Polished Concrete vs grind and seal …. What’s the difference?
By Urban Floors
April 2, 2018
Almost everyone who calls us or visits our showroom is looking for ‘polished concrete’ and can be forgiven for referring to almost every concrete flooring finish as that. It is one of the most misused industry terms. The differences are quite significant in process, duration and cost and we offer both…
Polished concrete is referred to as a number of terms – one being a mechanical polish, and a high percentage of existing concrete slabs do not have the strength and will not produce the high sheen exposed aggregate finish that customers expect or want.
Most people who ask for ‘polished concrete’ see a floor with a high gloss sealer on a ground concrete slab and assume this is polished concrete – and it is not. What they have seen is usually a grind and seal – a leisurely stroll along Brunswick Street will give you an indication of this, where the cafes and shops have a more rustic, warehouse look.
A grind and seal (see our Urban Warehouse finish) is exactly what the name implies. The concrete substrate is ground back (usually to 200 – 400 grit) and then coated with either a polyurethane or epoxy topical coating.
Some of the benefits of a grind and seal over polished concrete are;
Much less labor intensive
Higher abrasion resistance
More cost effective – often half the price
A completely non-porous surface – will not harbor bacteria
It is important that you know the differences and do your research prior to your slab being poured, and if opting for a mechanical polish, ensure your builder and concreter know the differences also and can plan and pour to cater for your desired finish.
And when getting quotes, for a grind and seal, it is very important to compare apple with apples as there are many variables to compare – machinery used, number of passes, experience of contractor, type and quality of coating material used and how many microns thickness.
We use only top-quality HTC machinery, we have experienced polishers on staff and only use quality materials. Having said that, we can usually work to any budget, and as someone wiser than myself once said, you only get what you pay for!