Flatwork Specification for Concrete that will be Polished

Polishable Concrete Floor OverlaysPolished Concrete is mechanically treated concrete, treated with diamond grinding tools. Typically polished concrete is defined as treated with 800 grit up to 3,000 grit levels. Anything ground below 400 grit levels is not technically considered polishing. Grinding tools are progressive pads building to the desired polish level.  Polishing often includes using liquid hardeners and/or densifiers to add durability and serviceability to the surface.  Colors and dyes can be used in conjunction with the polished system to further enhance the aesthetics.   There are other methods to meet client desires for a “polished concrete look”. These other methods depend on the existing concrete profile, the contractors experience and expertise, the equipment and the supplies used.

Polished concrete is not to be confused with “stained” concrete, “epoxy” concrete, “terrazzo” concrete or “sealed” concrete.   Sealers or epoxies are applied over plain concrete or stained concrete.  These sealers/epoxies can produce a flat finish or a high gloss finish.  Polished concrete is actually changing the surface of the concrete physically by using pads, grits and buffing materials to achieve the finish mechanically.

Polishing Benefits

  • A sustainable design flooring option.
  • Uses materials already present.
  • Eliminates the energy and additional materials to apply other flooring options such as carpet, wood, tile, etc.
  • Low maintenance
  • More durable and easier to clean than many other flooring options.
  • Increased slip resistance (vinyl composite tile (VCT) standards typically are a minimum of .5
     SCOF, polished concrete is typically .7 to .9 SCOF).
  • Reduces the opportunity for dust and dust mites for asthma and allergy suffers.
  • Improves natural lighting with the reflective surface bouncing light around the room.
  • Potentially reduces the need for additional interior lighting.
  • Hard wearing surface has less opportunity for chipping, denting and wear and tear.
  • Cleaner, healthier atmosphere for restaurants, hospitals and medical clinics, etc

Download the Flatwork Specification For Concrete That Will Be Polished

CPG’s Specifiers Guide to Polished Concrete is updated periodically to keep up with changes in the industry.  The website version will reflect the most current version.