floor for perhaps two days depending on the size and the actual process we’ll need to do. But for retail, where we can only get access after hours, we can work around those issues and also protect inventory during the process.

What maintenance is required for concrete flooring?

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At PolishedCrete, we have installed millions of square feet of polished, decorative, environmental and specialty concrete on projects across northern and central California over the last 50+ years. We work closely with architects, designers, contractors and building owners and operators from the private and public sectors. Please use this short form to send your request right to the inbox of our top estimating consultants. We'll be back with you generally within one business day. Thanks!