Tips on Polishing an Existing Concrete Floor

Old concrete slabs are often revitalized into office, retail, or even industrial space with polished concrete. From our experience polishing an existing concrete floors (versus new concrete slabs), we have put together some expectations with these older floors. Our hope is to take the guess work out of the finished outcome – and basically let you know – you cannot predict the outcome!

When polishing an existing concrete floor, the outcomes are almost never the same.

This very old concrete floor was refurbished with polished concrete. There are many imperfections and stains, but this warehouse now has a cleanable floor for many years to come.

Character in Polishing an Existing Concrete Floor Exists As:

1. Imperfections – When polishing an existing concrete floor, or any concrete slab, it is always difficult to tell what will happen after the first cut is made. The first cut removes the top layer of concrete and exposes sand…and anything else that has been troweled under the concrete. Wood, pine needles, and other debris may be exposed. In addition, the color of the concrete may be very different than what you previously saw. Finally, all the imperfections of the concrete, stains, discoloration, waves, and more will be amplified when polished. See our gallery on the reality of polished concrete for images and more details.

2. Ghosting From Previous Floor Coverings – If removing tile, VCT, or carpet, the results are even more unknown. Commonly, the grid-like pattern from tile or carpet tiles will remain in the finished floor. This ghosting of the previous flooring just adds more character to the floor. It is difficult to determine before hand if the ghosting will remain or not, but a sample can always be done first.

3. Uneven Dye Penetration – If you are considering adding color or dye (a decorative element) to your polished concrete project. It is important to understand the limitations of dyed and polished concrete. Dyes do not penetrate evenly. Especially in older concrete or where VCT or other tile has been removed, it is hard to get a uniform color throughout the slab. Instead, the concrete often takes on a mottled look of darker and lighter color – again, giving the floor character.

At Titus Restoration we have many years of experience polishing existing, older concrete slabs. Our goal is to educate you as much as possible on the expectations. For more information on our polished concrete services click here. Contact us today for free site evaluations and pricing.