What Is Exposed Aggregate Polished Concrete?
While some people may think of concrete flooring as bland and industrial, there are options with more flair! Exposed aggregate polished concrete is a stunning choice for a range of uses.
Exposed aggregate polished concrete is a concrete floor used indoors in offices, schools, and other commercial properties. With exposed aggregate polished concrete, you can see aggregate, which is small rocks in the floor but is sealed and shiny.
The process contractors use to create these stunning concrete floors is straightforward. The chosen rocks are laid on the floor and then surrounded by cement so they stay in place and create a flush surface.
Once the concrete dries, they apply a durable and long-lasting translucent sealant. An acid wash is a final step in the process that occurs once the concrete seals sufficiently. Because of the precise method for exposed aggregate polished concrete, there are many opportunities for customization.
Exposed Polished Aggregate in an Office Environment
Exposed aggregate concrete is one of the best concrete floor options for several reasons. From helping the environment to creating a classy aesthetic, read about the reasons you should consider an exposed aggregate polished concrete floor below.
Polished concrete flooring is super durable, offering a long lifespan. An unsealed concrete floor is more likely to crack or deteriorate over time, but the sealant on this concrete flooring will stand the test of time!
Exposed Aggregate Polished Concrete is Extremely Durable
A concrete slab with a concrete overlay and sealant will last more than a lifetime, and it requires minimal maintenance once installed.
Because the aggregate concrete has a rough and pebbled surface it looks like it has a rough surface that would aid traction. However, as part of the polishing process, the surface is grinded and sealed. The sealer protects the concrete floor and provides an elegant, reflective floor finish that promotes the character of the visible underlying fine aggregate.
Polished concrete floors may look slippery but are in fact not all that slippery when dry or wet. Any sealed surface may be a bit more slippery when wet, so a polished floor is not ideal for frequently wet areas, like bathrooms or poolside. But compared with many other options – including epoxy flooring – polished exposed aggregate concrete has good traction when wet.
Exposed aggregate polished concrete can serve as a decorative concrete due to its lovely and timeless appearance that will never go out of style.
Aggregate Polished Concrete is Reflective and Durable
The aesthetic is natural but refined, so you can appreciate the beauty of natural rocks and have a concrete surface with a polished and elegant look. Even if this concrete floor is for a space that usually isn’t aesthetically pleasing, like a garage, the honed concrete will give a sleek appearance.
When choosing exposed aggregate floors, you get to pick from a wide array of styles, from different rock sizes to certain colors.
There are simple styles perfect for commercial spaces and garages, but you can also select decorative aggregate, which will have a more artistic and interesting appearance.
The abundance of style options makes exposed aggregate polished concrete perfect for all spaces, including churches, showrooms, restaurants, and retail stores.
Whether it’s for commercial property or residential, it adds an element of design. Contractors can also combine different size stones and colors to create mesmerizing patterns on the floor.
Maintaining and cleaning an exposed aggregate polished concrete floor is a piece of cake. Most contractors and the Concrete Polishing Council(CPC) suggest resealing the floor every 5-10 years to maintain shine and durability.
The best way to wash polished concrete is with a floor scrubber. A power washer and/or degreaser can also be used. Frequency of maintenance will depend on foot traffic. This power washing can be done one to two times a year or as often as necessary, depending on the traffic of the area.
As mentioned above, you should reseal the concrete every 5 to 10 years. However, the resealing is mostly to maintain the concrete’s beauty, as it will remain durable for decades.
Exposed aggregate concrete is made from mostly recycled materials, like slag and industrial waste, so it’s less harmful to the environment than other flooring options. Its reliability and long lifespan also mean few materials are needed to maintain it over decades.
The initial cost of laying exposed aggregate flooring is reasonable, but the lack of maintenance makes it a no-brainer as a cost-effective choice.
Some concrete floors need frequent sealing, or they will crack or deteriorate. But polished exposed aggregate concrete needs little professional attention, so you can save money long-term.
If you love exposed aggregate but aren’t sure where it is suitable, below are some of the best places to install this concrete floor.
- Health care facilities
- Recreational centers
- Government facilities
- Commercial offices
- Grocery stores
- Parking garages
- Auto dealerships
- Retail stores
- Auto service centers