Designing with Diamond Polished Concrete

Although by now we know polished concrete is extremely durable. We might now ask what are the design options?

Based on your situation here are some options:

Option 1: There is already concrete poured.

Option 2: No concrete has been poured.

Option 1: There is already concrete poured.

If concrete is already poured or perhaps an old floor covering has been removed exposing a concrete substrate, there are many options to consider. First we must assume the concrete is in a good enough condition that will allow for polishing, decoration or coloration. The concrete should be solid, dense, and somewhat level and overall smooth. If you are not sure, contact your local polishing professional.The choices begin with a simple rough polish of the existing slab, to a highly polished, colored and patterned finish.
A simple polish could create and overall clean, gray, smooth functional surface. Whereas a higher level of shine can look more attractive but will take more time.

When deciding on what level of shine is desired consider the following:

The glossier the finish the higher the price: reasons>
Extended labor costs
Additional diamond consumption
Higher skilled labor

Advantages:
Better light reflection
Easier to clean and maintain
Higher end finish

It is tough to beat a highly polished concrete surface it could create a mirror like shine and look absolutely incredible.

But what if polishing is not enough. What about Color choices?

Coloration options are growing considerably as products and application methods evolve. As long as the concrete is reactive it could accept an acid stain color and if not, many dyes or tints can be applied.

An acid stain requires a chemical reaction to deposit its color, whereas a tint or dye simply absorbs into the pores of the concrete similar to wood stain. Each of these coloration systems requires on site testing to ensure their viability.

Keep in mind stains, dyes and tints applied to polished concrete surfaces only add color to the existing surface and therefore wont hind blemishes, cracks, construction errors etc. Acid stain also looks different on polished concrete than it does on an unpolished concrete surface. Make sure the on site mockup is everything you expect it to be.

Additional design treatments could include sand blasted emblems; borders or logos, decorative saw cuts or score lines and many other creative elements.

Option 2: No concrete has been poured

If no concrete has been poured all of the options in Option 1 are possible as well as some additional design elements.

First: Color can be added to the concrete at the time of the pour in two ways. Either with integral color (mixed into the concrete) or with a surface dry shake color hardener (added to the surface of the wet concrete) These two options open the doors to many color choices.

Another creative design element could include the insertion of decorative pieces into the surface of the concrete. When glass, metal, colored stone, shells etc are inserted into the surface of the wet concrete, the subsequent polishing process will expose these elements creating a wide range of possibilities and a unique way to leave your mark.

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