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Diamond Polished Concrete Floors

I’ve been meaning to talk about this for some time and I even did a quickie post a few months ago, but here’s my full review…
The concrete polishing process is basically the same process as sanding down a hardwood floor. The first 1/16″ of the concrete is ground off and it exposes the aggregate under the surface. It has a bit of a Terrazzo look that I think is super hot! The photo’s above show a basement floor on a recently completed house of ours. If I did this again I think I’d put some thought into “seeding” the floor with something fun. On the front porch slab, we had some form nails that were just under the surface of the concrete. The polishing exposed them like fossils and showed a sheared profile of the nails! They were super shiny for a day, but they quickly rusted. Next time I might seed the concrete with some stainless steel screws or some other rock aggregete (or maybe glass bottle fragments?) to make a unique look at the doorways. Might be fun for a garage worshop to have some metal parts in the concrete. OK, bottom line Pro/Con’s
PRO:
– Relatively in-expensive (maybe $3-5/sq foot)
– Very Green, no off-gassing, no sealers needed, easy to maintain, better indoor air quality
– Super Cool Looking!
– Allows a more refined look vs. a stained concrete floor
-Stable temperature (maybe a stretch here), in our cooling dominated climate the concrete floors remain cooler (seemingly)
CON:
-Concrete is still pourous so it can stain (red wine, kool-aid, etc) if no sealer is used
-I’m not a fan of concrete floors in kitchens where you’re standing around alot. My knees get tired.
-Your sub-floor is your finished floor so they need protected during construction. Cardboard/Hardboard cover is needed
-Cracks in the slab are now cracks in your finished floor. This doesn’t bother me, but to some it’s unattractive. Remember the old Texas builder addage that’s very true… there are two types of concrete: Concrete that’s cracked & Concrete that’s going to crack

I think we’re going to see lots more of this in homes around Austin in the coming years. This is an up and coming trend. -Matt Risinger