Answering Your Questions About Polishing Concrete Floors
Concrete floors are commonly used in stores and warehouse areas, as they're very durable and strong and last for years before they need repairs or replacement. These floors are also becoming a popular choice for residential homes for the same reasons and because polished concrete offers an attractive, unique finish that is hygienic and easy to clean. If you're thinking of having concrete floors installed in your home, or you already have concrete floors and know that they need some updating, note a few questions you might have about polishing their surface so your floors are attractive and durable.
Is polishing concrete a DIY job?
Renting a polisher from a home improvement store and handling this job yourself can be a mistake, as the machines used for buffing concrete surfaces are typically very heavy and require some skill and expertise to be used safely. Note, too, that some concrete floors may need an actual sanding to hold a paint or stain colour, versus just being polished and buffed. You may also want to add a coating that has some texture after the concrete is buffed or polished so that the floor is not overly slippery and dangerous for walking. For all these reasons, this job is best left to a floor polishing professional, as he or she will ensure the job gets done right and that the finished surface is attractive and safe for your home.
Is an epoxy the same thing as concrete paint?
Epoxy is a coating that hardens as it dries, protecting a concrete surface from moisture absorption that can cause the material to crack or weaken over time. Some concrete paints may have an epoxy added to them, so you can add colour and this protective coating at the same time. However, don't assume that a concrete paint will add this epoxy coating, as not all concrete paints will actually seal the surface and keep it from absorbing moisture.
What are concrete joints?
Trenches in slabs of concrete are not put there randomly or just for decoration; these are called joints, and they leave room for the concrete to expand as it absorbs moisture. This reduces the risk of the concrete breaking or cracking due during this expansion process. Too much buffing and polishing can mean reducing the depth of these joints so that concrete sections then push against each other as they expand, causing them to crack. In some cases, new joints will need to be cut after concrete is buffed or polished, to ensure these trenches are deep enough for that expansion.