Polished Concrete – Mechanical Vs Topical

Polished concrete is one of the most popular ways to make concrete floors look appealing. The traditional method of waxing and buffing was no longer practical because it involved tedious work that required too much time and effort. Today, acquiring a polished floor is easier than ever.

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The Mechanical Method

The main definition of polished concrete is a concrete surface that has been polished with the use of diamond abrasives that scratches the surface mechanically. The abrasives start with a coarser set then it progresses into finer abrasives until the right smoothness and shine are achieved. A chemical is used to help make the concrete floor more dense and harder so that it won’t break or chip off during the grinding process. This is considered a long-term solution that produces concrete floors that are easier to clean and maintain.

Choose this if:

  • You want a concrete floor with a really refined polish
  • You want a floor that has consistent reflection characteristics
  • You want a polished floor that lasts longer
  • You don’t mind investing a bit more for a polished concrete floor

The Topical Method

The grinding process of the topical method is the same as that of the mechanical method but the time needed is shorter. Also, the surface is a bit rougher than that of a mechanically polished floor. A topical sealer is applied on the not-so-refined surface to fill in the gaps left during the grinding process. Once the sealer hardens, you are left with a smooth and shiny concrete surface. In comparison with the mechanically polished floor, this method yields polished floors that have a shorter lifespan.

Choose this if:

  • You are looking for a cheaper alternative to the mechanical method
  • You want a shorter, less invasive process
  • You need a polished concrete floor urgently
  • You don’t mind investing in costly repairs and maintenance

Between the two methods, the mechanical process of polishing concrete comes highly recommended. It may seem expensive initially but it will save you big bucks in the long run because it is easier to maintain and it lasts longer. The sealer used on a topically polished floor will not hold out long enough and will soon break down, exposing the scratched surface of the concrete floor. If you want to know more, consult a local pro and ask to see samples of both. This will help give you an idea of what’s more suitable for you.