Are you looking for flooring solutions that are as durable as they are beautiful—and low maintenance and affordable to boot? If so, there is no material like concrete to get the results you crave. However, concrete flooring is not as simple of an undertaking as one might initially think—from building a framework and reinforcements for the flooring, to properly mixing, leveling, and curing the concrete—not to mention finishing and sealing it properly once it has been cured. If this is the route you are interested in going, you need to browse concrete grinding contractors. Alexandria, VA, Rockville, MD, and the Washington D.C. area are rife with flooring contractors, but not all of them offer the same high-caliber results and degree of quality service that you may be looking for. In this post, we will address everything you need to know about the grinding process involved in finishing concrete floors, including which type of finish is best for your building!
Why Do Flooring Contractors Grind Concrete?
Once the concrete has been mixed, poured into its premade frame, leveled, settled, and cured, the process is far from complete. In fact, the following steps are critical to the floor’s long-term health, longevity, and ease of maintenance! So, what follows the curing stage, you might ask?
The answer is painstaking grinding, polishing, honing, and sealing—all with the client’s specifications in mind. While opting for a matte finish typically requires less work, fewer hours on the job, and therefore results in a lower bill, it is not always the preferred look for some property owners—and what’s more, it may be slightly more susceptible to damage than highly polished concrete floors which are attacked with ever-decreasing grits until they are quite smooth to the touch. Regardless of how much polishing you decided to go with, grinding concrete is an important step in removing imperfections, making the surface less porous (which reduces bacteria, allergen, and dirt collection as well as making it easier to clean), and even makes the floor tougher for the years ahead. Finish this off with a buff and sealer, and you’ve got concrete floors that can last a lifetime!
How to Choose the Best Finish for Your Concrete Floors
When it comes to finishing your concrete floors, there are many possibilities. From different levels of shine to opportunities to stain, dye, acid-wash, add an epoxy layer, and so much more, you can truly design your concrete floors to complement any aesthetic or vibe you might be going for. For the purposes of this article, however, we will simply touch on the wide array of different visual possibilities just in the example of grinding and polishing cured concrete alone.
The less you grind your concrete, the more matte it is going to look—which some people think has a cooling effect on the space around it. At any rate, it is less visually “loud” than a high-gloss concrete floor finish—which makes it a rather subdued, subtle addition to your home or business and takes it from center stage. This can be a huge plus for folks who are intentionally designing other aspects of their space that they want to attract the eye, such as impressive artwork on the walls, chandeliers or light fixtures, antique wooden beams, a brick wall, etc.
Did you know that highly reflective concrete floors are more likely to help homeowners get the most out of natural light coming in through their windows, potentially saving them money on utility bills? Highly reflective concrete floors can bounce light all over your home—but this can even play a helpful role in businesses too, by keeping merchandise well-illuminated. The more attention drawn to a product, the more likely a customer will be to buy it. Of course, highly reflective floors aren’t for everyone—and some people prefer a moodier, softer light atmosphere, which would be a compelling reason to opt for a matte finish.
Safety and Anti-Slip Characteristics
Matte concrete finishes are ever so slightly less slippery than high-gloss, high-polish concrete finishes. However, this is not to say you can’t have the best of both worlds if you are looking for a slip-resistant, highly reflective concrete finish. Buffing wax into your highly-polished concrete floors can add a level of stability—or you can even add anti-slip epoxy to the surface of your concrete, which has the two-fold benefit of adding extra durability to stains, chemicals, impact marks, and scratches. A simple fix, however, and one that is undeniably cheaper than installing a layer of epoxy is to add non-slip throw rugs over your concrete floors. This can also help create a cozy atmosphere while keeping your toes warm in winter.
While there is a lot to love about the softer tones of a matte finish, it cannot be denied that the more time you spend polishing your concrete floors, the more durable they will be in the long term. This is because the more you smooth out the surface of your concrete, the more you are removing imperfections while creating a seamless, very strong surface that is more likely to be resistant to natural damage that may occur over time. What’s more, a smoother, shinier surface will also be easier to clean and maintain—and may even be more stain-resistant!
Adjustable for Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Spaces
Of course, on deciding between concrete grinding contractors, Alexandria, VA residents and business owners will have to choose the level of concrete finishing that is appropriate for their space. For example, commercial settings tend to do well with highly-polished, highly reflective floors—while a homeowner may prefer the aesthetics and lower bill that come with a matte finish. For industrial buildings, chances are the floor is going to be put through the paces—from chemical spills to equipment or vehicles driving over the surface, it will need all the additional resilience it can get. Know the benefits that come with each option (matte finishes or high-gloss) and weigh the pros and cons for your property! When in doubt, you can always opt for a medium finish!
Concrete Grinding Contractors Alexandria, VA
As for concrete grinding contractors, Alexandria, VA residents know there are plenty to choose from; the tougher question can sometimes become, “Who will do the best job for my space?” When shopping between concrete flooring contractors, it’s important that you have a clear idea in your mind of what it is you want in terms of how your floors interact with the room. With so many different options for artistic or aesthetic design, concrete really is one of the most durable, economical, and beautiful options for renovators, homeowners, business owners, and more. So, is the cost of a high-grind, high-polished concrete floor worth the extra durability and increased light reflection? Only you can decide.